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A Merry Christmas to you all, many thanks for all your RRC x

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since 03/05/2010


Mega Bloks Bricks In A Bag 06/04/2015

Building block fun

Mega Bloks Bricks In A Bag We got this large bag of Mega Blocks from the charity shop for just a few pounds and I think t obuy new they are about £12. I think that paying £12 would be good value for money as they are very good quality and ever so entertaining for young children and even big kids too (my husband has a lot of fun with them!) Included in this bag are 60 blocks. In the bag that we have the blocks are in bright, primary colours rather than just pinks ilke in this picture. The blocks are large and chunky and made from plastic which is very robust. The blocks all fit on each other so you can use them to build. It is bigger than Duplo and more basic than that but you can still create variety of things from it. The bright colours can be used to help teach children about which colours are which and help them to pick them out. My grandson was about 1 when he first started responding to us asking him for colours and by 18 months he was able to pick them out without struggling which was wonderful to see! The bright colours also mean that they're really quite attractive so children are interested in them and inspired to play. The blocks fit together easily, they just sit on top of each other and are quite solid so if they do get knocked you aren't likely to knock it off. You don't need to press down hard at all to get them on top of each other and that's good because children of this age don't really need to have to apply pressure. We like to use these to build a high tower and watch to see ...

Galt Card Craft 03/04/2015

Super card making

Galt Card Craft My granddaughter is 7 and loves being creative. She has made many cards over the last few years and so for Chirstmas I bought her this. What is wonderful about it is that it's slightly more grown up than other ones we have had and so it's just perfect for her. There were various card sets available from this brand and I chose one which said it made 10 cards and it cost me £8 at the time. It looked like it had everything included that would enable my granddaughter to make the cards without needing any help which is important as she likes to be independent now. What I like best about this set is that it isn't just full of blank cards, pipe cleaners and pom poms like so many other card making sets. These kinds of sets just get frustrating for little ones as the pom poms and things won't stick on. This set, however, is full of brilliant items which are easy to stick on. Included in the set The set includes 10 cards and these have patterns and sparkle on. No boring blank cards here! The cards vary with purple tartan effect, bright pink with squares in places and so forth. I think that they are designed to help children to work out a design that they would like to turn the card into so that at the end it looks very professional and isn't just children's drawings. As well as the 10 cards (and 10 envelopes) there are about 14 squares that have pictures on. These include flowers, shoes, handbags and so forth. These can be pressed out and then put onto the cards. The colours ...

MTS Working Bench Children Play Tool 02/04/2015

Such fun

MTS Working Bench Children Play Tool We bought this tool bench for my grandchildren to play with when they are at our house. My little Grandson loves pretending to be a builder. We bought it 18 months ago and it is well played with by both my granddaughters and grandson alike. It is very good value for money and not too big either so it doesn't take up too much room. It cost us £20 which I think is an excellent price to pay for this product. The basics The tool bench came in a box and had to be set up. My husband did this and it took about 15 minutes for him to put it together ad put the stickers on. It stands at about 2 foot high and a foot wide and is quite slim so it doesn't take up too much room in our house like some of the tool benches you can buy. The height of the bench is perfect for a little one to work on. It is roughly at my grandson's waist and he is 3. It comes with a variety of items. They include a vice which you screw to the work bench and then hold items within it. It has cogs which attach to the bench and you twist them. It has a rack at the top which has spaces for tools to hag. It comes with a hat, pieces of 'wood', spanners, wrench and many more items. These can all be stored on the rack at the top or also on the foot plates beneath. Everything within this bench is made from plastic so is very child friendly. It's easy to wipe clean and it won't cause too much damage! The teeth on the saw are very, very blunt, no cut fingers or anything are likely to happen here. The hat is quite ...

Denby Imperial Blue Red Wine Glass 31/03/2015

Excellent quality

Denby Imperial Blue Red Wine Glass I bought my husband a set of these wine glasses for his birthday. We like to drink red wine and we do always think it tastes better out of wider glasses and I thought treating him to an expensive pair of wine glasses would be an ideal gift. A set of two cost me £25, very expensive but you get a good quality glass for your money! Denby offer an Imperial Blue range where you can buy bowls and glasses and other such items with this beautiful blue design in them. The only items we have are these red wine glasses. I would quite like the white wine glasses too as they look lovely. These wine glases have a beautiful blue glass within them. This looks like an 'ink' effect as it's not just a bold blue but looks more like it is seeping into the stem of the glass with lots of patterns within it that looks very natural. It is just lovely and a really rich, royal blue. The shape of the glass is almost tulip-like with the rim being nice and thin. The actual glass is quite thick, not excessively so but enough to make it robust and not super fragile. The stem of the glass is quite thick so easy to hold and the shape of the tulip is really lovely to hold too so really very well designed. This is intended for red wine due to the shape of the glass but we have had white wine in them too, I don't suppose it matters too much as white wine can taste lovely in any shape glass. Now we think that these wine glasses are perfect but our neighbours have commented saying that they seem rather ...

