My Mummy's World

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

BRIO My First Take Along Train Set | A Review

I've mentioned a number of times how much both of my two love trains, as in really LOVE. Between them, one thing they enjoy playing with together is their wooden train sets, so when the opportunity came for us to review the My First Take Along Train Set, I knew it would be perfect. 

It arrived with us whilst Jack was at school and Isla was eager to get it open and have those initial plays with it, getting ahead on the action. 

The BRIO My First Take Along Train Set is aimed at children 18months + and is the perfect starter train set. It comes within its own carry along case which forms part of the train track. When you open the case there are additional pieces to complete the set, this includes a train, a train carriage, 2 slopped tracks and 2 track ends. 

The pieces easily fit together to make a simple track, placing a slope either side with a track end on to form a track which goes up, round and back down. I initially showed Isla how to build the track then every other time shes been able to place the pieces down herself to remake the track. 

 When Isla had finished playing she could easily place all the items back inside the case herself and tidy away for another play day. This track has been on many adventures with us, taking it to my mums when she was looking after them, and also out to a meal with us, although it can be fairly big to place on a restaurant table. 

One thing I love about this set, apart from its ease of use and manoeuvrability is the fact you can extend the track. Jack added some of his other wooden track onto the set to make it larger and these have stayed inside for when either of them take it out. 

The train and carriage, as with any BRIO set are attached with magnets which Isla enjoyed clicking together and pulling apart. Within the carriage is bell which is great for the younger children to be able to follow the train along and encourage the sensory development.

The BRIO My First Take Along Train Set retails around £29.99 and is worth every penny. 

Please Note: We received this track in exchange for an honest and impartial review. All words and opinions are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Friday, 3 November 2017

A New Concept Thorntons Store at Intu Derby

On Wednesday, we were invited along to an exciting preview of a new concept Thorntons store which opened at Intu Derby yesterday (2nd November). We were amongst the first few to get a sneaky look into the store which is the first of its kind, and what an exciting store it was. 

As you enter the store you are instantly greeted with lots of chocolatey goodness, this is the largest Thorntons store I've ever seen. As you enter the store you are greeted with a lovely craftery section to the left with the shop products on your right hand side. The shop sells everything you would generally get in a Thorntons store and there was a lovely range available. Within the craftery section you are able to see a trained store chocolate maker at work demonstrating the passion, care and love which goes into each and every one of the Thorntons products. Everything made within the store is available to purchase from the front cabinet which will be changed every few weeks to ensure there is always a variety of products. 

You are also able to see the chocolate constantly being pumped through, this is flowing at the perfect temperature to ensure each chocolate have the glossy look and set quickly. I took Isla along with me and she was absolutely in love with this area, and I know Jack would have been equally as enthusiastic.

As I mentioned previously the items you know and love are still available and the personalisation we have all come to love and associate with Thorntons is available in top for. You are able to really personalise to individual features and make the item individual to yourselves. 

However, it doesn't all end there, the cafe within the store has had an all new makeover too, I didn't even know Thorntons had cafes with a new and exciting menu alongside. Upon the menu there is everything from breakfasts, to snacks, to salads and of course amazing deserts and cakes. The cafe has changed to a table service style cafe, so you can sit back and relax and the team will take care of everything. The seating area is very warm and welcoming with various seating styles to sit within. 

Upon the menu there are handcrafted ice cream sundaes, warming hot chocolates which were to die for and milkshakes which have been inspired by the Thorntons Continental range. The milkshakes range between £3-£4 and are well and truly worth it. When you compare with others, nothing really compares to what has gone into these. 

I mentioned above the Hot Chocolate, now I am prone to a hot chocolate or five, its my go to hot drink as I'm really not a coffee lover. But finding a nice hot chocolate which meets y standards is generally really hard but Thorntons hit it right there. They are priced around £3 but well and truly worth that, made from chocolate flakes with a range of variety, such a smooth and creamy drink. 

