Posted in Gifted, product review, toys

Jiggly Pets Elephant Review

Meet the cutest walking Elephant from Jiggly Pets. Everyone who knows me knows I love elephants so when we had the chance to review this adorable little electronic toy I couldn’t say no.

The Jiggly Pets Elephant stands at around 14cm high and moves to the rhythm of a very catchy song! It jiggles, walks and lifts it’s trunk to the music which gave Ellie the giggles instantly.

Just listen to that chuckle!

Simply press the button on the Elephant’s head to start the fun and bring the Elephant to life.

Ellie loves pulling the stretchy hair and chasing it from one side of the table to another to stop it from falling off the edge.

Features of the Jiggly Pets Elephant

  • Everything Jiggles with it’s full body movement!
  • Super soft, stretchy and rubbery face and body.
  • Watch it walk, jiggle and lift it’s trunk to the music.
  • Simply tap the head to turn on.
  • Batteries Required: 3 x AA (included)
  • Ages 3+
  • Also comes in Pink!

Where to get one!

Available now from Smyths Toys for £17.99! These are in stock online and in most stores.

Posted in Gifted, parenting, product review, toys

Mindful Lil Minds Breathing Meditation Buddy Review

Ellie is a child who finds certain aspects of daily life tricky; she struggles to sit still and she fidgets constantly, she gets anxious when we go somewhere new or when she doesn’t know who we are going to see and she finds it really difficult to make a decision. At bedtime she finds it hard to unwind and this means it can take hours to get her to sleep. She tells us her mind is too busy and she has too many thoughts whizzing around in her head.

For a while now we’ve been trying to teach Ellie some ways to help her when she’s feeling anxious or “bouncy” and we’ve found mindfulness and yoga really helps her.

The Benefits of Mindful Meditation

Mindfulness has been shown to increase a child’s ability to regulate their emotions as well as their empathy and compassion skills. It can help reduce a child’s stress and anxiety along with increasing their focus and prolonged attention span. Mindfulness has also be known to improve a child’s sleep.

As with anything Mindfulness Meditation is only going to help a child if done regularly.

Children are being made more aware of their own mental health and mindfulness is being used in schools more regularly as studies show practicing mindfulness from a younger age has a positive effect a child’s anxiety and cognitive performance.

A New Toy!

Toymakers GP Flair have created the Mindful Lil Minds Breathing Meditation Buddy and we’ve had the chance to give it a whirl and write an honest review of what we thought. With Ellie’s quirks I was intrigued to see how it would help her and whether she’d be interested in it at all.

Let’s meet our new friend…

The Breathing Meditation Buddy (suitable from ages 3+) is a super cute, sensory, cuddly koala that is designed to help young children be more present and be able to manage their emotions in stressful situations.

Using a very clever combination of the senses (sight, sound, touch and smell) the toy allows the child a number of different ways to feel mindful, relax and unwind.

How does it work?

Don’t forget to move the switch from Try Me mode for the full meditation experience.

It’s a really simple toy to use – simply press the koala’s paw (it has a green leaf symbol) to begin a 5 minute guided breathing meditation. This was short enough that Ellie didn’t lose interest or get ‘antsy’ but also long enough to ensure she felt calmer and more relaxed when it was finished.

It’s tummy moves up and down as the koala ‘breathes’ and this makes the child more aware of their own deep breathing. It’s tummy is also scented with Eucalyptus which has aromatherapy qualities which can help to reduce anxiety. The scent is subtle so wouldn’t overpower those children with sensory difficulties but can be smelt if held close to the child’s face. The meditation itself is spoken by a calming female voice which is easy for the child to follow.

The arms and legs are floppy whereas the bottom is weighted which allows for further comfort – we’ve found weighted blankets really help Ellie so this was an aspect I was excited about in the koala. This is also great for children who are on the autistic spectrum!

How to use the Mindful Lil Minds Buddy

The koala buddy can be used in four different ways:

1. Sitting Individually.
Sit down alone in a quiet spot with the toy sitting next to or in front of you. Press the right paw and the meditation will begin. Sit with your eyes closed and listen
2. Sitting in a group/classroom.
The cuddly koala is great for classrooms or group meditations. Sit or lay on your back with the toy facing the group. Press the right paw and the meditation will begin. Close your eyes, listen and relax.
3. Laying down with the toy on chest.
Lay down on your back with the toy on your chest. Press the paw to begin the meditation. Place your hand on the koala’s belly to feel it move up and down, move your belly up and down along with the toy.
4. Sit down and hold the soft toy up to your face.
Press the paw to begin the guided meditation and inhale the calming smell of eucalyptus as you meditate.

