Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Ben 10 Armadrillo and Revolution Ultimatrix

I recently wrote about the latest Ben 10 Ultimate Alien Toys, perfect for re-enacting favourite moments from the hit TV show.

Ben 10 is a favourite programme on Cartoon Network and is hugely popular with the kids.  Kizzy and Freddy were very intrigued to try out some Ben 10 toys from Bandai that we received to review. We were sent the Revolution Ultimatrix and the Armadrillo Action Figure.

The Ben 10 Ultimate Alien Armadrillo Action Figure is a really cool yellow, armoured robotic alien with the incredible power to dig with his Jackhammer Punch action.  He has one arm that is a drill and another that is a gripping claw which can be operated with buttons. He is ready to battle his enemies with his strength and powers.  He stands 6" tall and is really robust with articulated limbs. Kizzy thought it was "a really good action figure" and liked the drill and claw action!  Freddy is keen on this character calling him a "robot" and pressing the buttons to make him drill and grasp!

 The Ultimate Alien Revolution Ultimatrix allows you to create exciting battles.  An ultimate alien attaches to the Ultimatrix and is then twisted to wind it up.  A button is then pressed to release the spinning alien who then knocks down targets.  The set contains 2 aliens (Big Chill and Cannonbolt) and 3 cardboard targets.  The Ultimatrix can be worn on the wrist just like Ben 10 does.  The aliens spun really well but were tricky to make go in the right direction so we weren't good at hitting the targets!

Kizzy gave a quick video demonstration of the toys showing how they work.

They really are great for Ben 10 fans, and very true to the cartoon show.  The toys allow children to act out scenes from their favourite programme in an interactive and fun way.  There is so much merchandise to collect, your Ben 10 fan will be spoilt for choice!

Ben 10 Revolution Ultimatrix retails for £14.99 and Armadrillo for £12.99.

Ben 10 Ultimate Alien collection is suitable for children aged 4+
Stockists are Argos, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco, Toys R Us, Smyths, The Entertainer, Toymaster, John Lewis, Amazon, and all good toy stores.

Check out the full range on or visit the Facebook page for further information

Anti-Ageing For Your Clothes!

With three kids living at home and a student daughter who regularly brings home her dirty washing, laundry constitutes up a big chunk of our daily chores.  Trying to keep our clothing looking as good as new for as long as possible is a major consideration.  Many of the girls' clothes are brightly coloured and can fade and look old.  Whites can easily discolour and look dull.

Comfort has come up with Comfort Brights designed to keep both colours and whites bright and vibrant.  I was sent a bottle of both Bright Colour and Bright White to try out for myself.  Anything that can help me with my laundry is gratefully received!

Comfort Bright has a scientific Pro-Bright formula that helps prevent running and fading, keeping clothes looking as dazzling as when they were first bought.  It's suitable for all colours from pastels to deeper shades and even works with stripes and patterns.  It is perfect for maintaining the rich hues of your favourite clothes!

Comfort Whites helps keep our basic whites looking bright and fresh.  It gently enhances the whiteness and radiance of clothing with the Pro-White formula counteracting yellow and grey tones that cause dulling.  The result is radiant whites with all the softness and freshness that Comfort brings.  

I have tried both the Bright Whites and Bright Colours Concentrated Fabric Conditioner in my laundry.  I've never used a separate fabric softener for different coloured loads before, but it makes sense that colours and whites have different needs.  The Bright Colours had a very fresh fragrance.  The Bright Whites' scent was more subtle.

The laundry came out of the machine smelling fresh and clean and it dried with the softness you expect Comfort to deliver.  The clothing retained the softness and freshness and the colours looked bright.  Ella has some new colourful stripy tops and they came out the wash well defined and vibrant.

As Comfort Brights are concentrated they use 50% less packaging per wash so they are as kind on the environment as they are on your clothes.

I hope that using Comfort Brights will keep our clothes looking newer for longer.  The Bright Whites will hopefully keep the girls' school uniform and PE kits looking bright and dazzling throughout the school year!  Ultimately this could save me money...what a great prospect!

RRP £2.25 for 750ml and £3.88 for 1.5ml.  Available nationally.

The Gallery...Animals

This week's Gallery Prompt is Animals.  I've taken quite a lot of animal shots recently with visits to Chester Zoo, Dudley Zoo, West Midlands and Knowsley Safari Parks this Summer.