Disney Fairies Porcelain Tea Set 30/03/2015

Very sweet set

Disney Fairies Porcelain Tea Set I bought this for my granddaughter for Christmas as she loves having tea parties and I thought that this set was a little more grown up for her rather than the plastic set that she previously had. This is recommended from age 3+ and I would recommend that they be used by children 5+ as they are made from porcelain so they are very delicate so could be broken. The set contains 12 pieces. This includes cups and saucers, a tea pot with lid and two jugs. They are only very small, the cups are about 6cm no bigger so this is ideal for my granddaughter with her little Barbies and teddies. A friend of mine bought these for her own grandchildren and she thinks they are too small but I bought these from a shop so I knew the size of them, I suppose if you buy them over the Internet you may be surprised by how small they are. i think the smalless of them makes them very sweet and cute. They are ideal for little hands and fingers too. They are made from porcelain so these items are quite fragile but at the same time it's very dense. My granddaughter is 6 and she hasn't broken any, she has dropped them and they've stayed in piece thank goodness but I wouldn't really be too confident with them being dropped from a great hieght. When my granddaughter is playing with this tea set she is very gentle and delicate. It is nice for her to play with something which isn't just plastic so she is learning to take care. The pictures on the side of the set are of little princess fairies and ...

Orchard Toys Where's My Cupcake? 28/03/2015

A fun game but a little complicated for little ones!

Orchard Toys Where's My Cupcake? I bought this for my granddaughter for Christmas. I thought it looked like a lovely game with a lovely bright box and of course with it being cake-based we could't go wrong could we! We really like Orchard Games and this one is really good although maybe a little complicated for little minds to understand. Orchard Toys Orchard Toys have lots of great toys and games. I have always found that they tend to be very good quality ad have a good learning element behind them too. They are lovely and bright and very robust and what's better is they come in nice sized boxes, they are overly big or full of plastic, instead nice and compact so easier to store. On the boxes they always have it clearly marked what age range the game is for too which I always find very useful especially with having a wide range of ages in my house. We have quite a lot of these toys now and we haven't been let down by them at all yet. What is included Included in this game are four cardboard plates with different coloured napkins on. These are just board, they're not actual plates, they're completely flat. There are also lots of cardboard cupcakes with lots of different designs. There are 4 of each design and they're all really colourful like ones with smarties on, ones with cherries and so forth. They make me feel quite hungry! You also get an instruction manual. The game The game can be played with 2-4 players and is recommended for ages 3+ but I would say that 3 is too young, my 4 year old ...

Mattel Barbie Fairytale Princess 27/03/2015

A pretty princess

Mattel Barbie Fairytale Princess My granddaughter loves Barbie and this is one which I bought hr for her birthday. My son asked me to buy her a Barbie and I was spoilt for choice as there are so many but this one really stood out to me as it's 'so very pink and girlie just like my granddaughter! It cost me £12.99 which I thought was reasonable considering how lovely she looks. The Barbie is suitable for children over 3 years old. I think this is the case because the tiara is small and so could be a choking hazard. This Barbie comes with wings which you can take on and off and her tiara and also her skirt can come off too but not the top. The skirt is lovely and full length. It's really shiny in lots of bright pinks which my granddaughter adores! Her arms, legs and head move. My granddaughter's eyes lit up when she opened this, she was so excited when she unwrapped it and she adores the wings which she keeps putting on her other Barbies too and pretending they are playing fancy dress games. It is lovely to see her using her imagination. She also puts the skirt on her other Barbies too to see which other tops it matches and it's nice again to see her using a creative side too whilst using her imagination. What my granddaughter does the most with this Barbie though is brush her hair, she spends such a long time running a little brush through it and trying to do plaits, it's ever so sweet to watch! This Barbie is well loved by my granddaughter. She loves playing with her and because she is a princess she ...

Garofalo Orecchiette 26/03/2015

Really tasty

Garofalo Orecchiette I adore pasta and I love trying different kinds. I do believe that the different shapes of pasta do pull off dishes in different ways. When I saw this originally in tesco's I couldn't resist it as it looked so different to other pastas and i thought it would be good to try. i'm glad I did as it's a lovely tasting pasta which holds a sauce well so is really very tasty. I first bought this pasta from Tesco's and now my husband tends to buy it online instead for a cheaper price. The pieces of pasta are approximately the size of a 10p and they are a bit like a curved circular piece of pasta which dips, almost like a small bowl. This shape means that it holds sauce really well. I find that it tastes best when it is cooked for 10 minutes. I know some people like to cook pasta for more like 8 but this is quite a thick pasta and I find it is definitely not cooked enough after just 8 whereas 10 minutes makes it perfectly al dente. When serving this pasta I think it works best with a dish which has lots of sauce so we tend to have this with a cheesy creamy sauce with broccoli and mix it in with the sauce rather than serve it on the side as this provides more taste. The sauce sits in the little dip of the pasta really well which means that your pasta has a lot more taste. I really like this pasta, the shape of it is what caught my eye as it looks like little discs and I'm glad that it did catch my eye as it's now one of my favourites. It's really easy to eat, not at all messy like ...

