30 Sep 2010

Slinks


Recently featured on Dragons Den, Slinks are a new type of flat shoe that can be dressed up or down for any occasion.

More and more women are opting to wear fashionable flat shoes when out on sociable occasions.  Be it the Christmas party, a friends wedding or a night out on the town, Slinks can be either worn from home or popped in your bag to change into during the evening.

Each pair comes expertly presented in a silk bag, I was very impressed with the presentation of the shoes - the whole package feels very luxurious and special.

So whats the big idea?
The package contains a plain pair of handmade leather bases (the bottom bit of the shoe), this has three loops on it ready to be made into a pair of posh flat toe post shoes to your liking.
Each pack contains two different styles of straps, these fix onto the base to make the design of your shoes.  The silk pouch keeps all the bits and pieces neat and tidy, basically ready to go ... be it in your handbag or overnight bag.



First up you choose the colour of the base (you only get one colour of base in each pack), black, chocolate, truffle or ivory.





Second step is to choose which straps you would like to add to the shoes.
Each pack comes with two different types, but you can also buy further styles.  The silk pouch has extra sections to keep extra strap uppers.





Finally put the uppers (straps) on the bases (bottoms) and they are ready to wear !





Perfect as a gift for Christmas or even for the bridesmaids if you are getting married (even the bride as there have some gorgeous Ivory styles).  I know its winter coming up but if you are planning a beach wedding next year Slinks would be perfect for your trip, easy to pack and interchangeable so you can enjoy wearing them on your honeymoon too. 

The collection are priced from £70 per set which contains 1 silk bag, 1 pair of leather bases and 2 sets of straps.  The sets are versatile and the price tag reflects the amount of wear you will get from the shoes.

Extra uppers (straps) are priced between £15-£30 depending on style.

Take a look at Slinks Facebook Page for more ideas.

To purchase Slinks please visit: www.rubbersole.co.uk/

For more information please visit: http://www.slinks.com/


GET GEARED UP FOR CHRISTMAS WITH TONKA CHUCK AND FRIENDS

Make sure Tonka Chuck and Friends ‘zoom’ to the top of your Christmas list, with a brand new playset and interactive toy to choose from, Playskool has ensured all preschoolers will be in for a roaring time this Christmas.


NEW Rumblin’ Chuck is your child’s new best friend. Watch him do wheelies and get excited when his dump bed is loaded up! What’s more Rumblin’ Chuck has over 50 fun phrases and sounds that he makes when he is having fun and his face and body animate as he talks. This interactive dump truck comes complete with a storybook so you can read to your child as they act out a Tonka style adventure!
Priced at £49.99 and suitable for preschoolers age 3 years+.



Expand your Tonka collection with Chuck’s Stunt Park. Zip, zoom, turn and even flip — this playset lets you perform all of these cool stunts and more with your Chuck The Dump Truck vehicle! Press the Tonka plate to activate your vehicle and send him racing around the changeable stunt park. Send him down the rocky mountain to make him do his flip stunt or set him up for his daring two-wheeled hanging trick. This little daredevil just loves to show off with you. And, since he can drive on or off the track, you can also take him with you to sit down and read from his storybook — and plan your next big daring feat!
Priced at £39.99 and suitable for preschoolers age 3 years+.



video


Playskool has ensured all preschoolers will be in for a roaring time with the new toys from Tonka Chuck and Friends including the NEW Rumblin’ Chuck and Chuck’s Stunt Park.


View the first of our Tonka Chuck and Me mini movies here. We want you to create and send in your very own Tonka Chuck and Me mini movie creation with the help of your little one!


All you need to do is catch your tot playing with their favourite Tonka toy and film it on your video camera or mobile phone. Show us what your little one likes to fill their Tonka truck up with and get them on camera showing off their cool tricks and stunts.


