Tuesday, 17 October 2017

My little Halloween Star

Ben has been attending performing arts classes for nearly two years now and loves his weekly lesson. I have to say I am impressed at how he always looks so comfortable during performances whether that is dancing, singing or acting. He has been part of a lot of fun shows since joining and it makes me very proud to see him throwing himself into all these roles with such enthusiasm. 

Last night all the parents were treated to a spooky show where we got to watch a Halloween dance the kids had been working to The Addams Family theme song, "They're creepy and they're kooky, Mysterious and spooky, They're all together ooky, The Addams family". Ben really got into character, pulling some awesome facial expressions. It definitely got us in the Halloween mood, the only problem is I can't get the song out of my head...

Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Twins TV Debut

Yesterday was pretty exciting for the Twinkies as they got their first experience of being on a TV set. They will be part of an ITV show called How to spend it well at Christmas where they got to be toy testers and did an awesome job, loving every minute of it. The show will be airing in the run up to the festive season so watch this space for updates on when.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Friday the 13th - Are you Superstitious?

So it's Friday the 13th, a day a lot of us normally rational and straight thinking people fear for inexplicable reasons. Did you know there is even a name for it? Triskaidekaphobia - extreme superstition regarding the number thirteen. I have to admit I have always been wary of the date, I find myself driving more cautiously and watching out even more than usual for any potential dangers in our surroundings. It got me thinking why, and how a date and day combination can have such a crazy effect on a person's actions and thoughts.

I came across an interesting study commissioned by Gregory Tatton-Brown from Casumo.com which found that one in six adults believe Friday the 13th poses the greatest risk of bad luck striking and consider it unluckier than black cats, broken mirrors and spilled salt. Brits believe they have fallen foul of a bad omen at one time or another in their lives with 42 per cent shattering a mirror and two in five having had a black cat cross their path. Almost one third have brought bad luck upon themselves by opening an umbrella indoors and 39 per cent have risked walking under stroll a ladder.

So how did I fare today? On the whole I think I have escaped pretty lightly with a few minor incidents that to be honest could have happened on any day. First there was the whole exploding confetti balloon thanks to Tuco the chihuahua who playfully pop it with his teeth and scared me half to death with it's loud bang.

Then there was the moment when my poor 4 year old Zachary got home from school and I realised his shoes had been on the wrong feet all day, the only way I could have missed that was the weird forces that come into play on Friday the 13th surely?

Finally I managed to step in dog poo while walking through the leaves on our afternoon Pokemon hunt in the park. On the whole I think I escaped pretty lightly so far, although the day isn't over yet...

So how about you? Have you fallen foul of the Friday the 13th curse?

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Cicciobello Love n Care Interactive Doll Review

Say hello to our new addition, our little Cicciobello Love n Care baby doll from Flair. Both the twins were super excited to find that they had a baby boy to take care of, they love playing mummy, daddy and baby so this little guy was perfect for them and has been getting a whole lot of love.

Meet the Cicciobello Love n Care Baby

The Cicciobello Love n Care baby doll is simply adorable, a little bundle of cuteness in blue which Zachary was delighted to see, he instantly said to Zoey, "I can play with you and be the Daddy as he is a boy" to which she got super excited about, it's funny how the mind of a 4 year old works isn't it? Both of the twins have had access to typically boy and girl gendered toys since they were born and have formed their own views and preferences entirely on what is a boys toy or a girls toy, therefore it is interesting to see how this Cicciobello doll appeals equally to both of them, transcending the gender barrier which I have often witnessed when they choose toys to play with.

What makes this Cicciobello Love n Care doll different and special is not just how real and life like he is, but also the interactive side of taking care of him. Your child quickly learns to respond to his cries and things like his little cheeks that flush just like a real baby. It is this interactivity that the twins are most impressed with. They love trying to figure out if their baby is hungry, thirsty or ill and in need of medicine and this keeps them engaged wanting to return and play with him day after day.

The Cicciobello Love n Care Baby comes with accessories which include three bottles, a dummy, thermometer and medicine. These accessories enable your child to determine what is wrong with their baby boy and respond in different ways until he stops cry and his cheeks are no longer flushed as he drifts off to sleep being cuddled.

