Ad| Playmobil Mars Space Station (9487)

We received this toy in exchange for our honest review. All opinions are our own

There are some toys which I think of as an investment. These are the toys which, in some families, tend to be kept for the “next children” or even Grandchildren. Toys which don’t really ever go out of fashion and have a universal appeal. Playmobil is definitely one of those toys.

Playmobil and us

Upstairs, we have 2 other Playmobil sets. I bought a dinosaur adventure set, complete with fossils and a volcano, for Col, who is now 18. The other is a play park set with working swingset and seesaw among other things which was bought for Bess when she was, well, a lot littler than she is now! The intended recipients have played with the Playmobil sets and so have scored of nieces and nephews. They have held their own and now Moose loves to play with them too.

When we were offered the opportunity to play with a toy from the new Playmobil SPACE range, Moose could hardly contain his excitement!

The Playmobil Mars Space Station arrived and Moose couldn’t wait to play.

What’s in the box

The box contains a lot of pieces. If you are buying this set for a younger child, you might want to think about setting the fiddlier accessories to one side and giving them to the child when they are a little older. We have done this with Playmobil sets in the past and it works well – and means that you stand a chance of the tiny items not getting lost within a week of opening.

The Mars Space Station set includes two astronauts, one robot, space station, computer, tools, food supplies, space crystals, telescope, video recorder, and tons of other accessories.

There is some assembly required and you will need 2 x AAA batteries (not included in the set).

We love any playsets that encourage imaginative play. Playmobil is perfect for this. Creative kids can have a blast with the different features of the Space Station, including “cannons” (as Moose calls them). These are actually functional lasers, which are easy to shoot and reload quickly; they are also great fun.

Moose has a real thing for space just lately. He also loves Robots. When he found that this Playmobil set comes complete with a little robot he was very pleased!

 

After taking off the detachable roof, we were really impressed with the details and amount of objects which can be found inside. As much as the detail is there, it’s not overly fussy or complicated. Little touches such as the laptop had Moose really excited to play.

Attention to detail

The station also has a range of different areas, like the botany section and the sleeping quarters. These are intricately detailed, like the rest of the Space Station, and even have specific compartments and slots for the smaller pieces to go in.

In a playset like this it’s really handy to have the little bits packed away. It gives the child (or enthusiastic parent – no judgement) plenty of space to play.

Moose loved playing with the Playmobil Mars Space Station.

The light up sections and noisy buttons have kept him interested in playing for ages. Thankfully they aren’t too loud or tinny. The best part for me is that I can be confident that this playset will stand up to a 4 year old manhandling it. Playmobil is a brand that doesn’t disappoint.

The Playmobil Mars Space Station retails at around £60 . It may not be cheap but it is great value and a good investment. Especially if you have more than one child running around.

Living Arrows – Week 16 2019

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

This week has been pretty much perfect. A bold statement, I know, but stick with me.

The Easter break from school seems to have suited us all really well. 2 weeks of having the children at home and being self employed can be seriously challenging but this time around they have been great. No shouts of “I’m bored” or any squabbling really.

We paid a visit to a local zoo which has a fantastic outdoor playground. We took cousin Milly along with us. You may think that voluntarily taking an extra child would equal extra work but that’s not the case at all. Milly is the same age as Moose and I love it when they get the chance to spend time together because she really encourages him to put himself ‘out there’ a bit more than he usually would. They adore each other and have been the best of friends forever.

Later in the week we were invited along by my sister to try out a new wall climbing place fairly close to where we live. One of the unfortunate things I have found with my illness is that I can no longer drive as far as I would have previously done. Luckily my brother and sister have been great about being my driver on occasion or inviting us to places.

I genuinely didn’t think that either Moose nor Bess would be interested in this though. We are not a family known for its love of active activities after all.

I was right about Moose, he wasn’t a fan of climbing at all. He did try but found it a bit scary. Bess, however, proved me wrong completely and took to it really well! She tried out loads of the different walls. I was really proud of her for getting stuck in!

The main attraction of this week was of course, Easter! Bess insisted on organising an egg hunt for Moose complete with clues for him to solve. She wrote him 10 clues and it was really sweet watching him solve them and find his eggs. I snapped this pic and the way he is looking at her makes my heart melt. He loves his big sister so much. There are 9 years between them. it feels sometimes like they have nothing at all in common but I don’t worry about the age gap too much. After all, there is the same gap between my sister and I and we are really close!