Now onto those cakes I mentioned, there are new cakes upon the menu including a Salted Caramel Praline Torte, Alpini Cake and Triple Moose Brownie. We were given a selection of five to try, of which I left two as I'm not keen on coffee or lemon so they were out. But the Alpini Cake was amazing, certainly my favourite out of all of them. 

Derby is not our nearest shopping centres, however I will certainly be returning to enjoy the amazing Thorntons store alongside my family. It's a place I know we would all enjoy as a treat and somewhere I would love to take them too. 

Please Note: We were provided with a goody bag for attending this event, however all thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Pet-ty Crimes In Your Household? ADT Is Searching for a Pet Detective...

I have never not had a pet, and I can't ever imagine my life without one but sometimes I'm left thinking how clean everywhere would be without them. Not to mention how many household items would still be in tack. However, that doesn't mean I'm getting rid anytime soon. 

Recently ADT conducted a survey and on the back of this have launched a nationwide search to recruit a 'Pet Detective' to help stop all of this. 

The research shows that Britain is awash with pet-ty get it? criminals, which is costing us a whopping £305million. Over half of pet owners have admitted to their pets regularly stealing their belongings, and I'm one of those. We've had various items go missing over the years with our numerous pets from money to post, to socks and even razor blades! Not to mention the garden, the garden swing rope, a few toy balls, part of our artificial grass, half a planter... 

Surprising new data from ADT, the UK’s leading security brand, reveals owners lose £49.34 on average to their light pawed pets, but shockingly, one in 16 (six per cent) owners has been burgled to the tune of over £150. That’s a lot of kibble.
The research also reveals that ‘cat burglars’ is a misnomer as birds are the true scourge of the nation, with a whopping 59 per cent found guilty of filching (perhaps this should be renamed ‘finch-ing’?).
Pooches are also prolific with 58 per cent caught with their paw in the proverbial cookie jar, compared to only 47 per cent of cats.
However, reptiles have the most extravagant tastes, with the items they steal coming to a whopping £209 over their lifetimes.
Top items taken by pets include food (71 per cent), money (seven per cent) and even underwear (21 per cent):
1. Food (71 per cent)
2. Shoes (25 per cent)
3. Other pets’ toys (23 per cent)
4. Children’s toys (22 per cent)
5. Underwear (21 per cent)
6. Post (17 per cent)
7. Blankets (17 per cent)
8. Clothes (14 per cent)
9. Newspapers (nine per cent)
10. Money (seven per cent)

The research also revealed that old pets are even teaching themselves new tricks as they pursue a life of crime – 35 per cent of pilfering pets learnt to undo food packaging, 30 per cent can now open doors and 12 per cent can unlock handbags to get to their loot.
Which could be why one in ten owners (ten per cent) just don’t know how to make the thieving stop.

ADT have recently joined forces with Instagam superdog Pumba the Chow Chow to create a new role as the UK's first Pet Detective.

Pumba and ADT are looking for the UK’s most prolific cat, dog, budgie or bunny burglar, to help ADT understand how pilfering pets manage to evade capture, and identify weak spots in Britain’s homes by setting a thief to catch a thief!

The role is a year’s consultancy. The exclusive position will be reimbursed with a new ADT Smart Home system which will be installed by ADT, a year’s free monitoring and a generous welcome bonus of £500 of vouchers for Monster Pet Supplies.
If you have a pet pilferer at home, apply on their behalf on the ADT Facebook page. The application process is simple – owners simply need to upload an image of their pet in action and detail their suitability for the role using the following criteria that Pumba has set out for the applicants:

  • Track record of being light-pawed
  • Highly intelligent – comes up with ingenious ways to pilfer possessions
  • Intrepid explorer – capable of venturing far and wide to find every nook and cranny
  • Experienced at evading capture
  • Full bag of swag

So what have your pets taken from your home? Do you think they fit the bill? Ours will sure to give them a run for their money.

This post is in collaboration with ADT Security.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Frame My Name Personalised Wall Prints | A Review and Giveaway

Just after having Jack, my friend and I attended The Baby Show for our first time, and one of the stands we came across was that of Frame My Name. We looked at them, we fell in love but didn't purchase, before going home we went back to the stand to order a print as we just couldn't stop talking about them. That was 5 years ago now and Jack's is still looking as great as the day we got it. So recently when I was asked if I wanted to review for Frame My Name, I thought it was a perfect opportunity for Isla to get a matching one. 

