Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The blog post full of Elephants! En Gry and Sif

I'm a fan of En Gry & Sif, a brand from Denmark which is just full of gorgeous scandinavian handmade wooly and felt goodness - and I'm excited to spot them on offer until friday - the collection and offers feature far more than just elephants by the way ...  I simply wanted to highlight the elephants because I actually woke up with elephants on the mind this morning (whole other story!)... and who doesn't love a Nellie!

En Gry and Sif Elephant bag with four baby elephants
Elephant bag with four baby elephants usually £42 on offer at £21.99

En Gry Sif Circus elephant
Circus Elephant usually £31 on offer at £16.99

En Gry Sif Circus Puppets
Set of Circus Puppets usually £9 on offer at £7.99

En Gry Sif Knitted Elephant
Knitted elephant in a crown jumper usually £21 on offer at £12.99

En Gry Sif Knitted Elephant
Knitted elephant in a pink dress and crown usually £21 on offer £12.99 
En Gry Sif elephant basket
Blue felt elephant basket usually £37 on offer at £17.99

En Gry Sif elephant basket
Pink elephant felt basket usually £37 on offer at £17.99

En Gry Sif elephant basket
Green felt basket usually £37 on offer at £17.99

En Gry Sif Circus
Carry along circus with figures usually £42 on offer at £21.99

en gry sif elephant bag

Blue elephant bag usually £17 on offer at £10.99

En Gry Sif Green elephant
Green elephant usually £18 on offer at £10.99

Happy Elephant Shopping!

Emma in Bromley xx

Friday, 12 December 2014

Christmas and Winter Craft - Marshmallow Snowmen

I can't claim this idea - it's one I Pinched from one of the school fair crafts!

I thought it would be the perfect craft for a Christmas dinner table setting to keep little ones occupied while all the food is being set out, served up or between courses.

Or an idea to bank for the colder wet days when something is needed to stop the kids from suffering cabin fever, or like in our house these past few weeks - you have poorly kids!

You'll need:
Icing sugar
A biscuit - we had a gingersnap
A big marshmallow 
A small marshmallow 
Sweeties for decorating (smarties for buttons, chocolate drops for eyes, edible ribbon strips or strawberry laces for scarf , small red nerds to make a mouth etc)
A hat - ours is a chocolate button with a liquorice alsort stuck on top.
Matchmaker (you can buy a bag of mini matchmakers!) for arms

You can be as creative as you like with your snowman!

Marshmallow Snowmen

Marshmallow Snowmen
Marshmallow Snowmen

Marshmallow Snowmen
Marshmallow Snowmen

Whilst Blake was making his - 1 smartie, the scarf (ribbon sweetie) and all the red mouth nerd dots somehow disappeared! 

Emma in Bromley xx

Marshmallow Snowmen

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide 2014 - Part 2

I can't believe how fast Christmas is coming - I've been working on my Christmas gift guides since July - I've already published part 1 and a separate one I created for Joules and Ta Da! Here is part 2 - grab a cuppa and get inspired because if you are anything like me, I know you are probably only half way through your shopping!
Emma in Bromley Christmas Gift Guide Part 2 2014

Hexbug Green Hammerhead Shark Aquabots
HEXBUG have been on the horizon for me for a little while now, Blake is 5 and HEXBUG are officially on his radar! Absolutely love this very clever HEXBUG Fish - well green Hammerhead Shark! He's intelligent so you can leave him in the tank and he will switch off when you are no longer playing with him - he swims at different speeds at will so very entertaining and I love how the Aquabots are described as part pet, part toy - look out for the packs that come with a fish bowl to keep him in.

Hexbug Green Hammerhead Shark Aquabots

Bee Good Hand Repair and Lip Balm set
Bee Good Hand Repair and Lip Balm set  - This was the first time I have used this brand but they are fast becoming a favourite - I love the philosophy behind the brand and they are paraben (and other nasties) free - the hand repair is a godsend for me at the moment - a change in season always leaves me with dry hands! This is a lovely gift set and smells divine! http://beegood.co.uk/
Beautifully scented Frankinsence and Myrh marble candle from local Arcadian Candles is the perfect aroma to use over the festivities - there is a wonderful range available - the marble candles are really special. http://arcadian-candles.co.uk
In The Night Garden Hair Accessories and Jewellery
In The Night Garden Hair Accessories and Jewellery are bright and colourful rubbersied wonders to entertain your littlest girly and her dressing up games - available from amazon. 