 

 

Living Arrows

Easter 2019 – Treats For Everyone!

The products that appear in this post were sent to me for inclusion. All opinions remain my own

I don’t do Easter Trees, it’s Eggs all the way here. This year we have seen some awesome eggs in the shops and I wanted to share a few of the best. Hopefully it will help you choose your treats this Easter too! Of course, chocolate isn’t for everyone so I have also included some non choccy gift ideas too.

 

Marks and Spencer

Angus The Bull is one of the fabulous character eggs developed by M&S for children but I know lots of adults who would be happy to receive one! At £5 they are great value too!

We love to do an Easter egg hunt with the children, Their enthusiasm for the idea of finding quantities of chocolate doesn’t seem to be wearing off as they grow older either. Funny that. This egg hunt from M&S includes a large golden egg to find!

Prosecco + Chocolate = Proseggo! With blackcurrant and raspberry flavours this sounds ideal.

I saw this dark chocolate feather egg on a recent trip to check out what was on offer this Easter at Queensgate shopping centre. As soon as I saw it I fell in love! As well as the beautifully decorated peacock feather egg you also get some dark chocolate salted caramel mini eggs too. Yum!

Thorntons

 

Thorntons have been personalising Easter eggs since 1922. They remain one of few (in most cases the only) retailer to offer this service. It isn’t something they charge extra for either. When I was young I used to receive an egg just like the one above every year. It was just as exciting to get one this year at age 37!

Cadbury

I love caramel. This Dairy Milk Caramel egg is huge and looks very tasty! This year I am trying to limit my chocolate so Bess will get the big egg and I will opt for this Mini Egg offering. Rather than 1 big egg it contains smaller packets of Mini eggs – perfect portion control. MrG favours the Creme egg, he would eat them all year round if he could!

Moose is so excited for his Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday. We will need to think up lots of clues for him but I know he will love finding not only chocolate eggs but bags of Mini eggs and bunnies too!

Divine

divine fairtrade eggs

With Easter egg choices suitable for vegans, Divine have you covered this Easter. Every Divine Chocolate Easter egg carries the official FairTrade label of certification because of Divine’s support of fair-trade employers who provide good, fair wages and a sustainable livelihood for their workers.

 

Fuzzikins

I really like these Fuzzikins Bedtime Bunnies from Interplay for a fun, cute, non-edible Easter treat. This is a lovely little craft set and allows your child to use their imagination and create something really unique. Colour the bunnies and make their beds (very easily, I was pleased with how much Moose could do all by himself!) Best of all you can then rinse the bunnies off and start again!

Mighty Fine

Not your traditional Easter treat but I love the honeycomb dips from Mighty fine! I am afraid that the bag of dark chocolate honeycomb dips fell into my mouth before this photo could be taken. I can confirm that they are really, very good!

Available in bar or bite sized chunk and I cannot wait to try the salted caramel!

John Lewis

I always forget about department stores at Easter but John Lewis has an amazing range of treats this year! Decorative papier mache eggs containing gorgeous truffles and this Chicken character egg are my favourites.

 

Moj Moj

Moose loves a blind bag. Like, really loves them. Sometimes he gets  a bit of money for Easter and I know that he will probably choose to spend some on a blind bag toy like Moj Moj. It’s great that they are pocket money prices!

Moj Moj have launched some new ranges – Moj Moj Itty and Moj Moj Crunch (pictured above)

Inside the Moj  Moj Itty pack you will find 5 squishy Moj Moj characters and stickers. The Moj Moj Crunch has a larger collectable Moj Moj character inside. They are a great little collectable, fab for trading with friends!

Blacksticks CHEESE Easter egg

cheese easter egg

Who said Easter eggs had to be chocolate? This is the one of a kind (half) egg made from Blackstick Blue Cheese. It comes with a pack of oatcakes and some chutney. Sounds like an ideal Sunday evening to me! You can find your favourite, here

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas 2019

The items included in this Mothers Day gift guide were sent to me for inclusion. However, all opinions are my own and I only accepted products that I thought would be relevant.

 

Copa de Balon glasses are ideal for drinking Gin from and these beautiful designs from a range of 12 Ginology glasses would make a perfect gift for any Gin lover.

