30 Sep 2009

Randy Kazandy, Where Are Your Glasses?

Randy Kazandy, Where Are Your Glasses?
Los Angeles, CA based author Rhonda Fischer has created a colorful and fun filled children’s book all about Randy Kazandy, a young boy who needs glasses to correct his vision problems.
Only Randy Kazandy hates his glasses. He thinks they make him look like an alien from outer space.
So he does everything he can to not wear his glasses, and even gets rid of them in some very ingenious and devious ways.
Only his mother has another pair, and then another pair, and even another pair.
Will Randy ever get used to wearing his glasses?

A great story book for young readers to read themselves or as a bedtime story for young children. The story rhymes as you read each paragraph and the illustrations by Kim Sponaugle are adorable. Randy Kazandy really comes to life as you read the book, you can feel his despair at having to wear glasses and as a parent I wondered how his mother kept so calm with his spectacles disappearing acts !! My daughter read the book herself and enjoyed the storyline, she laughed at his antics but did comment after that if she was to lose stuff on purpose "I would go wappy!" 'apparently'.

Randy Kazandy, Where Are You Glasses is based on the real life experiences of her brother in-law, Randy Jacque, who was born cross eyed, had to have corrective surgery and wear corrective lenses from the age of 17 months. He struggled with having to wear glasses, and did everything he could to get out of it. It took Rhonda 12 years to write the book and get it published.

We loved the storybook in our house but feel it is suited to children aged 6 and under.

Randy Kazandy Where Are Your Glasses?
Written by Rhonda Fischer
Illustrated by Kim Sponaugle

$19.95
Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-9820163-0-5 Published by Whim Publishing

Crayola Colour Wonder


Crayola Colour Wonder
Colour Wonder is a magical way of colouring in as the special markers only show up on the special Colour Wonder paper. Colour in your favourite Disney Fairies characters with Colour Wonder, where the colour only appears within the lines!

Do you remember the old 'Magic Painting' books? The pictures were already printed for you and all you had to do was 'paint' over them with water and the colour magically appeared ... well COlour Wonder from Crayola is bacially a 'new fangled' version of them.
Don't get me wrong, its clever and very effective. The colours are bright and most importantly there is no mess! I would recommend this activity as a good time passer for car, train or aeroplane journeys as they are safe to use and create no mess at all. >br>You do however have to use the pen provided, if you lose this you are stuck .. but we are yet to lose ours as they are quite chunky.

We have the Tinkerbell version but Crayola do market other characters and also plain blank sheets just for drawing on. Emma liked the Tinkerbell but (at 8) she said that they got boring after a while and that she would prefer the plain paper to design her own pictures.
The pack states age 3+ but I would also recommend this for younger children if supervised at all times, great for hand/eye co-ordination and fine motor skills.

Fun, clean and easy to travel with - a recommended craft set from Crayola.
Ryman rrp: £5.49 http://www.ryman.co.uk/Colour-Wonder-1454322031.asp

Our rating: 8/10

Ryman Refillable Bag








Ryman Refillable Bag 43X39cm
We used our bag to hold out camping gear and as you can see from the photo ... it holds absolutely tons of stuff !! Believe me .. there is even the kitchen sink in the bag ;)
Good and strong, great carry handle, many uses .. this isn't your ordinary 'bag for life' that you buy from your local supermarket, this bag is brilliant !!
Honestly I really like it as it does the job well - and that's what you want from a bag.
At 99p its a bargain and I would recommend it to everyone.
My rating: 10/10 its great !!

26 Sep 2009

Ryman - 6 Fun Glitter Tubs


Ryman - 6 Fun Glitter Tubs

Truth time: I hate glitter! there I said it .. but unfortunately for me my daughter loves the stuff and now that she is 8 we even have glitter eyeshadow in the house (but that's another story!).

When Ryman kindly sent me a pack of 6 tubs to review our household heard a few cries "Oh no!" from me and a big happy "Yes!" from Emma. I have got to say though that these glitter tubs have been well thought out ......

Each tub is a good size for little hands to use, but they are not too small for big hands too. They hold a good amount of glitter and each tub has a screw top with replaceable disc for storage ... and why would you need the disc? (I hear you all cry), well its to block the excellent little holes in the top of the tubs which allow the glitter to be shaken much like salt and pepper pots. Included in the box is also a small brush to make using the glitter even easier.

