destination picture 2

Kids Clothes Shopping with Outfit at MK1

Luke’s Shopping Trip…

I am not really that keen on clothes shopping and normally try and just get my Mum to buy me things I know I will like but when Outfit at MK1 in Milton Keynes asked us to come and check out their kids range I thought I would give clothes shopping another try!

We went over to the MK 1 Shopping Park on Saturday and headed across to Outfit. I hadn’t realised they did kids clothes until now but their range is really good. Lottie and I both found plenty of things we liked and had fun deciding what we thought was best for each other. We finally narrowed it down to the things we wanted to try on and headed for the changing rooms.

Normally this is the bit I really hate about having to try on clothes but the changing rooms at Outfit were good, there was plenty of them and they big with proper doors that locked so you could try things on in peace.

I tried on quite a few things and liked them all, including a pair of jeans that were different to the ones I normally buy- they were skinny jeans and they were actually really comfortable  which I was surprised at. I didn’t need any jeans at the moment but when I do my Mum is going to take me back there.

In the end I decided to go for a brilliant Christmas jumper- it’s perfect for me as it isn’t too fussy and it is a hoody so I liked the style, a pack of two t-shirts that I liked and that my Mum agreed were a bargain and a shirt that is really soft and comfortable but smart enough to keep my parents happy over Christmas.

I might still not be the biggest fan of clothes shopping but I know I will be happy to go back to Outfit next time I need to get new clothes as there was plenty I liked and they all fit really well…. Lottie on the other hand will probably be asking to go back tomorrow!

Lottie’s Shopping Trip…

I love shopping for clothes and trying them on to see what I like. I found lots of things in Outfit that I really liked and got to try on lots and lots of things!

I think I tried on four dresses, two pairs of trousers, two jumpers and three tops! I loved everything but we decided to choose the things I liked the most. I was stuck on the dresses because I really liked a lot of them but choose a black velvet-feel sparkly long sleeve one because I haven’t got any other like it and it will be really pretty for our school disco- I think it will be very sparkly when I dance!

 

I picked a pair of sparkly leggings too because they were so nice and the t-shirt that I liked best of all.

I also wanted a Christmas jumper like Luke and I couldn’t decide which one but in the end I picked a polar bear one because it was so warm and soft- I love it and made Luke wear his with me when we went shopping for Christmas decorations the other day!

I would like to go back to Outfit soon as there was a flowery dress that I really liked and there was some accessories that I would like to get too.

We also got a cute robot T-shirt for our little brother (he loves robots!) and they had lots of other things for little toddlers that were really sweet.

A note from our Mum

We were really impressed with the Kids range at Outfit, it was fashionable and appealing to children but still practical, age appropriate, well fitting and comfortable for them- what more can you ask for?!

At the time of shopping several of the items also had 30% discount on them making our shopping a real bargain but even without this the clothes were well priced and competitive to other children’s clothing retailers.

I have only washed everything once but it has all come out fine and I have high hopes that the clothes will wash well as they seem to be good quality.

We will be heading back to Outfit at MK1 Shopping Park soon- there was a good selection for all three of the age brackets of our children, toddler through to ten, as well a great selection of hair accessories and bags, making it quite straightforward to get everything we need quickly and easily in one go.

They even have a Costa in store at MK1 so you can treat yourself to a well earned coffee once you have kitted the kids out!

 

 

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post with Outfit and MK1 Shopping Park but all thoughts and opinions are our own and Lottie is counting down to when she can next wear her new Christmas jumper again!

 

 

 

 

 

destination picture 2

Scalextric BTCC Touring Car Battle Review

If you haven’t ever raced on a Scalextric track then you are missing out! No matter how old you are you will love it.

I was so excited to be sent the BTCC Touring Car Battle Scalextric set to test. I couldn’t wait to get started! As soon as my little brother went to bed we cleared a space in our dining room and set it up so my Dad and I could have a race (or three!) before bedtime. I soon got the hang of it and was able to find a pace that I could go fast at but that I had stopped crashing the cars off the track at and I was quickly giving my Dad a proper race!

The racing was brilliant, you can start at the amount of laps you want to do and the counter clicks down as you go- I lapped my Dad loads of times! If you want to do a shorter race you can do much less but I like doing long races!

The track comes with two cars and these are amazing copies of Jack Goff and Gordon Shedden’s BTCC cars- you can also buy extra cars to use too which I really like the idea of doing. The cars are really realistic and I enjoyed taking a turn at driving them both.