The Tonka Chuck and Friends range from Playskool is available at all good retailers.
For more information visit  http://www.hasbro.co.uk/

27 Sep 2010

Pizza Hut Kids Eat Free Deal

We love Pizza Hut but it can be quite an expensive meal-out treat for the whole family. 

This summer when we  came back from our fortnight holiday we had no 'real' food in the house (like you do when you get back off your hols) so off we went to Pizza Hut for our dinner.  Now usually we order something each off of the menu and have a bit of a shock when the bills comes but this time we didn't have to worry ... why? well read on .......

I am happy to announce that they have started a Kids Eat Free deal, this has actually been running for a few months now and has proved to be extremely popular (over 900,000 happy kids have already taken advantage) so popular that they have extended the deal until January 9 2011 .  The offer is available for kids under 12 to eat free when purchasing an adult meal.

So how does it work?

For every adult main course or adult lunchtime buffet purchased, an accompanying child can choose from either a FREE 2 course kids meal (includes a drink) or a FREE kids lunchtime buffet (includes pizza, pasta and salad).

 Simple! cheeky

This is great and does make a massive difference to the cost of your meal, plus the kids get to be a bit more independent and are able to choose what they would like without you totting up the cost.  So after a day trip out during the next half term holidays finish off your day with a family meal at Pizza Hut.

My only worry was that Emma (9) is very very tall, I actually popped her passport in my bag to prove her age, they didn't ask for it but I would take along some ID for your kids just in case (if they are tall or look older than they are).

Just to give you an extra reason to visit, Pizza Hut are also offering deals on family adventure days.  On the bottom of any Pizza Hut Restaurant receipt you will find an offer code. Enter this code at http://www.pizzahut.co.uk/familyadventures to get great deals on a wide range of family activities and adventures including holidays, theme parks, zoos and more. 

))    )

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22 Sep 2010

In the night garden tea and friends playset



In the Night Garden ... Tea & Friends Playset
Pre-school children love to make Mum a nice cup of tea ... which you oooh over and pretend to slurp loudly.  The problem with playing tea party is that after 18 cups of tea you kind of get a bit bored of slurrrping and want to get on with some jobs.  This is where Igglepiggle and Upsy Daisy come in :)

The In the Night Garden ... Tea & Friends Playset contains a full size soft bodied Igglepiggle and an Upsy Daisy.  The soft toys can take over from you and your little one can serve them tea for hours without hearing one complaint from them.

With the set you can help Upsy Daisy get dressed up for her special tea party with Igglepiggle. Then you can help her set up teatime on the cozy blanket. Set includes everything needed - Igglepiggles blanket, two cups, two saucers, two spoons and a teapot and serving tray.

Make sure you have your camera ready for taking sneaky snaps of your pre-schooler playing nicely for the family album... by the time they are 10 they will swear blind they never played tea parties and you will have hard evidence to prove them wrong (and embarrass them in front of their friends... oh is that just me? what a nasty parent I am!).

The pack also contains a DVD of In the Night Garden, so when its time for bed you can pop it on and have a nice cup of 'real' tea while they settle down for bedtime.

I like the way there is two full size soft toys in the pack .. however if your son/daughter is a big fan of In the Night Garden they will probably already have the Igglepiggle figure.  I would have preferred to just have Upsy Daisy in the box and maybe more tea set items eg.. 4 cups instead of 2, a sugar bowl or milk jug, etc...
Hasbro and Playskool could have packaged these separately so you could choose between the characters or even brought both sets?? although I would expect the price to be a little lower if this was the case.

All in all they are expertly made and excellent condition, no batteries are required and they make no noise and play no tunes ... so a nice quiet toy for imaginative play.

Age 2+
Priced around £29.99
Available from all good toy shops and high street retailers. 

Goodnight Friend Igglepiggle

In the Night Garden .... Goodnight Friend Igglepiggle

In the Night Garden is a tv show on Cbeebies, it is a very colourful magical picture-book place that exists between waking and sleeping in a child's imagination ... apparently.  To me its a nice pre-school show with lovable characters, uses keywords and rhymes to educate your child plus happy nursery rhyme style music which continues throughout the show.