Thomas the Tank engine Take Along Molly 25/03/2015

A fun toy

Thomas the Tank engine Take Along Molly My grandson adores trains and loves all things Thomas. we have lots of the Take Along Thomas range and when I saw this train I couldn't resist it. This train is called Molly and I will admit that I hadn't heard of this one before so I didn't know who she was, what had attracted me to this toy was the fact it's nice and bright and I thought it would break up all the blues and greens that my grandson seems to have! This train is part of the Take Along range so it fits on the tracks of that range really well and it will connect to other trains too. It comes in two parts it has the engine and the carriage. These are connected using a magnet and this is quite a strong magnet too. The front and back also have more magnets so that you can join more carriages and trains too. They are made from metal so are really robust but they do scuff and get scratched easily. This one looks like we've had it years already when it reality it's just a matter of a couple of months! My grandson loves playing with this and it seems good quality in terms of the magents. When he runs this along the furniture the carriage will stay connected and sometimes he has even dropped it and they've stayed together! That is a good magnet! He really enjoys playing with this toy and it's lovely to watch him using his imagination by having the other engines talk to it. I think he plays with this one more than some of the others because it's so bright it does make a difference. The toy is also helping him learn ...

Disney Frozen Sisters Forever Fleece Blanket 23/03/2015

Yet more Frozen goodies!

Disney Frozen Sisters Forever Fleece Blanket My grandchildren adore Frozen and this Christmas it was a very Frozen themed one! I bought this fleece blanket for two of my grandchildren (one each) from Amazon, it was £8.99 which I thought was good value considering it is Frozen and everything from this brand seems to be very expensive! My grandchildren both love their blankets and they are lovely although maybe not the best quality! The fleecey blankets are quite large at about 100cm x 140cm so a nice enough size to be able to snuggle up with and lie over my grandchildren when they cuddle up on the sofa (usually whilst watching the film Frozen!) They are made from polyester and I've noticed that when they are snuggled underneath them they can get quite hot and sweaty so we only ever have these on the sofa, I wouldn't want them snuggled up with them at night time. The picture on the blanket shows Anna and Elsa smiling and linking arms with the 'Sister's Forever' title above them. It's very pink, it's very soft and it's perfect for little girls! It is ideal for any Frozen fan really! The blanket can be washed. I was a bit worried about doing so as it's so brightly coloured I thought that perhaps the colours would run but they haven't and although the blanket isn't quite as soft as it was before I washed it, it still remains in good quality. It has bobbled slightly but not enough to make it looked worn and tired but I do expect that over time this will increase but then by the time it does look worn then my ...

Clementoni Close Together Jigsaw Puzzle 22/03/2015


Clementoni Close Together Jigsaw Puzzle I was bought this jigsaw by my grandchildren who know I like both animals and jigsaws so it is really lovely and has a lot of thought behind it. It's a lovely picture and an enjoyable jigsaw to create. It wasn't the best quality though and I found some of the parts of the jigsaw a little difficult- mainly the large dark patches on the dog which were all the same. The jigsaw has 500 pieces so it is slightly easier than the normal jigsaws I do as I tend to do 1000 piece ones. I do like to do 500 piece jigsaws as I find that they are not as challenging so sometimes it's a nice break yet is still difficult enough to be a challenge for me. This jigsaw shows two Beagle puppies looking very sweet, cuddling up together. The background is a slightly out of focus tree which gives you lots of detail to work on when building up the puzzle. What I was disappointed about with this jigsaw is that the pieces were not that well cut out. The majority were but the odd one was still attached to another or had bits of cardboard sticking off it which made joining pieces difficult. I was able to sort this out by neatly pulling the excess off but it does show that the machine that cut this wasn't sharp enough so that was slightly disappointing. The jigsaw was enjoyable to make as it was lovely to watch the picture unfolding as I made it. I spent the time wondering what was going through the little puppies' minds as they look a little sheepish as if maybe they have just been up to some trouble! ...