The photo I want to share is of a pair of baby Meerkats who had us all going gooey with how cute they were.  We watched them for ages as they played together under the watchful eye of the adults.  It really was lovely to sit and enjoy these gorgeous creatures.  The temptation to pop one in my pocket was strong, but I did resist.  They were just so sweet....simples!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Bobux...Shoes for Growing Feet

From birth to 3, feet undergo an enormous amount of change.  At every stage from crawling to walking, a child's footwear needs to support healthy natural development.  New Zealand brand Bobux are innovators in children's footwear.  They have created eco-friendly footwear combining scientific and natural health research, allowing unrestricted development as baby grows.  They offer three ranges of footwear based on the philosophy that babies do better when they are comfortable, happy and free to develop as nature intended.  

The Soft Sole range is suitable for babies aged 0-27 months.  Made with eco-friendly leather and non-toxic stitching and dyes, they come in fun, colourful designs.  They have a unique elastic ankle support, and allow little feet to grip the floor, flex their muscles and spread their toes.  This helps with crawling and making first steps.  There are so many cute and gorgeous designs you'll be spoilt for choice!

Pre-Walk shoes feature a revolutionary duo-flex sole to support and not restrict natural movement during those early first steps.  They come in a range including ballet pumps, sports shoes and sandals.  They encourage a sense of confidence and freedom.

i-Walk are perfect for toddlers learning to master walking and gaining in confidence.  Their feet are still forming and to avoid malformation and spinal issues, the i-Walk shoes are designed with a soft, flexible rubber sole.  It grips and conforms to the natural walking motion of little feet, allowing them to grow and explore without restriction.  The range includes sneakers, loafers, casual shoes, sandals and boots.

Freddy was born with a condition called Syndactyly which means he has fused toes, so we are really careful about what shoes he wears on his feet.  We were delighted for him to try out a pair of i-Walk Sports Shoes.

They arrived in a sturdy box with a cellophane window in the top allowing you to see the shoes through it.  The gorgeous retro design trainers are made from top quality black and white leather and have a wide velcro fastener to secure them on little feet.

The flexible sole is anti-slip which is perfect for playing outside.  The eco-leather is fully breathable keeping little feet cool.  They are available in UK sizes 3-8 so will fit your toddler whenever they take their first steps.

Not only are these shoes really well-made, stylish, trendy and designed to be perfect for the needs of little feet,  but Freddy also loves them!  He is going through a funny toddler phase where getting dressed is an issue for him, but he really loves his new shoes!  Thankfully, that is one less problem to contend with!  They must be really comfy on his feet for him to like them so much, which is a real testament to the design of Bobux shoes.

He looks really smart in his Bobux Trainers. He runs about and plays happily whilst wearing them.  They fit beautifully with the adjustable velcro strap making sure they are snug on his foot.

They are supportive and flexible and have the flat sole recommended by podiatrists for young children to allow natural foot movement.

Freddy enjoyed a game of indoor golf  (thanks to British Summertime being a wash-out!) and looked very sporty thanks to his Bobux Sports Shoes.   I am delighted knowing that they are the best option for his growing feet during the toddler stage.  They look great as a casual shoe and are also smart enough for a more formal outfit making the design very versatile.  We love them!!

The Bobux Sports Shoes are part of Bobux's Autumn/ Winter 2011 collection.  Take a look at the website to find some fabulous End of Season bargains and to take a look at the full range of gorgeous designs for all three stages.

Follow Bobux on Facebook and Twitter to find out more!

Jordans Country Crisp with Honey and Nut

We were sent a box of Jordans New Country Crisp Honey and Nut to try.  I'm always willing to test food products and have a team of tasters all willing to give their opinion.

The Country Crisp Honey and Nut is a combination of crunchy, baked oat clusters blended with honey and mixed with flaked and chopped almonds and sliced Brazil nuts.  I love nuts so this was quite an enticing concept.

They are expertly baked by eye, giving perfect golden, oaty clusters which reminded me of crunchy flapjack pieces.  They were different shapes and sizes giving a really natural feel to the cereal.  You can serve them with chilled milk, yogurt or eat them straight from the pack for a satisfying snack.  They stay crisp to the very last bite.

With wholegrain goodness, and absolutely no artificial colourings, flavourings, preservatives or GM ingredients, you can trust Jordans as a quality product.  The British oats are grown on nature friendly conservation grade farms where farmers give over 10% of their land to encourage bees, birds and butterflies to flourish.  By choosing Jordans you are helping the British countryside!

The real test of any food product is in the tasting.  We set about sampling the cereal.