Igglepiggle is the key character in the show, he travels by boat to the magical land where he meets and plays with his friends.  All children have their favourite character but Igglepiggle is most pre-schoolers favourite, well he is definitely popular in my mother-in-laws house when all my nieces are round.

Hasbro and Playschool have brought out a range of toys based on the In the Night Garden series. 
Goodnight Friend Igglepiggle is a soft toy with cuddly slippers and removable pyjamas, to be able to take off and on the clothing of a soft toy promotes manual dexterity skills in young children so this is a very good factor.  Igglepiggle also has his blanket with him which attaches to his hand with Velcro.

The lovable soft toy comes with a real working lantern which glows by pressing the button on the front.  The lantern is made from sturdy plastic and powered by 2 AAA batteries (included), these are hidden behind a screwed down flap so you will be able to change them if they ever run out.

Included in the box is a small 'Goodnight Friends' storybook for your little one to 'read' while cuddling Igglepiggle at bedtime.

I am impressed with the amount of fasteners that hold the toy into the box.  Igglepiggle is held in with 2 fasteners, the lantern is held in by plastic and the slippers with cardboard and some ties.  In comparison to other brands this is excellent! sometimes we have to have a production line to open up toys from the vast amount of packaging and wire ties ... Goodnight Friend Igglepiggle isn't like this at all, I estimate an adult can get in the box and have the toy ready in under 4 minutes, great for an impatient 2 year old on Christmas morning.

Age 2+
Priced at around £19.99
Available from all good toy shops and high street retailers.

21 Sep 2010

CLARKS LAUNCH 'EVERY SHOE TELLS A STORY' FACEBOOK COMPETITION


From beautiful designer heels to battered old trainers – what story do your shoes tell?


Clarks invites you to share the story behind your favourite pair of shoes to be in with a chance of winning a £3,000 holiday of a lifetime or one of 7 free pairs of shoes given away weekly for six weeks!

During the Facebook competition “Every shoe tells a story” the judges will pick their 7 favourite stories each week to win a free pair of shoes. In addition, stories can be voted on by the public and in order to win the grand prize the story must make the top 10 finalists at the end of the competition. The judges will choose the winner of a £3000 Trailfinders Gift Card from these finalists – so make sure you tell all your friends to vote!

We believe in the transformational power of shoes, which is why we put so much care into every pair. Shoes can change the way you look and feel – whether it’s giving you the confidence to ace that interview, or helping you dress to impress on that nerve-wracking first date.

Shoes are one of the most personal items of clothing we can buy, moulding themselves to our feet and carrying us through good and bad; every shoe really does have a story and we would love to hear yours as part of our Stand Tall Walk Clarks campaign.

The competition launches on 7th September and runs for 6 weeks - to enter simply visit http://www.facebook.com/clarks.shoes?v=app_125751337471199 and upload a picture of you and your shoes with a sentence or two about their story and how they make you feel.

Submission and public voting will be open from 8th September to 18th October; the grand prize will be announced on 27th October.

7 Sep 2010

[A'kin] Hand, Nail and Cuticle Creme

[A'kin] Hand, Nail and Cuticle Creme

This hand cream is full of goodness .... are you ready?
Lavender, Geranium, Jojoba, Vitamin B5, Vitamin E and Shea Butter.

Promoting soft, supple hands and strong nails the natural ingredients totally echo their claims with the properties they add to the hand cream.  Soothing and calming vitamin E and B5, nourishing and moisturising for hands and cuticles, plus all together they keep your skin supple and youthful.

I admit I am not a hand cream fan, I don't like the oily sticky feeling they sometimes leave you.  This cream claims to 'leave no oily residue' but if I am completely honest ... it does.  I end up with a film over my skin, not just on my palms but on the backs of my hands too.  I also found it really really thick and hard to rub in.