In the past five years, the prints have changed slightly, with them adding a lot more designs and the size getting slightly smaller, however they do still offer the larger version too which we had. The prints are still as high a quality too which is lovely. 

Frame My Name offer 15 designs to choose from including Superhero and Princess, Woodland and Animal Adventures which is what we were sent. Once you've chosen your design your then onto the printing details. This includes the child's name which is situated within the centre of the print in your chosen design. You can leave it like this or choose to add up to two lines of text. 

 The Animal Adventures print includes the origin of the name, which is a feature I really like, its nice to have the origin on. Underneath, I then had Isla's full name, date of birth along with the time and weight at birth. The features match those of which I had on Jack's print. I feel the Animal Adventures is a print which fits in with everyone and something which can grow with your child. 

The next step is to choose if you want your print framed or stand-alone. Personally I always opt to have them framed, otherwise they sit alone and never get into a frame. Usually, this would make the price rocket sky high for the frame, but with Frame My Name, it doesn't increase too much and is still reasonable. I chose to have a white frame, as it fits in best with the bedroom design and it personal preference. 

When it arrived, I was so pleased with how the print was, and Isla seemed to be too, instantly attracted to the colours and animals. 

You now have the chance to win your own personalised name print from Frame My Name, as I have a print to give away to two lucky winners. 

Frame My Name

Please Note: I received this print in exchange for an honest review, all words and opinions are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Friday, 27 October 2017

Phonics Fun with Thomas | A Review

Both Jack and Isla absolutely love trains, and Thomas the Tank Engine is always a hit here. So when we were shown and invited to review the Thomas and Friends Learn With Thomas Alphaphonics, I couldn't resist. I've mentioned a lot, and even on our Peppa review just yesterday how I always try to get toys which encourage learning whilst being fun, and this is another toy which does this.

At school Jack's focus in year 1 is still very much on phonics, along with other things and it's something which he picked up perfectly so I've been keen to try with Isla so this is something they can both use. The toy is specifically designed to encourage phonics in various fun ways.

Thomas Alphaphonics is a small electric learning pad which main focus is on having fun whilst learning. It's particularly aimed at those pre-school and just after as it encourages letter sounds. The unit itself is very light and easy enough to carry around, its been on many a journey with us, buts its so easy to carry around.

Upon the unit, each letter of the alphabet is featured with both upper and lower cases, which I find great as Jack was mainly taught using lower case so when it came to seeing an upper case he would get a little confused. It also has many familiar faces upon the keys which correspond with the letters.

There are seven modes of play each focusing on a different activity. The first allows you to press a button to hear the word and sound, the second is similar but gives the letter name and phonetic sound. The third encourages the child to find a character and gives you 3 chances, the fourth again encourages you to look for the first letter of a word, again giving 3 chances. The fifth is to find a phonetic letter from the spoken word, the sixth asks the child to copy a sequence of sounds and finally the last button plays fun sounds. It gives many different activities for the child to focus on, starting quite simple for those just learning and progressing with development for those more able.

Upon the unit there is a sound control which the child would easily be able to control, both Jack and Isla are able to when asked to turn it down which is perfect. The only downside to this is there is no off switch, you simply wait for the fat controller to stop talking after a short while and it will turn off but catch a button and you will know about it.

The Thomas Alphaphonics game retails around £19.99 and is available from all good toy retailers. Its one I would highly recommend as it encourages so much learning whilst the children think they are playing. This has been both a hit with Jack and Isla and has a variety of activities they can do for both of their age abilities.

Please Note: We received this toy in exchange for an honest and impartial review, all words and opinions are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Peppa Pig Interactive Play Mat | A Review

We have many a different children's television programmes on in our house, at work they often talk about what they have watched and try and interact in conversation with me that way, but in all honesty I don't watch anything. The last programme I watched was Dr. Foster and half the time that was on catch-up. One of the many programmes that gets played regularly though is Peppa Pig. Recently we were offered the opportunity to review a Peppa Pig Interactive Play Mat, and its something I knew both the children would enjoy, although Jack probably won't admit to that. 