Why we love it.

Ellie is a huge lover of soft, cuddly toys so this was a hit from the second she saw the Koala in the box – she immediately wanted to cuddle it and name it (Katie the Koala). It’s cute, it’s soft and the perfect size to pack in her suitcase or cuddle up to at bedtime. The meditation is easy for Ellie to follow and she doesn’t get bored half way through. She reaches for it when she can feel herself getting worried and the weighted aspect has helped bring her back down before she has a ‘wobble’.

Of cause, it doesn’t always work – nothing would always work – and it’s still good for her to experience those emotions. It’s just a really lovely ‘tool’ to have under her belt for when she recognises she is finding a situation tricky.

Where to buy it.

The Mindful Lil Minds Meditation Buddy is available online at Amazon (£26.49) & in-store in your local independent stores.

Do you use any mindful techniques/apps/toys with your children? I’d love to know so let me know in the comments.

Disclosure – We were kindly gifted the product to review however as always all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

Posted in Gifted, product review

Fun To Learn Peppa Pig Magazine Review

Are you even a parent of a young child if you haven’t caught yourself singing “Jumping up and down in muddy puddles” out loud when the kids aren’t even in the room?

Peppa Pig is still a very loved character in our house. Ellie loves watching Peppa, George and her friends (especially Emily Elephant – she’s a clever cloggs) go on adventures and have lots of fun and as a parent I actually don’t mind them either.
The Peppa Pig merchandise is everywhere – from toys, films, clothing and books but did you know there are now two Peppa Pig magazines as well? One is the official Fun To Learn Peppa Pig magazine and the second is the Peppa Pig Bag O’ Fun. We’ve been sent one of each to review and Ellie couldn’t wait to get stuck in to them both!

Fun to Learn Peppa Pig Magazine

The Fun to Learn Peppa Pig magazine is an interactive magazine aimed at all children between the ages of 3 and 7. Of cause, it is filled with the beloved characters from the popular TV Show Peppa Pig! Every issue is designed to make learning fun and the activities, games, stories and stickers ensure just that. The magazine helps children develop their skills in reading, writing, maths, creativity and art, turn taking and lots of other skills! There are plenty of opportunities for parents to interact with your child as well as encouraging independent learning as well.

We’ve had fun playing The Fairground game together.

While also learning how to draw a circus tent!

Ellie’s even tried read the stories, using her phonics skills to decode any tricky words.

Each issue comes with a free toy for added fun! In this copy there was the cutest little Peppa beach hut play set – comprising of a Peppa and George character, a beach hut and 7 little beach items. It was lovely watching Ellie put the sun cream on Peppa and George and telling them why it was important to use! She’s a real Mummy Pig already.

Peppa Pig Bag O’ Fun Magazine

The Peppa Pig Bag O’ Fun magazine is still a fun and interactive activity magazine and comes with very exciting gifts and extras.

The Peppa Pig Bag O’ Fun magazine is different to the Fun to Learn Peppa Pig magazine – it comes sealed and the contents are a nice surprise where as the other can be browsed before purchasing. Although there are some sneak peeks at the back of the packaging!

The Peppa Pig Bag O’ Fun magazine has a theme to the activities and stories running throughout the book. This issue’s theme is America which is evident throughout.

The Bag O’ Fun also comes with a magic painting book, this is great! It’s mess free and only needs water to make the pictures come to life with colour.

The spot the difference was a huge hit with Ellie! Who definitely, definitely did NOT need my help.

There’s so many activities to keep kids entertained for hours! The mazes alone develop their fine motor skills and writing skills!

I’ve never met a child who doesn’t love stickers! I’m just grateful these stickers have specific places in the magazine and not over the walls!

Both magazines support the Early Years Curriculum and are the number 1 selling preschool magazine from 2018-2021. They have won multiple awards, NWA 2017 & 2019 and the Mum’s Choice Award Gold 2021.

Don’t forget…

To enter the amazing competitions found in both magazines! There are some fantastic prizes to be won.