This glass is recommended hand wash only. Each glass is presented in a branded kraft gift box.

I particularly love the Hummingbird design but the cherry blossom screams Spring! These glasses are available from Gift Giving All Wrapped Up.

Whether you are looking for a card that is funny, sweet or laugh out loud rude, Love Layla have you covered. As well as every kind of card you could imagine, you will also find some fun and quirky gifts to accompany your card like this great badge and some hilarious gift wrap options!

I think that most Mums would agree that there is not much that would beat a gift that makes their life easier. If the Mum in your life has a fussy eater then this is the gift for her!

Written by a parent blogger, Emily, of the fabulous A Mummy Too blog Get Your Kids To Eat Anything is much more than a cookbook. It is a 5 phase programme designed to help change your families whole approach to eating.

Three mills wine is very, very nice. I am not a wine connoisseur by any means but I know what I like and I like this wine a lot. You may notice that there is a bottle of white and a rosé shown here. Where is the red? Well, I refer you to my first sentence.. I may have got a bit carried away.

Je ne regrette rien.

It;s lower alcohol than a lot of other wines so I had barely any hangover too and for an already pretty much broken Mother of 3 let me assure you that this is of grave importance.

Plus it is way more wallet friendly than I expected at less than £5 a bottle from B&M and several good supermarkets.

My Mum loves to read, not that she had too much free time to do it until recently. A book would make a great gift for her. Choosing a book as a gift is not an easy thing, I think you really have to know the recipient because it is such a personal gift.  That makes a book such as Unscripted a lovely gift for Mothers day.

If your Mum loves noodles (and, note to my kids, your Mum DOES) then what could be better than a pretty bowl WITH A LID so that her food stays warm even when she has to sort out child related requests before she gets to sit down and eat! The Blue Wave covered bowl is available from Sous Chef

If your Mum wouldn’t love a Yankee Candle, is she even a Mum though?

My Mum has an addiction to these things. Something that as I am knocking 40 I can totally relate to! Luckily for all of us Candle lovers, Yankee has a ton of different scents (or “flavours” as my Mum would say) for every occasion. I am enamoured with their new range, it smells like spring!

 

If your Mum often stands in front of the fridge wondering what the hell to cook (been there) then this is for her. New Kitchen Basics offers a refreshing array of simple but very tasty recipes. The author, Claire, dedicates the book to her Mum who taught her everything she now knows about food.

The meals within these pages are clear, unfussy and original, they are inspiring. Just like Mums!

The stress of dealing with your teenage angst BS greatly contributed to your Mothers aged face so do your bit!

Treat mum to Skin Doctors’ award-winning day-to-night Potent. Vit. C and Potent. Vit. A single dose Ampoules, available in a collagen boosting Duo Pack. Each Vitamin A ampoule contains .5% pure retinol to help repair damaged skin cells, stimulate new cell growth and increase cell turnover. Vitamin C ampoules contain an antioxidant-rich, potent form of pure Vitamin C to speed up collagen synthesis and provide deep antioxidant protection and hydration.

Use the Skin Doctors Potent Vit. C Ampoules in the morning to brighten, illuminate and awaken the skin with the velvety conditioning serum. At night apply the silky serum of the Skin Doctors Potent Vit. A Ampoules to restore, repair and refine the skin as you sleep.

 

One for the tech fans, the Lenovo Smart Display is an ideal choice.

Having a Lenovo Smart Display is like having your own personal assistant. The children and I really enjoy cooking together and we love the Tasty videos online. The Lenovo Smart Display makes it so easy!

While the children are at school I also use it to play music while I work and as well as that we make video calls with it!

It was easy to set up and it feels sturdy. I am sure it would make a great Mothers day gift!

 

Critically Endangered Socks are a great gift for Mothers day.

Made from a soft and sustainable blend of cotton and bamboo, each pair comes with an endangered animal fact sheet in a bespoke recyclable box.

It looks like wine, you drink it like wine. But it is not wine. There is no alcohol in this drink and that makes it the perfect gift for Mums who like wine, but not hangovers!

In addition, it contains the beneficial elements of Prelixir®, a unique blend of vitamins, minerals and amino acids which alcohol is known to deplete. This unique element means that Botonique is able to provide anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, alkalising, detoxifying and hydrating benefits.

