Some of my old marketing career lead me through menswear so I was really pleased to have an opportunity to review a menswear item this week - in partnership with House of Fraser, I'm pleased to have received an Original Penguin check flannel mens shirt for review - with the best helper - my wonderful husband, Rich!
My House of Fraser parcel arrived swiftly and Rich was delighted with a shirt from Original Penguin - he'd never bought an Original Penguin shirt before but commented that he would buy that brand again.
The check design is great - black and white with a zesty line running through so it's one you can throw on and it'll go with anything.
It has great seam detailing, chest pockets, a little penguin embroidery, long sleeves, classic cut collar and a button placket.
The fit is spot on for it's size and flattering in it's cut and shape.
Because it's 100% cotton flannel it's lovely and soft to the touch and it washes well at 30• it's been through several washes and has retained it's shape and colour.
Maegan turned 3 in June and she is very much a fan of Doc Mcstuffins along with her older brother, Blake aged 5 who loves Chilli the snowman and Stuffy the dragon! We call Meg Doc McMaegan when she's in costume!
Maegan adores Lambie so when I was given the opportunity to review the latest Doc McStuffins Lambie toy I couldn't wait!
"Lambie is not feeling well! Rub the magic sponge onto her red spots and they magically disappear. Lambie is better! Includes Lambie, sponge, plaster cast and lots of accessories to help Lambie recover! "
Lambie has little red spots all over her and when you rub them with a sponge or your finger they disappear! The spots reappear again in moment - which in all honesty - depending on my daughter's mood - this has lead to frustration a few times as the spots reappear so quickly, Lambie is never fully spot free!
She also comes with a magnifying glass to take a closer look at all the spots.
A box of plasters with reusable sticker plasters.
A small pot with a removable lid and as Meg says "invisible magic boo boo cream"!
A plaster cast for Lambie's leg.
Lambie is made of plastic with a net tutu and soft bow - the tutu and bow are not removable.
Maegan really enjoys playing with her spotty Lambie and it's been out with us on several trips!
Spotty Lambie Playset is available from Flair at £24.99
Pringles is dialling up the fun this summer with its new disco can promotionwhich is set to be a huge hit with party-goers thisfestival season.
As part of the promotion, music lovers will be able to snap up their limited edition LED flashing adjoining speakers when they buy two promotional cans of Pringles.
To get their hands on this party essential, all they need to do is visit the Pringles website (www.uk.partyspeakers.pringles.com) and enter thebatch codes found on the bottom of each can. A £3 postage fee applies.
The speakers work by connecting to a smart phone and flash different colours to the sound of the music beats. Theycan also be linked togethertoturn up the tunes at parties, BBQs and picnics in the park.
The flavours included in the promotion are Original, Sour Cream and Onion and Salt and Vinegar. They are available now in all leading supermarkets with a RRP of £2.69 for 190g.
I have a red Pringles speaker which flashes red lights and actually worked with my iPod nano as well as my smart phone! You can also chose to have the lights off too. The kids really like the disco lights and keep asking for music :)
I reviewed a TMNT Z line toy earlier this week and thought I'd share this external competition with my readers for a chance to win some brilliant Go Ape and Turtles toys!
Get Zippy with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are Getting Zippy this autumn and are giving 20 lucky winners the chance to win a pair of tickets to a Go Ape of their choice to take part in aJunior Tree Top experience.
Ninja fans can participate by heading towww.swapit.co.uk/tmntto take part in the Getting Zippy experience. Kids simply have to catch the Turtles as they whizz across the screen on their zip lines and take part in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles quiz for their chance to win one of 20 pairs of tickets to a Go Ape experience.
The prize of tickets to Go Ape can be taken at any of the 13 locations nationwide at a date to suit the winner. The vouchers will enable the winner plus a friend to take part in a Junior Tree Top experience at the site which includes canopy exploring, trail blazing, obstacles plus negotiating crossings and finishing with an epic wind-in-your-face zip wire!