Where to find them

Fun To Learn Peppa Pig and Fun To Learn Peppa Pig Bag O’ Fun Magazines are available now from all good supermarkets, convenience stores, newsagents and WHSmith High Street and Travel. Single issues and subscriptions can also be purchased from our online shop http://www.redan.co.uk/store

Disclosure – We were kindly gifted these to review however as always all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

Posted in fathers day, Gifted

Fathers Day Gift Guide

Since my Mothers Day Gift Guide went down well, I’d been asked whether I know of any quirky/out of the box gift ideas for Fathers Day coming up too.

Reminder – Fathers Day in the UK is Sunday 19th June 2022.

I’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing businesses and try out some great products to put together this year’s gift guide. I am always very honest and will only ever review and share products I genuinely recommend and would buy myself.

Disclosure – All items shown below have been gifted to review and include in this year’s Gift Guide however as always all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

Engravers Guild

For the Dad who enjoys a tipple.

Click to see their Instagram profile

I love a personalised gift and was very excited to receive this amazing Bubble Whiskey Glass from Engravers Guild. It’s the ideal fathers day gift as you can include any wording or message you like.
It’s a classic straight sided whiskey glass with the added detail of the bubble in the base making it suitable for whiskey drinkers everywhere.

It comes in a luxury silk lined box and engraved using a precision laser making it a personal and memorable gift. Engraving and gift box is included in the price too!
The glass is medium in size (measuring 90mm high).

Priced currently at £19.99 and is available here.

Kitchen Craft

For the Dad’s who love a good brew.

Click to see their Instagram profile

This set of 4 beautiful footed mugs from KitchenCraft shout out elegance. Designed in the UK and made from high quality china. They make the perfect gift for any dad who enjoys a delicious brew! Each mug holds 400ml of tea or coffee and has a stunning lemon pattern throughout.
Priced at £20 and you can purchase from Cook Serve Enjoy here.

Club Seven Menswear

No more holey socks for Dad.

Click to see their Instagram profile

Club Seven have got everything a man needs for their underwear drawer, from briefs and boxers to socks. The cushioned crew socks are soft and comfy to wear and come in white or black. The boxers are true to size and fit well. The material is a good quality too and feels like they are durable.

Prices start from £9 and is available to buy here.

Stranger Things

For the Dad who likes to dive in to a good show.

Click to view our unboxing on our Social Media

The officially licensed merchandise from the hit Netflix show Stranger Things from Yume_toys and Kaptoys are great for any fans of the show! Transport yourself back to the 1980’s and unbox the retro TV to reveal hidden clues, games, trading cards and collectibles hidden inside these Upside Down Capsules.

Price: £12.99 and can be purchased here or at your local HMV store!

Mikasa

Upgrade Dad’s kitchen.

Click to see their Instagram profile

This striking Drift storage jar from Mikasa is made of high-quality ceramic and has a tribal-inspired pattern. It can be used to keep all sorts of kitchen items safe – even Dad’s secret stash of treats! It has a wooden lid with a rubber seal which will help keep the contents fresh. It’s a beautiful addition to any kitchen. The Drift inspired design can be found on multiple products allowing you to mix and match across the kitchen for a stylish finish!
The jar is dishwasher safe however the wooden lid should be wiped clean only.
Price – £17.49 available to buy from Cook Serve Enjoy here.

Maps Gifts Etc

Where’s Dad’s favourite place? Put it on a mug.

Click to see their Instagram profile

Map Gifts Etc is a lovely small business run by Lucie and has wonderful personalised gifts for all occasions on their Etsy shop. These personalised Father’s Day Location Mugs are unusual, personal AND practical. They can be designed for any location anywhere in the world and can have either a vintage or contemporary map on both sides of the mug. You also have the option to add personalised wording to go over the image. These mugs come gift-boxed ready for Fathers Day

Priced at £17.25 and Lucie also offers FREE DELIVERY on these mugs too. It’s available here.


Me and You Versus The World

To show Daddy just how special he is.

Click to see their Instagram profile

Me and You Versus The World is an emotive story of love, friendship and adventure, this beautifully illustrated book written by Claire Gamble is a great way to spend time with Dad this fathers day and is even more special coming from younger children too.

Priced at £9.99 and can be found here.

Built

For the busy, working Dad or the fun dad who enjoys family picnics!