Kizzy was initially worried because it contains honey and she thought it would be sickly, sweet.  However, she enjoyed the subtle honey flavour and the oaty, nutty crunch.  She ate loads!  She said "It was really yummy and I was pleasantly surprised by the flavour and texture of the clusters!  I liked it straight from the box!"  I agreed with Kizzy.  The clusters are really moreish and I was happy to nibble on them straight from the box with a cup of coffee!  Freddy chomped through handfuls. Daddy was more traditional, serving his with milk for breakfast.  He loved the slices of Brazil Nut in it.  It is a real quality cereal, packed full of flavoursome, wholesome ingredients.

At £2.69 for a 500g box, they are available from Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.

Honey Nut joins the five other flavours of Country Crisp: Real Strawberries, Real Raspberries, Chunky Nuts, Flame Raisins, Smooth Dark Chocolate.

For recipe ideas, news, views and competitions visit and sign up for the monthly newsletter.  You can also look out for Jordans on Facebook and Twitter!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Happy Birthday Pat!!

It's been three decades since Postman Pat first graced our screens as the humble postie from Greendale, who was assisted by Jess his black and white cat, as he delivered the mail from his red van.

Over the years Pat has had loads of adventures and now heads up the Special Delivery Service and flies his own helicopter!  

To celebrate Pat's 30th birthday,  a wonderful limited edition DVD is due for release on September 12th.  The shiny, metallic slipcase shows Pat and Jess with confetti and balloons...perfect to commemorate the BBC's longest running animated series on its special day!

With over 3 hours of fun, the DVD includes 8 special episodes:
  • Postman Pat's Great Big Party
  • Postman Pat Takes The Bus
  • Postman Pat & The Toy Soilders 
  • Postman Pat & The Tuba
  • Postman Pat & The Greendale Rocket
  • Postman Pat & The Barometer
  • Postman Pat Clowns AroundPostman 
  • Pat's Pirate Treasure
The Great Big Party episode sees the Greendale residents trying to organise a surprise party for Pat's birthday.  Freddy particularly loved Ted's robot machines!  Poor Pat thinks everybody has forgotten his birthday...but it's all right on the night!  They throw him a party to be proud of until the robots go beserk!

Freddy loved the classic theme tune and danced around happily as we played the DVD for him.  He loved the characters, the simple stories and the music.  It is rapidly becoming one of his favourites to watch!  It was nice to see episodes from across the was very nostalgic, taking me back to when I first watched Postman Pat with my first son 22 years ago!

This DVD is perfect for Pat fans young and old.  It also includes a bonus CD of  great big party songs which'll have Freddy up and dancing for sure!  It's a lovely way to celebrate 30 years of Postman Pat!

You can pre-order the DVD from Amazon.

**If you want to send Postman Pat a birthday card or drawing, and receive a reply for your child, check out this post here!**

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Bob's Big Build

On Saturday the 27th August, the O2 Arena played host to Bob the Builder for the Big Build event.  As VIP guests, we were treated to a fabulous boat ride down the Thames from the London Eye to the O2.  With brilliant goodie bags and refreshments onboard, it was a marvellous start to our day.

The Thames Clipper

Arriving at the iconic building that was previously known as the Millennium Dome, I was very impressed.  It is quite a magnificent structure!

The O2

We approached the Live Quarter and the kids were given yellow hard hats before entering the ten zones that made up the interactive event.  With a host of special challenges and activities to take part in, within each 90 minute session, there was not a dull moment for Freddy and Kizzy.

Arriving at Bob's Big Build

We met up with Helen from The Crazy Kitchen and her lovely family, which made the event even more fun.  Our children have real fun together!  It was also lovely to see other familiar faces including Danielle from The Family Express and my sister Qwerty Mum.

Digging in the sand.

With so much to do, Freddy got stuck into playing in the giant sandpit. building a brick wall, playing with an amazing assortment of Bob toys from Character, zooming on a scooter test track and bouncing on a bouncy castle.  Kizzy got her face painted, listened to a Bob story and did some colouring in as well as joining in with her little brother and friends.

Building a wall.


Character toys :)

A quiet moment at Bob's Big Build.

A live Bob show and a character Meet and Greet session kept the crowd thoroughly entertained. We had a boogie to some of the songs. "Big fish, little fish, cardboard box!"

The culmination of the session was a screening of Bob's The Big Dino Dig, the brand new feature length DVD released on September 19th in which Bob and the gang unearth some dinosaur bones on the site of a new theme park at Fixham Harbour.

2,500 Bob the Builder fans enjoyed the day's events and went home with some lovely Bob goodies.  It was a great day which we all enjoyed.  Freddy enjoyed sporting his hard hat, goggles and tool belt back in the hotel room.  A reminder of an awesome day filled with all things Bob!!!