Now 6 tubs mean 6 colours and these are a lovely and bright: Gold, Red, Silver, Purply Pink, Green and Blue. Great for card craft, winter pictures, ornament making, calenders, scrap booking ... any kind of art project that needs cheering up with a little glitter.

You won't however cheer me up by sprinkling it on me ;) however glitzy I might look!!

Priced at £2.49 for a set of 6 they are perfect value and a great addition to your craft making accessories.

http://www.ryman.co.uk/Fun-Range-6Pk-Glitter-Tubs-1411010123.asp

Not suitable for children under 36 months. Remember to wear an apron when taking part in craft activities.

My rating: 9/10 for price and ease of use.

Ryman - Super Mega Art Set


Super Mega Art Set - 258 Piece Set


The Super Mega Art Set from Ryman comes in its own case, everything neatly laid out and packed tight so that nothing gets lost in transit.

With 258 pieces it is a brilliant set for all budding artists, it includes a comprehensive selection of art equipment including:
48 colour pencils,
48 jumbo markers,
48 fine line markers.
60 oil pastels,
24 watercolour pencils,
1 palette,
18 watercolour paints,
3 HB pencils,
3 paint brushes,
1 water bottle,
2 erasers
and 2 sharpeners.

What I like most about this set are the oil pastels, the range of colours are incredible! I have owned many sets of oil pastels and I have never seen as many colours as this .. to own this set for the oil pastels would save a lot of blending as the variations in colours are ready to use.

I also admire both of the coloured pencil types as they are cylindrical and not hexagon like many brands of colouring pencils (the HB pencils in the set are hexagon). Cylindrical pencils are much easier to use for shading and they do not make your hand ache after long use, they are also quick and easy to sharpen.

The watercolour paint set also has a range of colours, but it isn't brilliant. Most of the colours are pinks and oranges, with only one blue. There is a black, grey and brown, but the majority are shades that can be easily mixed and 'good' primary colours are missing as is a white.

Two erasers and pencil sharpeners are a great idea as these easily get misplaced after a while. Also the mini water bottle is a brilliant idea, it has a tight fitting lid so you can carry water with you, not much water I might add, but enough.

Biggest let downs are the paint brushes being the cheap plastic brushes when they could have easily added in one good brush instead of three budget ones. The markers (or felt tips) are all of a budget range, however you do get an extensive range of colours and so they will last a while if looked after properly.

My worry is the case, it is a good size and has a strong carry handle but the plastic it is made from is quite thin and flimsy. I feel that after a few uses the case could start to rip at weak points (like the edge/hinge between the two sides), it reminds me of the plastic used in section boxes at Christmas.

I do though like this set and if someone brought me one I would be happy with it. More for a budding GCSE artist than a Uni student the set with a little imagination could help create some wonderful artistic pieces.

The best bit is the price, the whole set is only £12.99 !! An affordable price for Back to School or as a Christmas Present.
Even though the quality is a little low I would personally have priced the set higher, so I am really impressed - well done Ryman.

http://www.ryman.co.uk/Super-Mega-Ryman-Art-Set-1440015050.asp
£12.99

My rating: 9/10 for price but 6/10 for quality.

25 Sep 2009

Special Little People - Aromatherapy For Children

Special Little People - Aromatherapy For Children"What If?" Blend

"Anxiety in children is a common affliction, particularly as they get older.

We have specifically picked some of nature's most soothing oils to develop a relaxed yet positive emotional state. It combines floral and fruity tones resulting in a warming, exotic fragrance with a hint of fun!

When using What If?, explain to your child how the magic ingredients will make them feel better and stronger. Remind them to breathe deeply and steadily, then watch the smiles appear!

It is a particularly useful blend for use around school exam time."

I have been using "What If?" blend with my daughter Emma (8), she has recently been acting as if the whole world if going to end if a)she can't find her spellings book or b)they ran out of carrots at lunchtime ???

I know she is under the weather as she wakes up tired, her ears are blocked with wax (which isn't helping as the poor kid can't hear) and she has grown a HUGE wart on her foot.