The 20 winners will also receive £50 of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Z-Line goodies including a Deluxe Playset and Figure.10 runners up will also be chosen and will receive £30 offabulous Turtles Z-Line Goodies!
To enter into the Getting Zippycompetition, fans shouldhead online to www.swapit.co.uk/tmnt before the closing date of 1stSeptember 2014 for a chance to win!
Winners will be chosen at random from entries received via print and digital entries and the winners and runners up will be notified one week after the closing date. All winning entries will be announced on Flair’s website on www.flairplc.co.uk from 7th September.
Being a kid in the 80's means that I watched the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and I'm pleased to see these little guys are still going strong and something my five year old Blake is starting to really get into! He is fascinated by martial arts and has completed his first grading in Taekwondo already!
It was exciting to have received one of the newly available Turtle playsets by Flair along with two figures to play with and review.
The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Z Line Ninja Deluxe Zipline Playsets are a brilliant idea - theyve got special strips to suspend parts to the walls so you can create a zip wire escape route for your Turtles to slide along.
We received the Billboard Breakout set which has brilliant details such as a drop down platform so you can plunge the bad guys to their doom!
The kit arrives in parts but is far quicker and easier than I expected to put together and Blake loved helping to stick the sticker decals on and play with the layout for the playset.
The special strips are removable and replaceable so you can move your playset and zip wires around as much as you want to.
The Billboard Breakout playset includes the main billboard facade which has 3 outgoing zip wires and a space for an incoming zip line, there's an attack trigger which releases a platform in front of the billboard.
The gargoyle launcher is detailed enough to look scary! There's a c-turn, pulleys and a harness too so you can really get a good set up going! We moved house in July to our "forever home" and Blake is undecided on if this should be in the Playroom or his Bedroom, actually - Blake wants to see if we can set this up in his toy cupboard so that he can play with it away from his younger sister!!!
You can buy additional zip line playsets which are all interconnectable so you can make your zip line city as large as you like! I've already had a request for the Water Tower one!
We used our playset with Splinter and Michelangelo who are available separately. Splinter action figure comes with a removable tail, and his cane so he's ready to mentor the turtles and Michelangelo action figure has absolutely loads of joints so he's fully articulated and poseable ... and really brilliant - his shell opens so you have space to hide his things!
The new range of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Z Line Ninja Deluxe Zipline Playsets and figures became available from Flair last month.
Emma in Bromley xx (twitter @beachpebble)
* I received the billboard breakout zip line playset and two characters for the sole purpose of being able to review them.
We love Miffy in our house and I'm delighted to be able to share with you one of the latest Miffy books available from the 14th August at Waterstones and all good bookshops.
The new Miffy books include Miffy’s First Day, Miffy Draws and Miffy Outdoors and I was lucky enough to be sent Miffy Draws for review.
Miffy Draws is a lovely wipe clean activity book full of Dick Bruna's wonderful artwork to finish off! There are prompts, games and challenges on each page, such as drawing a snowman, fashioning an outfit for Miffy to wear and drawing your own home next to Miffy's house.
The pages have plenty of creative space and sections with dotted line patterns and shapes to complete - these are all well designed with fine motor skills and learning to write in mind.
The book comes with a special Miffy (whiteboard) marker pen to use and the pages wipe clean with a cloth, we also used wet wipes and kitchen roll to clean each page.
Both my 3 year old daughter and 5 year old son have played with this book - both have their own individual way of interacting with this book - Maegan likes to do the patterns and swirls over the images and Blake likes to add lots of details to the pictures.
As with any Miffy book I've come across, the colours are all bold primary colours and the content is unisex so all children can enjoy the books equally.
The three latest Miffy titles are in addition to a large number of Dick Bruna's Miffy books already either republished or published for the first time this year: Miffy at the Zoo, Miffy’s Play Date, Miffy’s Day, Miffy Dress Up, Miffy’s Birthday, Miffy’s Garden, Miffy and the New Baby and Miffy on Holiday!