The mat is a really decent size measuring around 90cm squared which is a good size for a pre-schooler, however it can be folded away for easy storage afterwards thankfully.

Many of your children's favourite characters are featured on the mat which is fun for them to pick out their favourite characters. The mat features many bright and colourful images to keep interaction and make it eye catching throughout. As well as featuring a path to take you around the mat and different areas many with a number 1-5 within a muddy puddle. 

The interactive mat is specifically designed to encourage children to be active whilst learning different things and of course having fun at the same time. Which is always something I try to look for within a toy. There are four different modes which can be played which are situated along the bottom of the mat - 123 numbers, Peppa says, Sing along and Where is? However, in addition to these you can also extend the learning and create your own games. We did find the character and colours too. 

123 Numbers encourages your children to locate and touch certain numbers which Peppa calls out. The mode is great to encourage recognition of sounds with symbols and developing the skills. Isla can't count yet but has a good try and also is excited when she gets it right. 
Peppa says this mode helps develop listening skills, Peppa will say where to look for then you listen to what the characters have to say. 
Sing along was one of the favourite modes for both Jack and Isla, it plays a sequence of songs include the ever favourite 'Bing Bong Song'. 
Where is? is the final mode and its a great one to play. This is kind of like 'Eye Spy' which my two love. Peppa will ask you to find either one of her friends or a coloured puddle, perfect for encouraging many skills for a childs early development. 

This is aimed at children 3+ so Isla is technically to young for it, but she still had lots of fun at 2.5 years with it and although couldn't do all the activities she had a good try and its something to learn and develop with. Its priced around £19.99 and available from all good toy retailers. 

Please Note: We received this toy in exchange for an honest and impartial review. All words and opinions are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Izziwotnot Solo Hanging Rail from Kiddies Kingdom | A Review

We have lived in this house just over two years now, and we are finally beginning to take on decorating it. Leaving behind the magnolia shell and adding our own bursts of colour. Almost a year ago Isla finally got her own bedroom - not that she sleeps in it that much, but we are slowly working on making this room into a gorgeous room for any little girl. At the moment, I'm undecided on what colour or theme to do her room in so I'm just adding in accessories to make it perfect and that will be useful when we decide what to do in there. 

Recently, we were contacted by Kiddies Kingdom to see if we would like to review for them. Kiddies Kingdom sell everything from pushchairs, to kids furniture, to car seats and toys, literally everything you could need is there. They offered us a beautiful solo hanging rail for review, and I knew a perfect place for this, in Islas bedroom. Now although Isla's room has a built in wardrobe, I knew it would be perfect for her dressing up outfits. 

We were offered the beautiful Izziwotnot Solo Hanging Rail in White, and it fits perfectly in Islas bedroom. Not long after it was arranged, it had turned up at our house ready to be built. . 

The rail arrived within a tall, narrow box which was light enough to carry. It had all the individual parts in to build the rail, which was easily achieved within less than half an hour, probably a lot less than that but I had Isla helping. 

The overall look and quality of the rail is amazing, with just the two screws at the side being visible, which aren't really a problem. The design is finished with smooth edges so that its gentle for children and tall enough for clothing to be off the floor, but small enough so they are able to reach. 

As I mentioned, I decided I would be using this for all of Isla's dressing up outfits, she has an ever growing collection as she loves dressing up so its the perfect way for her to be able to see all of the outfits and pick which she would like to wear and when. At the bottom there is a little racked shelf which you can pop on any bags or shoes. Isla has some dressing up shoes for Christmas so we will be popping those on there once we have them.

Overall, I love the overall design and feel of this rail, and the service from Kiddies Kingdom was second to none. The rail has added a lovely feature into Isla's room and I cannot wait to start rolling with some ideas to decorate it now. 

Please Note: I received this rail from Kiddies Kingdom in exchange for an honest review, however all words and opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.