Click to see their Instagram profile

This BUILT insulated lunch bag is suitable for Dad’s lunch and small picnics at the weekend. It’s fully insulated allowing food to be kept cooler for longer and is deceivingly big inside and has room for lunch boxes, drinks and snacks. It’s leakproof thanks to it’s PEVA lining and has an adjustable shoulder strap and handle for easy mealtimes on the move!

Priced at £21.99 and is available from Cook Serve Enjoy here.

Artesa

This might sound cheesy but Dad’s are really grate…

Click to see their Instagram profile

For any Dad who has a love of fine dining, having guests round or just loves cheese this set of 4 side plates from Artesa featuring vintage cheese labels made great gifts! Made from high-quality ceramic they will look great for any occasion. Each plate is 19cm wide. They come presented in a matching box and ready to gift to Dad.

Priced at £21.99 from Cook Serve Enjoy and can be found here.

Posted in Gifted, product review

Trendhim – Salt & Hide -Review

We’ve been really excited to work with Trendhim again on another one of their stylish backpacks. Luke likes to take a backpack to work and the Salt & Hide Sagan Backpack is perfect for him to use on a daily basis.

Trendhim – who are they?

If you haven’t read our previous review – Trendhim are a menswear and accessory brand founded in late 2007 by Sebastian and Mikkel. Their products are designed in Denmark. They are hugle popular across many European countries and have a dedicaed UK website (currency in £) making it really easy to find menswear products and accessories.We recently worked with them on this review.

Trendhim have a wide collection of products, from bags and wallets to jewellery and scarfs, they make great quality gifts.

Shall I show you what we received?

We received the Sagan Green and Brown Backpack by Salt and Hide and once again I was impressed with the quality, the style and the likeliness to the image on the website. This backpack has so many pockets and compartments and is designed to keep your laptop safe while storing all of your other bits and bobs for the day. It has an exterior zipped pocket along with adjustable shoulder straps. Inside – the lined interior features two large compartments, one of which contains a padded spot for your laptop. Other spaces for your credit cards, phone, pens, etc. are built-in too!

Made from cotton canvas, genuine cow leather and cotton lining its flexible, sturdy, strong and durable its a bag fit for every day use!

DIMENSIONS (taken from the website)
Length: 34cm
Height: 41cm
Width: 13cm

Holds up to 15.6″ (38,5×26,5×2,5 cm) laptops.

Postage and Packaging

Once added to cart there are two options of delivery available;

  • Royal Mail package which typically takes 3-7 working days which is currently £4
  • DHL Express Delivery which typically takes 1-2 working days which is currently £12

At the time of writing they are also offering FREE royal mail delivery on all orders over £29 too!

We opted for the standard option which arrived within the 3-7 working day period and Trendhim work on same day guarantee – if you order before 4pm on any weekday the order is shipped the same day! Mine definitely was as it arrived so quickly. If you order after 4pm on a friday, saturday or sunday it is shipped on the next working day. We were also provided with a tracking number on our “your order has been shipped” email which meant I was able to see exactly where the parcel was.

The bag arrived well packaged, in a dust bag that kept it safe in transit too!

Disclosure – We were gifted the Sage & Hide Sagan Backpack to review however as always all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.*
Posted in Gifted, parenting, product review, toys

Petite Amelie Wooden Dolls House – review

Post contains PR Product.

Ellie has such a kind and caring nature and she absolutely loves looking after her toys – she feeds them in her play kitchen, she puts them down for naps and she plays with such a vivid imagination. I love nothing more than sitting down with a cuppa and listening to the storylines she comes up with – although worryingly it usually starts with the Mum dying!!

I knew she would be over the moon with the wooden dolls house we received from Petite Amélie and she has played with it non-stop since she first saw it.

So here’s our review of our new dolls house. It’s possibly one of the few times Ellie has willingly let me bother her for photos!

In 2010 when a mum-to-be wasn’t able to find the cot of her dreams for her daughter – she took matters into her own hands and designed one herself and had it made – it was at that moment that Petite Amélie was born. They have since expanded their range of products to include complete baby and children’s bedrooms, transitional beds, infants chests of drawers and wardrobes, children’s bed linen and wooden toys – furniture perfect for Nurseries or Toddler Rooms..

Their main goal – to inspire parents to create a beautiful nursery that has unique furniture and accessories suitable for babies and children alike.