Well so far so good ... the 'What if' seems to be working. I haven't told her about it (sneaky eh!) but I have been putting some on some tissue (ok loo roll) and hanging it off of the side of her bed. The aroma isn't overpowering but you can smell it a bit when you walk back into the room. She has calmed down a little, maybe it is coincidence? but she has seemed to have chilled out a bit.

Today she only got 6 in her spelling test (usually she gets upset as she struggles with spellings) but today she didn't seem to care. She actually admitted that she hadn't practiced them and was actually pleased with herself that she got 6! I congratulated her :)

She has also stopped asking stupid questions constantly, it could be that she has run out of questions ;) or that she just doesn't care about the answers any more? either way I don't mind as she was doing my head in.

I am thinking of using the 'potion' myself, will I chill out and stop yelling at the students? will I suddenly decide that rap music is cool after all and allow it to be played via a tinny sounding mobile phone in my classes? maybe ... you never know ... I'll keep in touch :)

What if? A blend to relieve anxiety - Aromatherapy to banish the wobbles!
£11.95
My star rating: 8/10

21 Sep 2009

Pearl Drops Instant White Ultra

Pearl Drops Instant White Ultra

  • Provides an ULTRA white effect in just one coat, transforming your smile in an instant!
  • Simply brush on to leave a bright white veneer that dries in seconds!
  • With its gorgeously packaged applicator, you can fit it into your handbag & touch up your smile at anytime, in any place.
  • A concealer for your teeth that can be reapplied as many times as you want.
  • To remove, simply brush off with a toothbrush at the end of the day!

According to the description on the Pearl Drops website ... this product gives 'Dramatic results in seconds' well don't get too excited as you do get results but they aren't of a Simon Cowell dramatic standard.

I gave it a go, read all the instructions and followed them step-by-step, I cleaned my teeth and dried them with a tissue, then applied the pre-shaken liquid with the little brush provided. Clenching my teeth together I asked my daughter "Oooh they oook iter?", she looked puzzled, "Mi eeeth oo ay ook e-nee iter?". She read the box and looked at me again still with my teeth clenched together looking like a demented Cheshire cat, "Hmmm a bit!" she told me (which was I am sure just to make me feel better) "Did you paint them?".

I licked my teeth and they felt lovely and smooth, the taste of the liquid is actually quite refreshing too which was a surprise. Determined to get 'Dramatic results in seconds' I re-dried my teeth and applied a second coat. This time after giving them a minute to dry I set off outside to find my husband - he stated that my normal teeth did look a little brighter but my discoloured tooth (I fell of my bike when I was 7 and now have a darker front tooth) just looked like I had painted it with Tippex.

Hmmm so what do I put in my review? On regular teeth discoloured by coffee (for example) Pearl Drops Instant White Ultra does give a brighter lightening effect, but on badly discoloured teeth you can see the white liquid streaks. For a party or special occasion this product is a good idea, but I probably wouldn't use it for everyday use.

Ingredients: Alcohol, Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Aroma, Glycerin, Aqua, Linalool, Limonene, +/-CI 77019, CI 77891.

** Not suitable for children under 7. Keep out of reach of children. **

Instant White Ultra is available to buy in Boots, Superdrug, and major retailers nation wide, for only £7.99.

Buy it instantly online by clicking on the links: http://www.boots.com/ http://www.superdrug.com/

Information obtained from: http://www.pearldrops.co.uk/instantwhite-ultra.php

My rating: 6/10

17 Sep 2009

Tara Smith Natural Organic Haircare Range

Tara Smith Natural Organic Haircare Range


Tara Smith Big Baby Gentle Shampoo

They say that first impressions count and my first impression of Tara Smith Big Baby Shampoo is very good!! Why? Well read on ......

I like to wash my hair in a mid temperature power shower, my hair is very thick and can get greasy quite quickly, I wash my hair every morning without fail (or else I get that 'not quite clean' feeling all day).

Anyhow .. my bottle of Tara Smith shampoo is 100ml (£2.35) and to be honest looks tiny compared to the other brands in my bathroom, I wondered how many washes I would get out of this small bottle .. the answer 'a little goes a long way'. You don't need to use much shampoo for a very good deep root cleaning wash, you also only need to wash your hair once each time you shower to get a good clean (if you wash for a second time your hair is so clean from the first wash that you have trouble getting the suds out .. stop laughing!).