Ravensburger Barbie Bumper Jigsaw Puzzle Pack 18/03/2015

Brilliant puzzles

Ravensburger Barbie Bumper Jigsaw Puzzle Pack I bought these jigsws from Smyths just before Christmas. They were in part of their 2 for £15 range. My grandchildren like Barbies and they like jigsaws so I thought this looked like a good box for them seeing as they vary in difficulty so there should be something for all ages for them. Included in the box are 10 jigsaws. There are 4 which are 25 pieces and 6 which are 50 pieces. They came in individual bags so you could see which pieces belonged to which and some of them have spots on the back and some are plain. This helps you to identify which puzzles they belong to although if you do get them all mixed up it is a bit of an effort to work out which go with which so we keep them in separate bags to help with any confusion! The four 25 piece jigsaws show Barbie in four different roles- a 'bay watch' type Barbie in the life guard get up on the beach, a police woman, starring on the stage in a dance show and also on the red carpet too. The other 6 jigsaws show various other guises of Barbie- with her dog, shopping and so forth. The majority of the pictures do show Barbie in quite a sexist manner but my grandchildren don't seem to mind and it's all fine for me but I suppose if you are trying to not go towards this way of bringing up your children you may not want to buy these jigsaws! The 25 piece jigsaws are very good, they're nice big pieces and my grandchildren all enjoy doing them. The 50 piece jigsaws are more complex and so they take a lot longer and keep the ...

Linnett Hill Hotel, Keswick 17/03/2015


Linnett Hill Hotel, Keswick My husband recently booked us a weekend at this guest house as a surprise and he really did surprise me as it is a beautiful guest house and one we will definitely return to! Everything about this hotel is just perfect and we just couldn't find any fault at all, we really had a lovely couple of days here, the room was lovely, the area perfect and the hosts so very welcoming it was wonderful! Before arrival My husband booked this direct with the hotel. He found some good reviews of this hotel on Trip Advisor and then checked out their website. He had the tarrifs and room types very clearly displayed and he rang up to book. He said that the lady he spoke to was very helpful and extremely friendly and that it was a very easy process. It cost about £85 per night and I think that that is a very good price to pay given how lovely this hotel is. We found it quite easy to find, it is only about a minute or so from the town centre so we just followed signs for Keswick and then the directions from the website. Arrival Arriving at this guest house we were very pleased. It looked beautiful, it has a double front and looked like it was well kept as the paint was all still lovely and fresh, no grubby signs or anything here! There is a car park attached to this hotel which is at the back and had ample spaces which was a relief as parking in this area can come at a premium so it is always reassuring to know that we have somewhere to park when we come to a place like this. When we ...

Little Live Pets Butterfly House 16/03/2015

A little disappointing

Little Live Pets Butterfly House My Granddaughter is very advertisement sensitive! Every time she sees an advert for something she declares that she wants it and this was one of those products. We have got various items from 'Little Live Pets' and they are lovely so I thought this butterfly would compliment the set well but sadly it doesn't seem to be as good and my granddaughter is easily bored by this which is such a shame. Little Live Pets Little Live Pets seem to be a new brand, I hadn't heard of them until the run up to Christmas when suddenly they appeared all over the television! We have now purchased the budgie, the owls and now this butterfly. The budgie and owls seem to be very good and interact well, my granddaughter adores them. They are basically pets which will have an element of being able to interact with you without it being too complicated. Buying the butterfly This Butterfly complete with house we saw advertised on the television and my granddaughter announced that she wanted it. We don't always buy her eveyrthing she asks for but considering she liked the other items from this brand we bought this for her for her birthday. It was £22 but reduced down to £18. I've had a quick look now and on Amazon it's currently on offer for £16.99. However, I don't think it is worth more than £10 which I don't really like saying as I have previously really liked this brand. It is also available from Smyths and other toy stores too. What you get You get a butterfly and a plastic house for it to ...

John Lewis Baby's First Frame 16/03/2015

What a gift!

John Lewis Baby's First Frame I was given this as a gift from my daughter from my Grandson. I thought it was a lovely gift and it sits pride of place on my dressing table. It is just so beautiful. It was bought from John Lewis for £20 according to my daughter. I have seen cheaper versions elsewhere but this one is so beautiful I think it is well worth that money. This is a lovely silver plated frame which has twelve little oval shaped spaces and then a lagre one in the middle. Also, around the frame are engraved pictures of baby related items such as a rattle, rocking horse and booties. The large oval in the middle has a lovely bow at the top too and each little oval has the month next to it '1 month' '2 months' and so forth. It is not too busy, it is very classy with not being too over the top. Because it's all silver it means that the pictures you put in really stand out. The look of this frame is just stunning. Putting pictures in is easy, there are little sections to be removed at the back, this is velvet lined and quite thick and is really very easy to remove, they then slot back in and secure in place with a little metal grip and it holds it in place really well. The tricky part I suppose is finding a picture that fits. The oval is only small, about 3cm high and obviously with being oval it's a tricky shape but what I did was find pictures and then crop them on my computer before printing them first so that helped find ones that would fit. The idea is that you put a photo in for each month of ...
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