With so many beautifully designed, timeless products to choose from I found it difficult knowing what to pick when we were offered to choose something from the site – however since we already have all the furniture we need we decided to look at the wooden toys and decided on the La maison d’Amélie wooden dolls house.

Traditional Toys with a Modern Touch

The La maison d’Amélie wooden dolls house is a house of dreams! It’s stylish open fronted design is a great way to encourage children to play – the neutral tones of white, grey and black match with the natural wood perfectly too allowing it to be appealing to all children.

The wooden dolls house does come flat packed and was relatively easy to assemble when little hands arent trying to “help”. Initially I had decided to build the dolls house but found getting the balcony to fit a tad bit tricky so set Luke off on the task and of course, being the Master Builder he is, he did it in no time at all! The house also comes with a 19 piece furniture set too which is already assembled and matches the main house with its neutral colours and wood. It would be easy to add some colour and a bit of the childs personality to the house by painting the furniture but honestly I really love the natural look and love how it all looks inside when we’ve set it up.

The dolls house has rooms on 4 floors and just like a real home it has a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room and office space as well as a balcony on the top floor too! The possibilities for play are endless – every time Ellie plays with it her role play is different to the last. We’ve had role play linked to every day life – bath time, breakfast and Ellie loves tucking her little family in to bed at night – and we’ve had rescue missions, flooding and evil pirates but Ellie’s favourite is to pretend she’s a giant reaching in through the window and scaring the children!

Our Overall Verdict

I particularly love the fact that the wooden toys from Petite Amélie are made from high quality materials (SFC wood and organic cotton where possible) and the house is EN71 safety tested and the paint used is safe for children too, I also like the additional thought on safety with the rounded edges.

We’ve had such many nights after school playing with our new dolls house, it’s been a fantastic way to watch Ellie’s imagination grow and we’ve used it to talk about our days when she hasn’t been so keen to share! It’s been a wonderful addition to Ellie’s playroom and I can’t wait to watch her grow and maybe one day pass on to her children too!

Have you had any toys or furniture from Petite Amélie?
Will you be buying wooden toys this year?
Christmas is only 92 days away after all!
Let us know in the comments below!

Disclosure – We were gifted the La maison D’Amelie wooden dolls house to review however as always all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

Posted in Gifted, motherhood, Mum Blogger, product review

Trunki/Yondi Review

If you know your way around an airport or a train station then you’ve probably seen a Trunki Suitcase. They are such an ingenious idea and I’ve been really excited to give it a full review and find out just what makes it the best-known ride on suitcase for kids – winning over 100 awards since 2006!

We were recently sent a Una the Unicorn Trunki and matching Yondi to review and use – unfortunately with the pandemic we haven’t been able to book a holiday but we are hoping to get a late deal in the summer holidays even if it’s just a weekend and I know the suitcase will come in handy for that and the sleepovers Ellie will be having at her grandparents when she is allowed.


First I wanted to talk about the Trunki:
I love how unique the trunki is; the fact it comes in many different colours/themes yet still has the option to be completely personal with the stickers (this was a huge hit with Ellie who loves a good sticker sesh!) I also love the independence it allows the toddler/child to have – packing their own toys/clothes and being able to pull it along themselves.

The Trunki comes with a pull-along strap allowing the child to ride on the suitcase (perfect for those long airline queues). It has a curved top which Ellie tells me is really comfortable to sit on, two handy grab points (Ellie calls them ears) for the child to hold on to. The whole product seems very resilient too – made from hard plastic making them easy to clean which is even more important now and you can use antibacterial wipes without it ruining the outer plastic.

A Trunki has an 18 litre capacity and holds quite a lot. We packed Ellie’s suitcase ready for her first out of lockdown sleepover and I was surprised at how much room she still had for all her teddies. It’s lightweight and a perfect size – we don’t tend to travel abroad but I’ve researched and is classed as hand luggage on some airlines (I’d recommend checking with the one you are flying with) as they are the perfect size.

Inside the Trunki has an elasticated teddy strap to keep luggage and most importantly teddy safe from falling out everywhere and an elasticated internal pocket for easy access.



Now for the Yondi:
When Ellie was smaller we purchased an own brand neck pillow for her when she was first transition from her baby car seat – it was awkward to put on her and she hated wearing it when she wasn’t actually asleep – she threw it off so much it broke after a few times.