Made with natural and organic earth friendly ingredients, this is a very gentle shampoo that contains both Aloe Vera leaf juice, to provide the hair with moisture, plus the active ingredient from Camomile to soothe and calm sensitive scalps. The company do not test on animals and the shampoo is made in the UK.

The lavender fragrance hits you on opening the bottle, it has a very pleasant fresh fragrance, not overpowering, but enough to linger on your hair. I could smell lavender while my hair was wet, being dried and also for at least 3 hours later which I think is excellent. This however only happened the first few times I used it as I am now 'used' to the fragrance and I cannot smell it at all on application.

Very smooth to use, lathers well and doesn't sting if you accidentally get some in your eyes (as with all shampoo brands if this happens rinse your eyes with clean fresh water until all traces have been removed).

This product is suitable for babies and small children, plus Mum & Dad (see ingredient list below). My daughter thought the shampoo was really nice as the comb went straight through her hair after with no tangles.

Key ingredients are:
Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice for its proven moisturising ability.
Hydrolised Soy protein, The Chinese consider the soybean, along with rice/wheat/barley/millet, to be one of the five holy plants.
Due to its particular amino acid content, soybean contains 85% of the essential amino acids our bodies require. This ingredient acts as a energiser for the hair's natural protective layer by forming an effective protein film on the surface of the hair protecting it against detrimental environment influences.
Bisabolol the active ingredient of Camomile, is used extensively in sensitive and baby products and is both moisturising and soothing.
Organic Fragrance Lavender & Camomile 100% organic essential oil blend with Lavender, Camomile, Mand.

Apparently Anna Friel uses it on her little girl!

Tara Smith Big Baby Gentle Shampoo is stocked at Asda and Tesco, and online at http://www.cultbeauty.co.uk/ and www.bodycare2000.com/s/c/c/tara_smith_organic_hair_care.asp

http://www.bodycare2000.com/s/c/p/tara_smith_big_baby_shampoo.asp

Priced at approx: £2.35 for 100ml, £4.99 250ml





Tara Smith Big Baby Gentle Conditioner

I only condition my hair once a week, my daughters twice a week (and hubby doesn't bother at all!), therefore my 100ml bottle (£2.35) of conditioner is going to last us ages.

As above the conditioner has the same strength of lavender fragrance as the shampoo which is brilliant as you don't get overpowered with fragrance while showering if using both products.

This is a very light conditioner, non greasy and very easy to rinse out of your hair. Your hands do not feel slimy after using the conditioner and we didn't need to leave it on our hair for long either (but obviously this may not be the case for everyone).

Made with natural and organic ingredients this conditioner combines the active ingredient of Camomile with Aloe Vera leaf juice to soothe and moisturise, while Marine Algae softens hair to make it easy to manage. The conditioner is not tested on animals.

Key ingredients are:
Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice for its proven moisturising ability.
Marine Algae is extracted from two algae plants Enteromorpha compressa and Himantalia elongata. It contains large quantities of amino acids which can repair damaged hair and has a moisturising effect from its moisture binding and film forming qualities.
Bisabolol the active ingredient of Camomile, is used extensively in sensitive and baby products and is both moisturising and soothing.
Organic Fragrance. Lavender & Camomile 100% organic essential oil blend with Lavender, Camomile, Mandarin and Orange.

http://www.bodycare2000.com/s/c/p/tara_smith_big_baby_conditioner.asp

I am very excited by the Tara Smith Haircare Range and I will look out for other products, when you look at the size of the bottle for the price you feel that they are expensive, but you do only need a small amount each time you wash your hair.

Both products are approximately £2.35 for 100ml and £4.99 for 250ml and available online www.cultbeauty.co.uk and http://www.bodycare2000.com/s/c/c/tara_smith_organic_hair_care.asp and also in Tesco and Asda.

15 Sep 2009

LRO Show - Land Rover Owner International

LRO Show - The World's Biggest Land Rover Show !!


Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th September 2009,
East of England Showground, Peterborough.

Opens 9am until 5.30pm all weekend.

Tickets: £14 adults, Child (5-15) £7, Family (2adults, 2 children) £35
Off-Road course: £20 per session
There are discounts for LRO members and also if you are camping for the weekend.
Please see the official website for camping fee's.