Fragrance wise its quite pleasant, lavender is apparent and like other products I have reviewed from the same range there is a common fragrant theme.

Having dry hands I did find the cream moisturising, but I had to wash my hands a few minutes after applying as I couldn't stand the sticky feeling.
A top point to add is that the tube is security sealed with a foil tab under the screw top flip cap, this is great as you know the contents are new and clean, plus it won't ooze everywhere on transit should the top come undone.

At £7.99 for 75ml it is quite good value as I think the tube will last quite a long time.
Please visit: http://www.mypure.co.uk/akin-body-care-b101/lavender,-geranium-jojoba-hand,-nail-cuticle-cream-p41 for more information.

Living Nature Balancing Shampoo and Conditioner

Living Nature
Balancing Shampoo & Conditioner

Living Nature pride themselves on using only 100% natural products in their products, this includes the fragrance and all ingredients. 

Living Nature Balancing Shampoo contains kumerahou flowers/leaves for their natural lathering properties and kelp extract to provide essential nutrients and minerals.
The fragrance is lovely, very soft and mild, it lingers on your hair long after drying but doesn't interfere with your additional perfume or body spray like some other shampoo's. 
As a liquid the shampoo has a silky sheen and is quite thick yet viscous.  I am impressed with the consistency as you can pour it into your hands without it dribbling through your fingers, yet it is easy to spread around wet hair and cover all sections effectively.

During washing the bathroom fills with the fragrance and it foams up nicely.  I found I only needed to wash my hair once as my wet hair felt squeaky clean after rinsing (sometimes I wash twice with other brands).
Washing out the suds was also quite simple with warm water.

Using the conditioner was a bonus for my hair as I do not normally use conditioner.
Living Nature Balancing Conditioner contains hydrating active manuka honey, the ingredients also contain fruit extracts to detangle and add moisture.

Again the fragrance is lovely, its the same as the shampoo but not as strong.  The consistency of the conditioner is quite thick and creamy, you can easily use it on only certain parts of your hair if you wish (for example if you only need conditioner at the ends) as it doesn't run all over the place.  Think of a good hand cream consistency and this is what the conditioner is like.

Again the conditioner is easy to spread through wet hair, I didn't need to use much and my hair is quite thick.  However I found it quite difficult to wash out, I felt like it coated my hair a little too much for my liking but not as a regular user of conditioner this may be normal.

After drying my hair felt clean and fresh, the range is for 'all hair types' and it has cleaned all of my families hair very well.  Sometimes when we change brands Emma's acne flairs up a bit on her forehead but with Living Nature it has stayed quite calm and clear.

Price wise they are a little steep, regular people (like me) wouldn't be able to use these as a daily shampoo.
200ml = £14.99 from  http://www.mypure.co.uk/living-nature-b87 for each product.

1 Sep 2010

Ladycross Plantation


Situated just outside of Whitby, North Yorkshire, Ladycross Plantation is a lovely quiet and friendly caravan site.

On arrival the site team helped us set up and unhook our caravan.  We were situated on a good sized pitch but it was on a very slight slant .. this meant we had a large step to get into the van which was a little disappointing as we only have a single tier caravan step, it was hard work to climb in and out.  We backed onto nice woodland but the area behind our van got very boggy in wet weather.

The site is extremely quiet with a lot of seasonal pitches.  We found that although we had quite a lot of space the seasonal are spread out far more than the tourers who only come for a week or two.



All was going well, we got settled in and put up the awning, then 'nextdoor' arrived and their pitch seemed much much smaller than ours.  We felt as if they were too close to our van and we had no room to put our car in between our van and their awning.  Due to them being so close it was if they watched our every movement, we even started putting our blinds down while eating to stop them watching us.  When they packed up we quickly put our car next to our caravan so that the next people couldn't pitch so close.