And to celebrate the Miffy books - Waterstones is running a competition to win a weekend in Amsterdam for a family of four, which includes a day trip to Miffy’s home town of Utrecht to see the Dick Bruna exhibition. The competition runs throughout August and is open to Waterstones loyalty card members only (customers can sign up for a loyalty card in any Waterstones branch or online at www.waterstonescard.com The winning prize for a family of 4 includes flights from a UK airport, 2 nights in a hotel in Amsterdam, plus rail tickets to Utrecht and free entry to the Dick Bruna exhibition. Emma in Bromley xx (@beachpebble) * I received a copy of Miffy Draws for the sole purpose of being able to review it.
I always get excited when we get something new in Bromley and I have to say, the latest store to open - HEMA, has not disappointed! It's such an exciting shop - an explosion of colour and I love it!
It's like a mini affordable department store!
I was sent a small selection of items to see and since then I have also shopped in the store 3 times and bought absolutely loads, including birthday presents! Shhhh - don't tell my hubby!
There's a food area - look out for the big bags of ready salted crisps for 50p - they're delish!
There's homeware, from pots and pans to tea towels and placemats, which gently glides into cake making with every colour of ready to roll fondant and bright sprinkles and sweet little storage jars like this one which I bought this week.
The children's zone includes lots of wooden toys, including wooden cars for £1 each and an adorable £6 wooden cake stand, there's also some basic clothing and outdoor toys - we picked up a small paddling pool!
The stationery section has very cool notebooks, pens and stamp sets, not to forget an impressive collection of washi tape and gift wrapping, a small tools and hardware area and party supplies!
There's also an impressive beauty area full of colourful nail polish and affordable SkinCare - I bought myself some make-up removing wipes for £1.75 and a night cream for £3 - both were paraben free too! What a result!
There's currently a voucher on the back of the brochure (available on a stand at the entrance) for a free packet of biscuits when you spend more than £5 too!
I was sent the following small selection of items available in Hema:
Orange nail polish
A pack of 2 sticker sheets
Cake decorations - sprinkles
A mint note book - with the most lovely wording on the cover!
HEMA is located on the lower ground floor opposite the Disney store in Intu Bromley (formerly known as the Glades) Emma in Bromley xx (@beachpebble)
Sylvanian Families are one of those toys that I loved in the 80's and I'm excited to see my own children enjoying them too!
To celebrate the current competition (on until 31st august) with Sylvanian Families UK, we received a Hamster family to review and use.
Just as soft as they were when I was little, these characters are full of fun!
The sweet little outfits, that my daughter enjoys removing, are well made with lots of attention to detail - right down to buttons and lace trims, a mixture of textures and easy to fasten Velcro tabs.
The Hamilton hamster family are a new addition to the collection and easily recognisable as hamsters, the family set comes with a Daddy (Huckleberry), Mummy (Hilda), boy (George) and girl (Jane)- with babies available separately.
I had a real life pet hamster when I was little so I really like this little family - Sylvanian families are great for role play, learning about animals, creating your own stories and their flocked "fur" makes them feel very special. Sylvanian Families have brilliant attention to detail and the accessories and extras you can collect, really can create an entire world!
My daughter, age 3 enjoys playing with sylvanian families enormously!
They are privileged to have a shelf on her special bed!
Maegan had the pleasure of meeting real life Freya the chocolate rabbit at the toyfair in London earlier this year and now has quite a collection, she has the chocolate rabbit family (including Freya!) a celebration rabbit family from 2012 and the ice cream playset as well as the Hamster family.
We have to be careful that Sylvanian characters are kept well away from Maegan's big brother, Blake because they become Tyrannosaurs Rex food! (Poor Hilda Hamilton!)
I have a feeling sylvanian families is going to feature largely in this years' Christmas celebrations!
Back to the competition from Epoch that I'd like to share with you - this isn't hosted by myself, just one worth sharing :-)
How the competition works:
Launched on 1 July, the #SylvanianSummer photo competition is running across the official social media platforms for the brand (Twitter: @SylvanianUK, Facebook: SylvanianFamiliesUK and Instagram: @SylvanianFamiliesUK).