Well!! What a day :) we arrived at around 10am and immediately got excited at the size of the show .. it seemed to go on forever. We attended on Sunday 13th September and took the whole family along for a day out (even the dog).
From the start the show if very user friendly, flat ground, open areas, plenty of toilets that were extremely clean with plenty of toilet roll and working hand dryers. The grounds are suitable for wheelchair users but please be aware that it is a grassy field and so could get boggy if the weather is bad.



We remembered where we had parked the car (free parking) and started to wander around the sponsored stalls - with over 70 clubs at the show this year you can imagine that this took quite a while.






Everyone was very friendly and was happy to chat about their Land Rovers, what they had done to upgrade their cars, what parts they recommended and the all important ... off-roading stories of getting stuck in the mud on a hill in Wales.

The weather was great and after a few hours we stopped for lunch. The prices of food/drink at the show were extremely reasonable, burgers, fish & chips, Chinese food, savoury & sweet pancakes .. there was quite a good choice. Tea/Coffee averaged at around £1 a cup which we thought was a good price for a popular showground.


In the centre of the show was an arena where different activities were taking place throughout the day, winching exercises, Land Rover balancing acts, motorbike stunts, one man even drove his brand new Range Rover over two telegraph poles which were 4 foot off of the floor! This was a great part of the show as there was always something interesting going on that you could stand and watch for a while.











The AutoJumble was well stocked and prices fair, ok some bits and pieces could be brought cheaper online but we find it more fun to sort through oily 2nd hand parts and grab a few extra bargains while you are rummaging.




Children were well catered for with fairground rides, huge slides and indoor driving experiences with mini Land Rovers. Even the dog enjoyed the day as nearly every exhibit had provided a bowl for dog water for which she was very grateful.

Some of the exhibits were amazing, the trouble they had gone to to create visual effects using Land Rovers in various poses were brilliant!!



Parts exhibitors had catalogues on hand for you to take home with you, some were handing out their catalogue on Cd-roms which is a great idea. My daughter spent the day collecting different advertising stickers to decorate Daddy's car with, and spending all her money at the pick'n'mix sweet stall (which was extremely expensive, the only down point of the day).


There was an off-roading track that you could pay to take your car around - but we didn't attend this part of the show. Please visit http://www.lroshow.com/ for more information.

The weather held up and we finally left the show at 4.45pm .... nearly 7 hours after arriving. The day was non-stop and was enjoyed by all of us. We can't wait for next year !!

11 Sep 2009

Giveaway !! "Glo to Sleep" Eye Mask rrp: £34

"Glo to Sleep" Eye Mask Giveaway!!



I have one "Glo to Sleep" Eye Mask to Giveaway

CLOSED: The winner is Sparky61 ... well done :)

-----------------------------------------------------------------

International Entries Welcome

Closing Date: Friday 18th September 2009 (8pm GMT)

To enter:

Leave a comment below with your Name and Email or @name.

Extra entries (Please post in seperate comments with contact details):

+2 Follow my blog.
+1 Follow @acguest on Twitter
+1 RT this giveaway and post @name below.


Good luck !!

Glo to Sleep Eye Mask

Can't sleep?

Having trouble dropping off?

Do you find you have too many thoughts and worries in your head to fall asleep naturally?


Here is your solution!!


The Glo to Sleep eye mask is not like your average eye mask, it has 'Points of Glo' that help you to relax so that you can fall asleep naturally. Inside each eye section are 4 'glo in the dark' lines, to use the eye mask effectively you hold these to the light to 'charge' them before bed (takes 30 seconds), pop on the eye mask and using a relaxed gaze hold your eyes on the small glowing lines.


As you breathe in and out, follow the lines up and down by synchronizing the pattern of lights with the rhythm of your breathing ... hey presto you relax and drift off to sleep.


If you do wake up in the middle of the night - don't worry as the Glo to Sleep mask keeps its charge for quite a few hours, so the lines will still faintly glo helping you get back to sleep.


The mask is made from really soft foam, the securing straps are soft backed Velcro and are easily adjusted for a comfortable fit. The mask is quite basically made to be honest, but I suppose the glo strips are the point of the mask and so as long as these work correctly and its comfortable then the product is a winner.