The site office is very helpful and sells bread, milk, eggs etc.... if you need to borrow extension leads or other equipment they are readily available and have a £10 deposit fee (returned to you when you take them back).  The office will also order newspapers for you and puts up notices daily about the fish & chip van's times.

The Fish & Chip Van comes on Wednesdays 5pm, Fridays and Sundays 7pm.  I was really excited (don't laugh) as I had never had fish & chips from a van before which Andy thought was really odd.  On Wednesday I made the whole family come back early from Whitby just so that we could have dinner from the van ..... a big disappointment, it was rubbish.  Each box was a small wet bit of fish, a few chips and the curry sauce tasted too sweet (so sweet I gave mine to Andy).  For what we received it was very expensive, so be warned ... the fish & chips in Whitby are 1000 x better than what you get from the travelling van.

Ladycross Plantation is a very clean and tidy site.  They have rules and you have to stick to them .. for example ALL dogs must be on leads at all times, the site has chickens which are loose around the grounds and so dogs need to be kept tied up.  Obviously all dog muck must be picked up and there are doggy bins situated around the site and in the woodland.

There are two toilet blocks, one new and the other older (but still in very good condition).  The new block has very low water pressure, you have to literally stand in the gutter with your back against the tiles to get the hot water on your body.  The new blocks showers also have a push button for the showers which only last 40 seconds (I counted), to wash your hair was a nightmare!  However the water was very hot, too hot for Emma but nice for adults.  The  new block shower stalls were a good size and had room to out your clothes and towels so they didn't get wet.  The site staff did tell us that the site has recently been taken over and the water pressure is on the list of things to improve.
The older blocks showers were better as you could move the shower head and adjust the temperature settings, being a tap you also didn't have to push a button every 40 seconds.  This was much easier to wash Emma's hair and my own.  However the stalls seemed smaller and it was a bit of a squash to get Emma and I dressed after showering.

All the shower and toilet areas were very clean, the showers had a mop to mop out after use although by the end of the morning the mops made them dirtier than when you started,  I am not sure if any cleaning agents were in the bucket which would be a good idea if there wasn't.

Food preparation areas and washing up sinks were plentiful and clean.  Cloths were provided to wipe down after use and these seemed to be new daily.

For water/waste water there were points all around the site, these were up on 2 runs of bricks which was a bad idea, I personally couldn't lift the full containers on or off the bricks without bumping or damaging my containers so Andy had to fill and empty them.  The chemical waste disposal is waist height but really really clean, it had a hose pipe to swill and also a proper flush to full away the contents, I was very impressed with the chemical waste sites.



The site is a 5 star site, for woodland walks, location and cleanliness it deserves the 5 stars. 
The site is quiet, lighting at night is good (great for looking at the stars but you can still find the loos) and the location is great for Whitby, Robin Hoods Bay, Scarborough and loads of attractions and beaches.
Security at the site is brilliant, you get given a barrier pass (£10 deposit) to get in and out, so without it no one can drive in and wander around the caravan park.

The TV reception is great, we received loads of digital channels on our tv without an extra ariel (we have a 12 volt digital telly).  BUT there is NO or very little mobile phone reception for O2 and no Internet connection for Vodaphone dongles.  Andy could make a call on his IPhone only if he stood in the middle of the field and shouted a lot while standing on one leg and waving a metal coat hanger about (ok I lied about the coat hanger).

Prices are also very fair and they do not charge extra for electric hook ups, a dog or your awning.

To improve the site a small children's area would be an advantage as Emma went scooting off on her scooter but we didn't know where on the site she was, with the addition of a small play area we would be able to locate her easily and also the children would make friends easier.

Other improvements would be the water pressure (which is on the site owners list) and to lower the bricks around the water points. 

All-in-all we had a lovely 10 days at Ladycross Plantation and we would definitely return.

For more information about the site please visit: http://www.ladycrossplantation.co.uk/