I can honestly say the Yondi travel pillow is a far better product – it connects under the chin with hidden magnets and forms a supportive cushion around the child’s neck. This stops their head from rolling forward and means they can sleep in a comfortable and safe position in their car seat. The Una the Unicorn Yondi is suitable for ages 2-5 so a perfect size for Ellie, she can fasten it under her chin easily and she tells me it’s comfortable around her neck. She hasn’t actually fallen asleep with it on yet but she quite enjoys wearing it in the car anyway.

Like all the Trunki products the travel pillows are bright, colourful and based on childrens’ favourite animals or things children love so they are keen to try them out which is always a win.

We would 100% recommend Trunki to anyone thinking of travelling with a toddler this year.



Price Guide
The Trunki suitcase retails at around £39.99 which does seem a little pricey however when you take in to account everything it has to offer it’s actually a great investment!
The Yondi Pillow retails at £12.99 – again a very good price for the peace of mind it brings.

You can check out the other characters/colours of the Trunki suitcases and Yondi Pillows as well as their other products on the Trunki website

Disclosure – We were gifted the Una the Unicorn Trunki and Yondi to review however as always all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.*

Posted in Gifted, product review

Greater Skies – Review

In our house stars are extremely meaningful; I look to the brightest star every night before I go to bed and I just know somewhere by that bright star is my boy. I guess when you’ve experienced a significant loss like I did you cling on to “something” that can relate to them, for some it’s feathers or robins but for me it’s stars. When I was deep in those first days of grief a friend sent us a star that they named after Jason. I was absolutely floored. It is to this day the kindest, most special thing anyone ever did for my boy. It brings me comfort no matter how silly it may seem, to think that Jason is watching us from that star and knowing one day I’ll be right there with him.

Greater Skies

Greater Skies is a company that creates custom, personalised star maps giving you the chance to mark a memorable date. Greater Skies create detailed maps of the stars as it looks from anywhere on the Earth – whether that date is in the past, the present or even in the future! These are now available in digital e-card form making it easier to let someone know you’re thinking of them in these difficult times.

When Greater Skies reached out to collaborate I knew the exact date and time I wanted to use; Ellie’s birthday of cause. She’s really interested in the stars so I knew she’d love to see what they looked like at the exact point she entered the world.

The Creation Process

I was immediately impressed with how easy it is to create a map on the website. In just three easy steps you’re finalising the details and getting ready to put your order in.
Step 1: Choose your style and colour: there are 4 styles to choose from and each style has it’s own colour schemes. I chose the planet design in magenta as I want to put it up in Ellie’s room. You can then choose whether to add constellation and star names.


Step 2: Choose the place and time you want to use: (REMEMBER: this can be from the past, the present or the future) I was able to use our home address and the exact time Ellie was born to create the map of the stars.

Step 3: Add text: I altered the text at the top of the map and added a message at the bottom – you can add 5 lines of text

The only other decision you have to make is the size and whether you want it framed. You then see a draft of your map before you order to make sure all the details are correct.

After I’d put my order in I was sent a digital high resolution copy which I was able to download (you can choose this option to print at home). I loved being able to see what the map looked like before it had arrived.

I quickly received an email stating it usually takes 0-3 working days to process the order – print, frame and ship (digital copies are instant) and just 1-2 working days for delivery and ours arrived within that time frame too! You can of cause opt to pay more for express delivery.

When it arrived it looked absolutely stunning, the white frame set it off perfectly. The print itself is of a high quality and far better than if I’d have printed it myself.

What We Really Think…

These maps are absolutely beautiful, I love how you can personalise them in so much detail – receiving something personal is the best feeling. They make such wonderful gifts. The finish is perfect, the frame is a great quality and it really finishes off the print. What makes them so amazing is how versatile they are, these are perfect for Anniversaries, Birthdays, Christmas, Valentines, MOTHERS DAY (hint 14th March in the UK) and they can be used to celebrate relationships, births, graduation, those special milestones like buying your first house the list is endless.

It’s been great being able to talk to Ellie about the stars, the constellations and what the print means, she’s loved finding the big dipper, we found the constellation where her names star is and where Jason’s named star is too. I love how she always includes her Big Brother in everything.

Visit https://greaterskies.com to find your perfect map of the stars.
Prices start from just £29 and even offer free delivery for certain prints.