Fred the Builder x

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Friday, 26 August 2011

Galt Sparkle Jewellery

The Galt Sparkle Jewellery Set is another  toy that 8 year old Kizzy was thrilled to receive and review for Toys R Us!  With 185 assorted beads, holographic stickers, silky thread and elastic, you can create sparkly necklaces and bracelets to accessorize any outfit.

The beads were quite easy to thread onto the string so it was not frustrating for Kizzy to do independently...until 2 year old Freddy tried to 'help'.  The sound of 185 beads falling onto laminate floor was really something.  Obviously, toddlers and small beads do not mix, so Daddy removed him from the room allowing Kizzy to continue with her jewellery making in peace.

The instructions were very straightforward and simple to follow, and the selection of different shaped and coloured beads was good.

Kizzy was kept occupied threading and sticking for quite some time.  She needed a little help tying the ends off, but that was the only adult assistance required. 

 It is perfect for rainy days or would be a great activity for a sleepover or birthday party for young girls. 
The Galt Sets retail for £5.99 which is a great price for so much fun!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Leap Frog Tag Junior

Leap Frog make so many cool things for kids!  We have been introduced to another of their products, thanks to being Toyologists. Freddy has been sent the Tag Junior and I am officially impressed! Using amazing optical technology, it encourages toddlers' to develop a love of books and introduces pre-school skills through playful book-based activities.

Designed for kids aged 2-4, the Tag Junior reading system brings board books magically to life with fun sounds and activities.  The 'Book Pal' is a cute, little character, which is chunky and easy to hold in little hands.  As it is placed on the specially printed pages of the Tag Junior books, the words on the page are spoken aloud, and characters speak to your little one.  It works on both words and pictures which is great for inquisitive toddlers, encouraging them to explore. You can even program it to say your child's name (from a list of 1900 names online).  Freddy has started talking back to his book pal when it speaks to him!

Each book focuses on an early learning skill such as counting, social play or letter recognition.  The talking pal allows the toddler to take charge of the experience, to hear the sounds from the characters and objects on the pages. Some pictures lead to open ended questions making the Tag Junior really interactive. It works using a tiny optical scanner... I haven't got a clue how it does it. but it is very clever!

Perfect for little hands.
Up to five books can be stored on the book pal so children can go from one downloaded book to another.  One book is included "If I Were..." which is about animals and has a lovely rhyming text that Freddy really enjoyed.  We were also sent four other titles Cars 2 World Adventure, Thomas and Friends Best Friends, Toy Story 3 To Imagination and Beyond and ABC Animal Orchestra.  It's good to see so many favourite children's characters in the choices of book available. Each one has lots of different sound effects and audio responses.  They are a lot of fun!

Plenty of favourite characters.
To use Tag Junior you need a PC with the internet to download the audio to the book pal. Connecting cable is included.  It was very straightforward to do with clear online instructions.  The book pal requires 2 AAA batteries which aren't included.

I really liked the fact that the reading voice had a British accent, rather than an American one which means that Freddy won't be picking up an L.A. twang from playing with his Tag Junior.

Overall, I am really impressed with this educational toy.  It has awakened Freddy's interest in books and has really engaged him.  The audio responses and learning activities are really extensive.  Freddy particularly likes the Toy Story 3 book which is a lovely story about Bonnie and her toys. I love that it talks to Freddy by name, it is a nice touch personalising the experience. Although at the moment he still makes the book pal repeat one sound over and over again, reminding me of a stuck record, he is beginning to understand the interactive elements of the toy and is choosing to play with it regularly.  For a toddler who would rather be throwing or kicking balls around the garden, this interest in books is really encouraging.  He has given the Tag Junior a thorough toddler testing and it is withstanding his playing perfectly!

This is not a replacement for parents reading stories to their children.  Nothing beats snuggling up at bedtime with a favourite storybook.  Instead, it is a really fun way for pre-schoolers to enjoy books independently with the help of their Tag Junior Book Pal. Priced at £29.99 for the Tag Junior and £9.99 for the software from Toys R Us, it is a great way to introduce reading and electronic learning to toddlers.  I personally think it is a nice blend, combining the traditional with the ultra modern.  I will definitely be adding to his software library!

Leap Frog Tag Junior
Find Leap Frog products at

CLOSED**WIN!! Brilliant Back To School Giveaway!