Our Verdict

It makes me really proud when I watch the twins interact and care for their Cicciobello Love n Care baby boy, it is so nice to see them role play at being a Mummy and Daddy and they are adorably caring and concerned over their baby. They love all the accessories, being able to check their babies temperature with a thermometer just like I do when they are ill along with pretending to be the doctor and using the stethoscope gives this doll an extra play dimension and marries two of their favourite role play games - playing mummies and daddies and pretending to be doctors and nurses.

Win a Trip to Italy with Cicciobello and Smyths Toys

Cicciobello fans are also in for an extra treat as Smyths Toys are hosting a competition for fans to win a 5 day family trip to Italy, just head over to the Smyths Toys site for more details on how to enter.

Where to Buy

The Cicciobello Love n Care doll is available to buy from Smyths Toys priced at £59.99 and is suitable for children aged 3+. I can highly recommend the Cicciobello Love n Care doll based on the play time and love he has received from my twins.  

Friday, 29 September 2017

Air Hogs Micro Race Drone Review

Ben has been wanting his very own drone forever so I just knew that the Air Hogs Micro Race Drone from Spin Master would be a massive hit and I was so right! This very cool looking red, white and black drone claims to be the Ultimate Indoor Race drone so we decided to put it to the test and check that it lives up to it's claims.

Air Hogs Micro Race Drone

In the box you will find the Air Hogs DR1 Micro Race Drone, Controller, a USB charger, spare blades and the all important Instruction Guide which we found easy to follow. You will need 2 AAA batteries which are not included. On the box you will see Luke Bannister, none other than the World Champion Drone Racer and this drone, with it's flight assist technologies such as beginner and advanced mode, height lock, automatic take-off, and auto-land promises to help you follow in his footsteps.

Putting it to the Test

We have had other drones in the past but most have proven to be really difficult to control and tend to whizz about and crash way too quickly so I was interested to see if this would be different. The great thing about the Air Hogs Micro Race Drone is the fact that there are two modes, Beginner and Advanced which makes it a great starter drone and perfect for the age it is targeted at being 8+.

We started with Beginner mode which you do by setting it on the controller, the idea is that this lets you get used to flying and handling the drone as it assists with take-off and landing and has height-lock which prevents it from spiralling out of control. The controller itself reminds me of the ones we have for our games consoles and the instructions clearly lay out what all the buttons do so it's worth taking some time and getting familiar with them before you start flying.

Be sure to get familiar with these instruction before attempting to fly!

You will be glad to hear that the sleek looking Air Hogs Micro Race Drone is engineered for durability, with a crash-resistant design, ducted propellers and a 6-axis gyro for improved stability and control. It is designed for indoor racing, and is a perfect size for manoeuvre in and out of tight spaces so lots of fun can be had flying it about the house, going from room to room like we did as our downstairs is pretty open planned which made for a perfect flight zone.

I have to admit we definitely put it's durability to the test flying it about the lounge in hot pursuit by the kids and our little chihuahua who was desperate to catch it. It did crash a few times and we had a propeller pop off when it collided with one of the Twins but it was easy to pop back on and the good news is that there are spare propellers included if you lose or damage one.

When the battery starts getting low on the drone, a green light on it begins to flash which indicates that it needs to charge. To charge it you just plug it in using the USB lead supplied and it takes 30-40 minutes to charge fully which then gives you about 10 minutes flying time.

Our Verdict

We had a lot of fun with the Air Hogs Micro Race Drone and I was pleased with how quickly Ben got the hang of controlling it and flying it about. I should also mention that there is a stunt button allows you to amp up the action with exciting tricks like 360° barrel rolls which is something we are working up to doing. It also has a communication range of 2.4 GHz and 250' which lets you challenge your friends to a race with up to four drones at a time so Ben is busy trying to persuade friends to put one on their Christmas list by getting them hooked on it when they are over to play.

Where to Buy

Air Hogs Micro Race Drone is available to buy at the usual toy retailers including Smyths Toys for £42.99 and Argos where it is currently in the 3 for 2 deal priced at £44.99 so one to consider adding to Christmas lists!