Parents and children can bond over their favourite toys and work together to create engaging visual scenes with their Sylvanian Families characters.
On Twitter and Instagram each image needs to be tagged with the hashtag #SylvanianSummer, while on Facebook, the photo must be entered as a comment on a status which specifically mentions the competition.
There is a hefty selection of prizes for the best entries including a Forest Holiday worth £1,000 for the winner, and a range of prizes for runners-up including: a Sylvanian Families Grand Hotel complete with a Chocolate Rabbit Family and several furniture sets, plus 1 Sylvanian Families Cedar Terrace House, and a further 10 Chocolate Rabbit Families.
Sylvanian Families is celebrating its 30thanniversary in 2015, and this competition is the first in a series of campaigns it has lined up to rekindle the brand’s iconic status before the 30th.
The competition winner and runners-up will be announced in September.
One of the things I get most excited about as a blogger is the Boden Press Day - I've been to a few of these now and they are always brilliant fun and I get to indulge in one of my personal favourite brands - not just for my own wardrobe but also for both my children!
So back in May was the Autumn Winter 2014 Boden collection press day, it happened to fall on a day that for me was a sad one - my Nanna passed away earlier this year - not only was she the grandparent I was most closest to, but also my last one, being grandparentless has been hard to adjust to. The press day fell on what would have been Nanna Betty's birthday - the first one since she passed away.
I headed into Central London for the event and I took with me, my beautiful daughter Maegan - she absolutely adores coming along to these things with me, she's a shoe girl and a poser so more than happy to be a part of it!
Boden had done (as expected) a brilliant press day - the room was set up with amazing details and the theme was clear - two distinct themes to be precise
Country and City these for me were an instant hit! I'm a country bumpkin northern girl who did rural science at school and misses the Lake District and northern beaches more than I could ever put into words - although as a stroppy teenager listening to nirvana and stomping up Helvellyn in cherry red DM's ( when DM stood for Doc Marten's, not Direct Message) - I did not appreciate the countryside and wanted nothing more than to live in Canary Wharf - I'd decided this at the age of 9 and moved to London 14 years ago - now I fight my inbuilt urge to run for the hills! I'm an equal blend of both countryside and city so this collection spoke volumes to me!
Now, Maegan is normally an absolute delight to take along and on our journey, excitedly chatted away about what we were going to do and see - I timed our trip to the press day to fall before she got too tired and ready for nap so afterwards she could drift off for a little snooze...of course anyone with a 2 year old will tell you things never go according to plan!
After only 10mins at the event, Maegan chose to have the biggest tantrum she has ever had - the mother of all tantrums, the one I will never forget - I'm talking violence here - she pulled out a handful of my hair, kicked me, hit me and bit me so hard on the cheek, I had a bite mark for 3 days that resembled a strange love bite! I was feeling emotional enough that day anyway and this just tipped me right over the edge - I found myself stuck in a corner, crying my eyes out with a two year old going mental and refusing to let go of a dress! Mortified doesn't even come close!
After a tearful emergency call to the hubby (My Knight in Shiny Armour) who fortunately for me was at close by Selfridges at that very moment, careful detachment of the said dress and a mad, tearful, hiding behind the toddler sprint to the exit - I left.
I'm way to old to do this but ... I cried all the way to Selfridges, for many many reasons - the tantrum, the humiliation, the painful bite mark, for not being able to see most of the Boden collection, for not even getting to chat to anyone at the event, for missing out on all the yummy refreshments, for feeling like I'm never allowed to be "just me" and for my Nanna Betty's missed birthday.
As you can see from the few pieces I did manage to spy, the collection is wonderful and it is currently becoming available so please do take a moment to browse the lovely Boden A/W 14 collection - a big digital round of applause for all the brilliant Boden people, I do hope it hasn't put you off inviting me to the next one (although I may come alone!)