Hotel Chocolat Valentines chocolates & bubbly competition.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Who would like to win this amazing Pink collection chocolate selection and a small bottle of pink bubbly from the fabulous Hotel Chocolat?
 
Entry via Rafflecopter below.

 

 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please read the terms and conditions on Rafflecopter before entering.

Vtech InnoTab 3S review.

Friday, 24 January 2014

A few weeks ago Liv was a very lucky Girl to be offered the chance to review a Vtech InnoTab 3S. We pondered our response for around half a millisecond before replying with a great big YES PLEASE!
 
We were not disappointed! Here is our review.


What's in the box:
  • The console (we chose pink but it is also available in blue)
  • Demonstration cartridge
  • Rechargeable battery pack and adaptor.
  • USB cable.
  • Instructions
  • Two stylus pens and a strap to attach a stylus to the console.

The box recommends this for 3-9 year olds but Liv, aged 2, is easily able to play by herself.

Setting up was nice and easy as with all Vtech items Liv has had. We just popped in the batteries and the cartridge and then powered up.

I have read a few articles containing concerns about Children starting school unable to hold a pen or pencil correctly as they have become used to using their finger on touch screens too much, so I was really pleased to see the innoTab comes with a child friendly stylus pen, I attached the strap to the InnoTab and were good to go.

You then have the option to take a photograph of the user and add their name, we chose to do this because it helps Liv recognise her written name.


 
You then set the time and date and are asked to connect the Innotab to your computer using the USB cable provided. Once connected to The Learning Lodge on your computer it guides you step by step through set up. Once your tablet is set up and connected to Wi-Fi you are able to choose your free download.

We chose Chugga Shapes as our free download, I thought it was going to be too simple when I looked at it properly but Liv loves it. The train drives across the screen with different shapes in the carts behind it, when a shape is chosen it leaves the cart, goes up in the sky and the name is written underneath.

 
Several of the shapes then appear and you pop them using the stylus or your finger, Liv likes this part because she is obsessed by numbers and enjoys counting the shapes as she is bursting them. This App would be very good for helping teach Children colours, shapes and counting, and if you wanted some extra peace and quiet (who doesn't?!) The InnoTab even has a headphones outlet and the 4GB memory can be easily extended to 32GB with the addition of an SD card (not included)
 
I then handed over to Little Miss who had been patiently sitting on my lap during set up. I showed Liv where to choose the App or draw a picture and the button with the house to take her back to the home page and straight away she was off to go drawing a masterpiece. She was amazed by the effects that were available and loves applying stickers or tyre tracks etc to her drawings. 


 
On top of the Tab there is a 180 degree camera/video camera allowing Children to easily take photographs and add in some funny effects. The only thing I would like to point out with this is if your Child is trying to take pictures of themselves they need to be in quite well lit area otherwise their face is not visible on the images, this does not appear to be a problem when the camera is forward facing.
 
Older children are also able to send secure messages via an App to family or friends with an iPhone  or Android phone, we have not set this up with Liv so she can't accidentally bother people all the time!

We love the InnoTab 3S, it is fun, educational and robust enough for little ones.

We give it a big thumbs up and would definitely recommend to Family and Friends.

Why not check out the price of your little ones dream toys here at Argos? You might be pleasantly surprised.

Disclaimer - we were sent this item in return for an honest review.
 

What's new with Liv.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

We have had a very busy couple of weeks, Liv randomly decided she wanted to start potty training (separate post to follow) We went to the park for the first time in big Girl knickers Yesterday, with no accidents. Very proud!

 
She has bounced many, many miles on her pink pony and given poor Charlie dog that many check ups he is becoming a hypochondriac!
 
She is an absolute joy to be around, I especially love listening to her playing with her Sofia the First castle, she uses little voices for the different figures and absolutely melts my heart when the King and Queen tuck Sofia up in bed, singing Twinkle Twinkle, telling her how much they love her and wishing her sweet dreams.
 
I genuinely have no idea where the last 2+ years have gone. Suddenly my baby is telling me "I have to wait one minute, while the iPad is loading" and "be careful on the stairs Mummy, it is very very dangerous remember" She makes us laugh every single day, is becoming fiercely independent and getting used to the time out rules.
 
Next big step is moving her out of her cot bed  and into a big Girl bed next month, scary
 
She seems to have grown up so quickly the last three or four months, where did my baby go?!
 


A little restoration.

Monday, 20 January 2014

While tidying the shelves in our bedroom over the weekend, tucked behind a framed photograph I found my Husbands Christening cup.

It it a lovely cup, with beautiful patterns and his initials engraved in the centre.
It was looking more than a little worse for wear, covered is black areas and awfully dull looking.

I remembered buying sometarnish remover cream a few years ago for an old 9ct gold ring that had literally gone black, the cream had brought it back to life so I thought I would try it out on this too.

It is easy to do but takes a fair bit of scrubbing, you just rub on the cream with a cloth and polish it back off again, many, many times!

After the first application I could see a lot of grey on the cloth but it took a good 4-5 times before I started seeing the results on the cup.

After just over 1.5 hours and a fair bit of elbow grease, this is the result.


I was very pleased and it is now proudly on display in our glass cabinet in the living room as it should be.



Creating a Play-Doh masterpiece!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Little Miss was very lucky get a lovely wooden table and stool set from her Nana for Christmas, along with some lovely crafty things.

She asked for the Play-Doh yesterday so we all had a lovely time creating our own masterpieces (Daddy especially but don't tell him I told you!)

 

While Liv made a lovely orange snowman with 4 layers, Daddy cut out a Whale and some Doves and Mummy was asked to make a rose - I was actually quite proud of my rose as I have zero crafting talent but then I was brought back to reality when she requested a Dog . I was too ashamed to take a picture of that monstrosity and was very glad when Liv promptly cut it half.

The only problem we had was trying to stop her eating the pink (bizarrely only the pink?) literally every two minutes, do all little ones do that or do we have the child that eats paint and Play-Doh in school?