You will need to clean the eye mask as the material it is made from picks up a lot of dust and fluff, even inside its protective bag it still seems to attract fibres. To clean the eye mask simply wipe down with a clean damp cloth and leave to dry.

You can also use the Glo to Sleep mask to help you sleep on a plane, train or on holiday as it is very easy to pack. The mask comes in its own breathable carry bag.


For loads more information and to purchase a Glo to Sleep eye mask please visit:
http://www.relax-uk.com/

They take lots of methods of payment and are priced at a reasonable £34 each.


My rating: 7/10 for uniqueness.

9 Sep 2009

Celebrity Bride - Alison Kervin

Celebrity Bride by Alison Kervin

"Its the celebrity wedding of the season .... The news that Hollywood bad boy Rufus George is finally settling down has caused a media storm. Especially since his bride is a civilian - a nobody.

Kelly Monsoon is just an average English girl. She never expected to meet a mega-star like Rufus let alone have him fall in love with her. Its like a fairytale come true.

Only this Prince Charming comes with a 12-person entourage, a bevy of beautiful ex-girlfriends and the world's press camped on his doorstep. And now the small, intimate wedding Kelly always dreamed off is taking on Hollywood epic proportions ... Will this new celebrity bride ever make it up the aisle?"

The above is the blurb from the back of the book ... unfortunately they have put 'dreamed off' when shouldn't it be 'dreamed of'? Amazon has put 'of' in their write-up. Please comment below if I am wrong :)

Celebrity Bride is an interesting book - it has a splash of Pretty Woman, a drop of Bridget Jones sprinkled with a dash of paparazzi spice ... you can easily imagine how the characters look in your mind and how Kelly feels throughout her 'ordeal'.

My Rufus is a bit like George Clooney (as I like George) and Kelly is Cheryl Cole, that's how I saw them act out the storyline in my mind - their faces filling each frame as the storyline progressed.

Its not all about weddings, in fact 'the wedding' gets little mention so don't let the front cover and title fool you. The story focus's on Kelly's life and the changes she has to deal with, it covers most of the deadly sins (eg.. Extravagance, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Envy, Pride and Vanity) but the main focus is on Friendship and Love.

OK I'll admit it - I cried at the end ... but I won't tell you why! You'll have to read it yourself to find out.

Ebury Press / Fiction
ISBN 978-0-09-193211-4
£6.99 (Paperback)
374 Pages + Fiction Footnotes (Total 378)

My rating: 9/10

Sleepytot Comforters


Sleepytot Comforters

Gorgeous Sleepytot Bunny, super soft and squeezy perfect for all newborns and children who like a special toy to cuddle up to.

I like this comforter as it looks like a regular toy and its a great size to take out with you in the buggy or the car (approx size 22cm x 25cm).

All four of bunnies legs have Velcro fasteners which are brilliant for attaching it to the buggy bars/straps or car seat so that 'bunny' isn't lost on-route.

You can also attach your babies soother to bunnies paws using the Velcro to keep it safe while out and about, this feature is also very handy in the night if your baby has a passion for losing their soother (just as you have got into a lovely deep sleep).
The Velcro fastening paws are great for when your little one is older as you can attach teether and other toys to its paws helping to encourage hand/eye co-ordination for your little one.


Other great points are that the Sleepytot Bunny is fully machine washable at 30 degrees. You will still have a crying child watching bunny go round and round in the washing machine - but its all part of being a mother!! It doesn't state however if you can tumble dry bunny ?? or if it is drip dry only ... so you could still have a small child looking longingly into the garden as bunny is pegged by its ears on the line.

Sleepytot Bunny is an all-round favourite in my house, my 8 year old daughter coo'd "Ahhh he's sooo cute!", while my 12 month old niece crawled over and grabbed him (apparently ours is a boy called Fluffbags) claiming him to be hers. Priced at £12.99 they don't break the bank and so you can afford to treat all your children/young family members to a Sleepytot Comforter each - however at present you can only buy the bunny shape and style.

I'll leave my favourite part till last ...... the best part from a mothers view is the tag (I know, don't laugh) it has a section to write your details on it just in case Bunny ever does get lost - ingenious !!

Family Star Points = 8/10


Price = £12.99