Disclosure – We were gifted a Framed Star Map by Greater Skies however as always all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.*

Posted in baking, Food, Gifted, parenting, product review

Doughlicious Gourmet Cookie Dough – Review

I love baking, it’s something i’ve enjoyed doing for many years but being a busy, full time working Mum/Wife/Sister/Daughter/Friend/Influencer means I rarely get time to even think about baking let alone doing it. During lockdown I loved being able to have the time to bake with Ellie, she loved making cupcakes and cookies.

However I have lately been craving the thing I love most about baking – enjoying something fresh out of the oven.

***Enter Doughlicious Gourmet Cookie Dough***

We have recently been gifted 6 boxes of their “Ready-to-bake” range in return for an honest review. So before I get stuck in I thought i’d give a little bit more information on Doughlicious first.

Doughlicious first started in 2014 when the founder, Kathryn, decided to share her secret on how to make tasty american-style cookies using only the finest natural ingredients. What makes Doughlicious stand out is that their products are 100% gluten-free. They pride themselves on being inclusive for all so they even have dairy-free, organic and vegan flavours too!

How does it work?

Each delivery comes well packaged with freezer bags to keep them cool. You can either store the cookie dough in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to bake. Our order had fantastic dates – none of them were out of date before December although NONE of them have made it past 2 weeks!

The cookies bake in less than 15 minutes, perfect for a quick treat or for the busy working mum to win brownie (or cookie) points with the kids! They certainly won Ellie over!

We were able to review 6 of their fantastic flavours but to check out the others head on over to the Doughlicious website to see them all!

Organic Carrot Cake

Per cookie: 128 calories, 8g fat, 10g carbs, 4g sugar, 2g fibre, 3g protein

These cookies give a definite carrot cake taste – the spices work perfectly with the oats and the kitchen smells so good whilst they are baking. I found they didn’t flatten as much as the other flavours (but think this was more me than the cookie!) but they still tasted delicious. These were Husband’s favourite seeing as he ate 5 of them!

Dairy free/Gluten free/Vegetarian/Vegan/Organic

Chunky Oat Chocolate Chip

Per cookie: 140 calories, 7g fat, 16g carbs, 7g sugar, 2g fibre, 2g protein

These were simply amazing and possibly my favourite flavour. I love an oat cookie but these were on another level all together! I’d have never known they were vegan if I hadn’t have seen the packaging. The double wammy of oats (rolled oats and oat flour) gives a fantastic taste and texture to the cookie while the vegan chocolate chips gives it a soft gooey texture too.

Dairy free/Gluten free/Vegan/Vegetarian

Chocolate and Vanilla

Per cookie: 150 calories, 8g fat, 18g carbs, 10g sugar, 1g fibre, 2g protein.

I loved the look of these, so much so I had to bake these first/ The idea of having both chocolate and vanilla in one cookie and the way they were split so evenly in half excited me. They definitely lived up to my expectations, the rich chocolate flavour was balanced perfectly with the lightness of the vanilla. Ellie also loved the two-tone look to the cookie.

Gluten free/Vegetarian/Nut free

Chocolate Chip

Per cookie: 153 calories, 8.1g fat, 18g carbs, 10g sugar, 1g fibre, 1.7g protein.

This flavour has won the great taste award twice! You can’t beat an old-favourite can you? These are best when warm and the dark chocolate has melted. I definitely ate more than one of these.

Gluten free/Vegetarian/Nut free

Peanut Butter

Per cookie: 158 calories, 9g fat, 14g carbs, 8g sugar, 1g fibre, 4g protein.

Peanut Butter is the main ingredient in these cookies – which for someone who doesn’t like Peanut Butter I feel I was wasted when tasting them. So I asked Ellie and Luke what they thought for a more genuine review – they both loved them. They said the smoothness and doesn’t lose the peanut butter flavour.

Gluten free/Vegetarian

Double Chocolate

Per cookie: 153 calories, 8.7g fat, 16g carbs, 9.8g sugar, 1.6g fibre, 2.1g protein.

This is the chocolate lover’s dream! A rich chocolate cookie with soft cookie dough matched with melting chunks of dark chocolate. It leaves you wanting more!

Gluten free/Vegetarian/Nut free

Our verdict:

I’ve not been able to find a fault within these cookies! The fact that they take less than 15 minutes to bake, make no mess or washing up and they have the perfect balance between texture and flavour. The ingredients are natural, of a high quality and this comes through in the taste. I love the range of flavours, appealing to the chocoholics, the nutty and the healthier ones out there who still like a treat every once in a while.