Roald Dahl Scrumdiddlyumptious The Works

Roald Dahl is still a big hit with children of all ages and I can't wait to get stuck into The BFG! Roald Dahl Scrumdiddlyumptious bookset from The Works 
Flo -Jo Knicker making kit
This Flo -Jo Knicker making kit is sure to bring a smile to the face - a humours gift that is also beautiful is hard to find indeed! Pretty vintage fabric and everything you need to make your own pair of fancy pants http://flo-joboutique.co.uk/
Mums Office Party Book

Mums Office Party Book
Love this silver mock crock glamourous Party Planning book from Mums Office - brilliantly considered layout for mums to use for planning and recording all your entertaining with friends and family.  Dinner parties, family gatherings and kids birthday parties this book is a lovely momento http://www.mumsoffice.co.uk/products/stationery/mumspartybook.html

Sugru Tins
Sugru is one of my favourite fix it items - it's like plasticine that sets as hard rubber - you can use it to customise, fix and make things! It is a parent staple for repairing toys and I'm loving these handy stocking filler little tins featuring new colours! The website is loaded with ideas and the fix it advent calendar on the site is full of things you'd never think of! http://sugru.com/

Father Christmas Dolly
Father Christmas Dolly
A Father Christmas dolly to snuggle up to has been the perfect addition to our living room and my three year old loves him to bits - my five year old doesn't get a chance to play with him! He's a good size and very cuddly - he's well made with great attention to detail such as his little belt buckle. http://www.happydayskids.co.uk/Christmas-toys-and-gifts.html

In The Night Garden Lullaby Toys
In The Night Garden Lullaby Toys
In The Night Garden Lullaby Toys

In The Night Garden Lullaby Toys
For the youngest family members, these wonderful In The Night Garden lullaby toys are brilliant! Glowing Bedtime Makka Pakka plays melodies as his tummy runs through a gentle sequence of colourful light while Lullaby Igglepiggle plays lullaby and ITNG music whilst gently moving his head to the music and playing a light sequence in his cheeks. http://www.goldenbeartoys.com/collections/in-the-night-garden?view=all

Cola Bottle Shaped Clock
This amazing cola shaped clock was intended as a kitchen accessory but has become a feature in my husband's man cave (garage) - a brilliant gift if you are looking for something unusual - there's also an Ice-cream shaped clock - which I might buy for the kitchen seeing as I've lost this one to the garage! from Red Candy http://www.redcandy.co.uk/product-newgate-cola-bottle-wall-clock.php

Solar Powered Frog Water Feature

Solar Powered Frog Water Feature
I'm a fan of solar powered anythings and I love this sweet frog water feature, he gently babbles away when a beam of sunlight directly hits the solar panel - took moments to set up and is a wonderful feature i our garden where we've had a few wintery sunbeams breaking through the clouds and hitting the solar panel. http://www.primrose.co.uk/ceramic-frog-solar-water-feature-p-47524.html

Le Toy Van wooden doctors set
Le Toy Van wooden doctors set

We spotted this wonderful Le Toy Van doctors set at the toy fair earlier this year and loved it - its also won awards and its clear to see why - this lovely set is well made and all the medical instruments are wooden toys with sweet details like a clicky lid on the tablet bottle, the set all packs away into a bright red doctors bag.

laser cut printed acrylic charms from Craft Jam
Absolutely adore these laser cut printed acrylic charms from Craft Jam  - the horse has been customised to read Ridey - my 3 year old daughter's imaginary horses name, and the blue Swallow is simply lovely! http://craftjam.co.uk/
Wentworth Wooden Jigsaws
Jigsaws make great gifts - my children love them and we have a lot of jigsaws - they always enjoy them and some of them can be quite challenging - I actually found this one to be a challenge! 4 shaped Wentworth Wooden Jigsaws in one bag - these are really good quality and feature quirky little "whimsy" pieces that my children loved - ohhh and the wood smell that greats you when you first open the box is wonderful! http://www.jigsaws.co.uk/bestsellers/692507.htm
Blake Clement wearing Warmsters Monster Gloves
Blake Clement wearing Warmsters Monster Gloves
Hee Hee - how sweet are these Warmsters monster gloves! these ones might actually stay put during the winter! Available in a selection of colours and sizes, these would make a great secret santa or stocking filler! http://www.warmsters.com/

Q Pootle 5 - Pootle All The Way
Anyone who reads my blog will have noticed I often feature the lovely little alien - Q Pootle 5 and we were delighted with the special Christmas DVD Q Pootle 5 Pootle All the Way - perfect for a christmas movie for those little people in our lives!

Dolce Gusto Jovia
Dolce Gusto Oblo
Last Christmas I got a Dolce Gusto coffee machine - it's been used pretty much every day since and has been brilliant for all our guests since we moved house in the summer - I'm loving the latest two models - the Jovia and the Oblo machines - 15 Bar Pressure so you get a great cuppa :-)

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Emma in Bromley xx

Disclaimer: Some of these items have been sent to me for the sole purpose of reviewing them, some specifically for this post, some I've featured in the past, some items are my very own personal christmas shopping which I just wanted to share, some are loan items which I've returned and some brands have sent me lovely thank you gifts for including them. I haven't received any money for this blog post.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Bromley Christmas Event - Christmas Fair at St Georges Primary School

St George's Primary School on Tylney Road has a lovely Christmas Fair on Saturday (6th)
Father Christmas himself will be there - you can book a time slot at the reception on the way in and I have to say, last year the Grotto was lovely, Father Christmas and his helpers made my children so happy and the gift was perfect - looking forward to going along again this year - I'll be heading for the crafts first!