The drink is available in both original and blush

Not your traditional gift

Walking is one of the best forms of low-impact exercises. But, when we walk a lot, we still put pressure on a feet ankles shins and knees. The 5 layered Sole is made of comfortable EVA material, used in top quality running shoes for high impact absorption. These layers, and extra-wide perfect-fit shape, reduce pressure and support your foot across the widest point and from heel to toe in a way that feels like you’re walking on air!

The unique Walkmaxx sole design evenly distributes your weight and reduces pressure on the feet, joints, hips, and back.

SEKSY Embrace, a dynamic and glamorous fragrance. Feminine, enchanting and seductive with top notes of orange blossom, blackcurrant and pear. The heart is very rich with iris, jasmine and patchouli. Tonka bean, vanilla and praline accord and musks create a deep and opulent finish.

Presented in a lavishly designed 12-sided bottle embellished with a Swarovski® crystal and a detachable Swarovski® charm that can be added to your favourite jewellery.

Treat your Mum to something sweet.

Sparkling Wine Jelly Belly beans have all the flavour of a glass of the real thing in a petite package. A sweet way to add a little bubbly to any celebration, the 42g Sparkling Wine Flavour Bubbly Bottles make perfect favours and gifts for adult fans looking for a bit of whimsy and style for all occasions. These miniature bottles are designed to look like traditional bottles with gold embellishments. They are filled with 42 grams of the non-alcoholic flavour

 

Mum’s like to smell nice. This Mum HATES taking perfume bottles along on a trip.

I was scarred for life after I once arrived at my hotel only to be greeted by a broken bottle. The perfume went all over my belongings. I really did smell like a branch of Boots on a Saturday afternoon after it has been invaded by groups of bored tweens.

Twist and Spritz are designed to be a portable alternative to your full-size fragrance bottle. One of these would be so handy for your Mum to keep in her bag.

 

A dashcam is essential these days.

There are so many idiots on the road. So why not choose a practical gift for your Mum this Mother’s day?

With inbuilt Wi-Fi, GPS logging and an accompanying smartphone app, the Nextbase 312GW is the most connected mid-range Dash Cam on the market.

 

 

Why not surprise your Mum with a beautiful bouquet from Blossoming Gifts. The bouquet shown here is the Sweet Clementine.

There is a massive choice of flowers and gifts on the website. I am happy to report that even a week after receiving these flowers they are still going strong!

 

AD | Micro Motorz – the brand new toy car collectible

Micro Motorz – On Your Marks, Get set, GO!

When we were recently sent some of the Micro Motorz to play with I knew that Moose would love them! He (like many children) really likes blind bags and adores toy cars. A blind bag with a toy car theming is a surefire hit. The Micro Motorz are a little bit more than that though.

The Micro Motorz packaging is very bright and colourful. It’s quite large for a blind bag toy. Certainly bigger than I had expected it to be.

 

 

The first surprise awaiting you once you have opened your blind bag is a cool sticker which alludes to the team you are about to reveal.

Inside the Micro Motorz bag is a plastic pod with 3 chambers.

There are over 20 different Micro Motorz to collect in the first series including six Nitro Chargerz – these racers pack some serious punch with their powerful engines and are perfect for drag races – there are three regular Nitro Chargerz and three rare ones to collect.

Once you have opened all 3 surprise pods you will have revealed a sticker, a display capsule, a Micro Motorz car, a tool to use with your car, a cool tuning accessory such as an engine or a spoiler and a launch pad to turn your display capsule into launch mode!

A really good feature of this toy is that the display capsules fit together ensuring that you have a fun and easy way to keep your Micro Motorz as you build your collection!

How to assemble your launcher

First of all you will need to take the launcher pad and insert it into the display capsule as shown.

Ensure that the launcher pad is inserted the correct way round.

 

Attach the blue part as shown and tuck the elastic band around it.

Finally, fit the base plate as shown. You may have to squeeze this down again after you perform your launch. Push the launch pad to the rear of the capsule.

The unique steel ball bearing in the base of each Micro Motorz car means that you can drift, spin and CRASH your vehicles when firing them out of the launcher!

What did we think?

For less than £5 per blind bag I think they would make for a great collectible. I could imagine Moose would have lots of fun racing the cars with his friends and he already has his new toys on display in his bedroom!

Micro Motorz are available from supermarkets and toy retailers at £4.99 for children ages 3+.