The whole family have definitely enjoyed being my taste-testers. We will definitely be ordering more Doughlicious treats soon – their Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate cookies launching in just 4 days (7th October) is definitely one I NEED to try!

Disclosure: I was gifted the flavours mentioned above in exchange for an honest review by Doughlicious.co.uk
All views, opinions and images are my own.


Posted in days out, Gifted, shropshire

Jump In Trampoline Park – Review

Two weeks ago we were invited to our local Jump In Trampoline Park to show off their amazing facilities and put their COVID-safe park to the test. Our local Jump In is in Shrewsbury, Shropshire so the review is based on our experiences at this park.

In order to keep control of the numbers, we had to book our time slot; this instantly eased my mind that it wasn’t going to be busy. We haven’t ventured to many places since the start of lockdown (other than food shopping and work/nursery) but I know it’s so important for Ellie not to miss out on time to have fun and let off some steam – it’s been very clear that she has missed some form of soft play.

We booked our slot to arrive at 10am, just after the toddler open session. We booked a Jump & Play session for Ellie as she isn’t quite 4 yet and a 2 hour Open Session for Daddy and Uncle Zack. We arrived 10 minutes before our slot and found it was a great time to go as it wasn’t busy at all – we were given our wrist bands and a pair of special Jump In socks that are required for health and safety and have grips on the bottom – usually these are separate to purchase if you don’t already own a pair however due to COVID you are given a new pair each time and socks are included in the ticket price.

We sat at an allocated table which was great as it was right next to the soft play/toddler jump area and I was able to watch Ellie at all times. We got settled and Luke and Zack headed off for their open jump – more to come on this further down.

Jump and Play

The Jump and Play area is specifically for under 5s and when we arrived we had complete run of the trampolines and soft play. Of cause, a toddler who hasn’t been to soft play in over 8 months ran straight for it and probably didn’t sit down for longer than a few minutes in the 2 hours we were there.

The trampoline section has 6 trampolines in total and room for an adult to stand at the side of each one. Due to COVID there was a rule of 1 person per trampoline however with the limited tickets available there wasn’t any issues with getting a trampoline at any point during our session. Ellie loved having the freedom to bounce around trying to bounce higher than anyone else.

The soft play was clean and cleaned regularly during our stay and was kept to a high standard – Ellie loved being able to climb, run around, balance and slide. The soft play area isn’t big however it is big enough for under 5s to have a run around if they need a break from jumping and as the tables are so close parents can enjoy a hot cuppa knowing they are safe and in view!

Open Session

As soon as we arrived Luke and Zack headed straight off into the main jump area which is a zone of interconnected floor and wall trampolines. Jumpers were constantly encouraged to keep the 2m distance and everyone did so. There was no more than 1 person (or group) to a trampoline at one time and all touch points were cleaned at regular intervals too!

As well as the trampolines, the men tried out the airbag which I think was Zack’s favourite section! Who wouldn’t love a giant airbag for you to run and jump in to? Zack opted to stick to the lower trampolines and jumping in whereas Daddy felt a big more adventurous jumping from the higher platforms.



The sports zone was also a hit, especially with Zack who perfected a shot in the net backwards after only 3 tries.

Cafe

It would be impossible to stay for a 2 hour session without needing a little energy boost. The cafe was reasonably priced and had a good selection of food and drink on offer as well as snacks. We were able to have a light lunch and Ellie was delighted that they had her favourite slushy drink on offer too! Of cause it had melted by the time she’d eventually joined us from the trampoline and soft play.

Overall, we all had a fantastic visit! Ellie was able to finally burn off all the pent up energy and the men were able to burn off some calories while having fun. They both left feeling very worn out! I was able to enjoy from the side-lines this time, getting a few minutes peace to drink a hot drink in between chasing Ellie around the soft play, watching her be the little daredevil that she is and trying to take a non-blurry snap of them all having fun!

With such a wide area there is plenty for all ages to get bouncing and enjoy the different areas on offer.

Most importantly, our stay felt COVID-safe with reduced capacity by 50% giving everyone the ability to social distance easily. We were so pleased with our visit we are booked in for next weekend too! The whole family couldn’t wait to return.

*Disclosure – We were offered complimentary tickets to Jump In Shrewsbury however as always all thoughts and opinions are my own.*