Earlier, I reviewed the fabulous Clinton Cards 3 for 2 Back to School offer.  They have a wonderful selection of products that will see kids turn up for the new term at school looking smart and stylish with funky lunch boxes, cool satchels and brilliant stationery sets.

To celebrate their money-saving offer the fabulous people at Clintons have offered one of my followers the chance to win a brilliant Back to School Bundle filled with different Back to School Goodies!  Perfect for the new school year!

To win this fabulous prize all you need to do is take a look at my review post here and tell me which of the designs you like best...are you a Tatty Teddy lover, a Boofle fan or a Tokyo Toys admirer??  Leave me a comment below to tell me which is your favourite design (make sure you follow my blog too!) and include a method of contacting you ie Twitter id.

For an extra entry you can tweet this:

Back to School will be Cool if I Win with @clintonscards and @wendymcd83.  Enter here

Leave me a separate comment telling me you have done so.

I will draw the competition by Randomizer on September 7th.  UK only.  Winner's details will be given to Clinton Cards for despatch of the prize after the closing date.  GOOD LUCK!!

B&Q Summer Fun

We are coming to the end of the long summer holidays.  If you are running out of fresh ideas for things to do with the children, DIY giants B&Q have come to the rescue.  They have asked real children what they want to do when school is out and have come up with 20 top ideas for fun filled mini-DIY activities.

From building a wigwam, to making their bedrooms glow in the dark to planting a herb garden to building a sandpit, the kids came up a whole range of exciting activities to do whatever the weather.

Check out the kids' ideas in this lovely video from B&Q.  I love their creativity...such fabulous projects for parents to do with their children.

B&Q have made a list of everything needed to make the children's ideas a reality, which can be found on their Facebook Summer Fun page.

My favourite activity idea is to make a Magnetic Wall perfect for a kid's bedroom or even a kitchen to stick up photos, drawings or notes.  

What you need to create a magnetic wall:

  • Magnetic primer
  • Masking tape
  • Paint brush
  • Foam roller
  • Old clothes

Materials are available from

B&Q have sent us an adorable little watering can containing a £50 gift card so we can get stuck in to our own DIY project.  I love how the unique packaging makes giving a gift card something really if you are stuck for a present for someone...this would be a great idea!

*I'll let you know what we decide to do and keep you updated with our own DIY project!*

The Gallery....World Photography Day

Today is World Photography Day and I have chosen to share this photo (taken on Sunday) from Knowsley Safari Park of a White Rhinoceros chomping on the grass right next to our car.  I love how prehistoric it looks.  An animal from a bygone age.  Its huge size was breathtaking, an amazing creature.  The children were awestruck by this was an incredible moment for them to get up close and personal to it.  The sound of it chewing the grass and its seeming gentleness despite its gait will stay with them.  A moment from a fabulous family day out that will last forever thanks to capturing it in a photo.

This is my entry to The Gallery.

Back to School with Clintons Cards

Clintons Cards are helping kids go back to school in style with their range of  lunch boxes, note books, school bags and pencil cases.  To make it easier for parents, all the back to school range is currently 3 for 2 meaning you can save cash on the latest must haves.  Happy kids, happy parents!

One of their ranges features the cute and cuddly Boofle on a gorgeous patch work design background.

Be the envy of the classroom with this satchel for £12.99.  It has a zip to keep the contents of the bag contained which is a very useful feature.  The strap is adjustable.
The Boofle lunch box lets you munch in style for just £7.99.  It'll keep your lunch cool!

You can take notes and stay organised with this Boofle Notebook for just £3.99.

Stay hydrated with this Boofle Water Bottle for just £3.99.  Drinking water aids concentration in the classroom.

If you prefer Tatty Teddy there are a range of items featuring your favourite character from 'Me to You'.  Or if you like a quirkier design, Tokyo Toys is the perfect design for you!

This funky Tokyo Toys A4 ringbinder is just £2.49.

This Tatty Teddy Stationery Set will keep you smiling in the classroom as you work for just £3.99.
Also available is a range of thoughtful back to school and university cards.  It's a lovely way to wish luck to a loved one on their big day.

This lovely Tatty Teddy card is just £1.79.

While stocks last you can buy 3 items and get the cheapest for free!  A perfect start to the new school year.  Everyone loves a nice fresh start to the new term with all new equipment.  My girls certainly do, so it is a perfect opportunity to get them kitted out for less.

All these products are available online at 
Also you can find products in store.

*We received a Boofle Satchel from Clintons Cards so we could try out something the range.  Kizzy will be rolling up to the school gates with it slung over her shoulder!*


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