There's an area for children only where they can go and buy or make a gift for parents.

Lots of stalls, gifts and games to take part in.

Treasure hunt: We’ve got an exciting new treasure hunt for the children this year. It will cost £1.50 to participate and all those who complete the treasure hunt get an exciting prize which they can collect at the Lucky Dip stall.

Santa Claus bookings: Santa Claus will be paying us a visit on the 6th and this year, to avoid queues, we will be introducing a booking system so that you have a dedicated time reserved per child, to visit Santa. Bookings will be taken at the fair in reception area from 11-11:30 and thereafter at the entrance to the Santa Grotto. The cost will be £2 per child.

New crafts: We’ve got some exciting crafts in place this year, including: *Christmas card making *gingerbread man decorating * making reindeer food *decorating ornaments

Raffle prizes: Be sure to get your raffle tickets this year to be in with a chance to win prizes including: *an iPad mini *his and hers hampers *children’s hampers *pamper hamper *Thames Clippers Family Roamer tickets *2 cinema tickets *Voucher for Pink Garlic restaurant *Voucher for Fired Up pottery.

Emma in Bromley xx

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Christmas and the Argos Wishlist App

Hands up who used to circle things in the Argos catalogue or cut things out and stick them on paper in the run up to Christmas? 
Argos Wishlist AppIt's something I remember doing as a child - it was one of those exciting pre Christmas things - picking out what you wanted! The Argos catalogue was always the one that had everything in it when I was little - I remember spending what felt like hours carefully browsing and circling or cutting out the things I wanted to ask Father Christmas for - as a child it felt like hours but now I'm a parent I realise that it was probably only a few minutes ha ha - probably that moment to short for my mum to have a full hot cuppa! 

I kept meaning to pick up a copy of the Argos catalogue for my children to enjoy the fun of picking out things - but I have to say I either forgot to collect one or I simply didn't have enough hands to carry one - they're pretty packed now! 

My children at 3 and 5 are a bit young to sit at the computer and browse unaided (this might partly be down to me not wanting to share my mac though!)

So when I was asked to review the new Argos Wishlist App, I was intrigued to say the least! This is so much fun, I don't know who the brains are behind it but it's exactly a digital modern paperless version of the old cutting and sticking. - if I were to guess, I'd say a parent (and 80's child) has had input into this app!

A parent sets up the App first -(you need answer a very simple maths sum to enter the parent area, mine was 5-2)  you can select a spend limit so you can set how much each item can cost - it's a slider you can adjust - for example set so it only shows items up to £100 - it'll go all the from £1 to £570 per item.

You can also set how many items can be added to the list from 1 up to 30 items 
Argos Wishlist App

You set your email addy so when your child sends the list to Father Christmas - it goes to your email address instead ;)

You can add more than one child too so everyone can have a go - i'm not sure if there's a limit but we added 6 lists without any problems.

Your little one selects one of the cute little Argos monster helpers to guide them through the list. 

At the top of the app is a scrolling carousel for your child to select the category - my children had no problems at all recognising the branding logos - all are categorised and there's loads - Lego, marvel, spiderman, baby annabel, spiderman, nerf, my little pony, star wars,  frozen, duplo, crafts, board games etc there's a lot! I didn't even need to show my children how to use this, they both instinctively new to scroll with their finger. 
Argos Wishlist App

Your child simply clicks on the photo of a toy they like which enlarges it and some toys have a few images, if it's the one they want,  click the green add button to include it in the gift list.
Argos Wishlist App

Once your child has added items, they can tap on their helper to take them to the gift list - they can add stars rating their number 1 gift etc, they can draw or write notes using the little pencil and when they are ready, they can post the list to the North Pole by clicking on a little envelope - all the little helpers wave the letter off :)

Argos Wishlist App

It's a great app for the kids to play with and give you hints and ideas - the version you recieve via email is exactly as your little person created it - when I first opened the Wishlist email on my iphone and clicked on an item it just took me to the Argos mobile home page and not the actual product - but then I noticed if I scrolled down just a little bit - the emailed copy actually very cleverly shows you all the items on the list with a link directly to the product, it's name and the price! You can forward the email on to other family members too. 

Argos Wishlist App

My little people enjoyed playing with this app - I think a lot of what they clicked they didn't quite understand - such as lots of disney infinity figures - they don't know what these really are or what they do but just think they are toy figures. There were a lot of comments about how they've seen "this and that" on the TV and some things they've added that they already have but it was good fun for them - it has actually left me with some interesting ideas and hints and confirmed some of my suspicions about their preferences :)

A little while after playing with the app, both my children found ways of making up their own games based on what they had seen - my little girl kept pretending to be one of the monster helpers and my little boy kept doodling wishlists on his magnetic drawing pad!

We tried it on both my iPad mini and iphone and it was a hit for us - much more than I expected if I'm honest! 

Emma in Bromley xx

disclaimer - I was invited by Argos to review the new app and as a thank you gift, I received a reusable shopping bag with a small toy and a pair of ear phones.