My friend came round to play with it the other day and we set it up by ourselves- it was easy to do without any grown up help as each piece has a letter printed on the back and it clips together easily. My Mum said it is much easier to build than the one her brother had when they were young.  We liked that is had 4 different race track setups that we could choose from. My friend also took a little while to realise you need to start slow and steady and then build up your speed if you don’t want to go flying off the track but we soon were able to have a good race. We did manage to knock a spoiler off one of the cars during a crash but it clipped back on again easily which was a relief!

I have really enjoyed playing with the BTCC Touring Car Battle Scalextric and think it is going to get plenty of use. I can’t wait until after my birthday party when my friends are coming back to my house for a tournament!

I think this would make a great Christmas gift for BTCC fans, Scalextric fans or just competitive people! I do think it’s a bit tricky for younger children as they might crash a bit much but think anyone over 6 or 7 would love it, including grown ups!

 

 

Disclaimer: We were gifted this Scalextric set for review purposes but all thoughts are my own

 

destination picture 2

Lottie Loves…Dance Gear Made to Measure Range

By Lottie age 6

I was sent a beautiful dress to wear for ballet. It was the Child’s Romantic Tutu from Dance Gear.

I wore it to ballet last week and it is lovely. When I put it on it is very comfortable and I feel like a princess! It is brilliant for twirling in.

My ballet teacher thinks it is really beautiful and some of the other Mummy’s asked my Mummy where we got it from.

I hope I am allowed to wear my dress for our Christmas show….I would like to wear it everyday!

A Note from Mummy:

Once we eventually narrowed down the long list to decide which item we would like to see from the extensive range and provided Lottie’s measurements the dress arrived very quickly. The sizing is perfect and Lottie absolutely loves it.

The whole range is full of amazing dancewear for both children and adults- there are choices of 80 designs with over 80 different fabrics, colours and patterns. You can even go for a combination of different colours on some of the layered items which makes a really unusual and special outfit. The range is reasonably priced, it is certainly in line with what you would expect to pay and the quality is excellent. All the dancewear from the Dance Gear Made to Measure range is made to order in the UK and because of their experience within the dance industry the people at Dance Gear know how important it is to get the orders made and delivered as quickly as possible.

Lottie is thrilled with her tutu and we would have no hesitation in recommending anyone looking for dance clothing to take a look at Dance Gear Made to Measure range.

 

 

Disclaimer: This was a collaborative post for which we received product to review but all thoughts are our own.

destination picture 2

Birthday Balloons!

If you follow our posts then you will know that Lottie recently had a fairy garden party for her birthday– she had been planning it for months and months and knew exactly what she wanted to do with her friends but we didn’t know how best to decorate the garden to turn it into the perfect setting, so she was really excited when we were offered to review some of the huge range of Qualatex balloons from Pioneer Europe.

We actually had a lot of fun looking through their online catalogue and choosing the balloons we would like- they have loads. I really like their Star Wars ones but funnily enough Lottie wasn’t keen on then for a Fairy Garden party! They had plenty of choice for any theme though and it gave us some great ideas for future parties we would like to have! In the end we had quite a long list of balloons we liked the look of and were able to start getting them organised.

The balloons arrived really quickly and we were even able to get the weights and ribbons we needed with them and as soon as our helium arrived we were ready to get them blown up for the party the next day.

The balloons looked absolutely amazing when they were inflated, Lottie thought they were beautiful. Some of them- like the trees and bumble bees are absolutely huge and the others inflated to be really round and looked really good.

When everyone started to arrive at the party the children were all really excited about the balloons- we put some of the normal latex balloons at the end of our path, there was a huge bumble bee outside the front door and some normal ones attached to the door, the children then went through to the garden where they were able to see loads of fantastic Tinker Bell balloons, another bumble bee, a huge butterfly and some pretty round flower and butterfly balloons.

My Mum had asked if we needed to do anything special to set the balloons up as Qualatex do some really fancy displays with arches and things that looked like they could be a bit tricky but these ones were very easy to set up- they suggested using a regulator to fill them to the right amount and that the round ones looked nice in groups of three of each of the same balloons. We grouped them like they suggested and they did looked really good in a small bunch and it meant they could be used to decorate each table.

All the parents said how much they liked the balloons and asked where we got them. The garden looked perfect for a fairy garden party, Lottie was so pleased with it.

At the end of the party we gave each of the children a balloon to take home with their party bags, they were very pleased to have one to keep especially when they found out they could be refilled.

The balloons that were left over lasted quite a long time after the party and still were completely inflated for our family tea party three days later and we really like the idea that they can be blown back up.

We loved the balloons, they looked brilliant and were great fun to set up and play with later. The people at Qualatex recommended a regulator when filling them and we didn’t managed to get one in time but my Dad said we definitely should use one next time as the round balloons could have been even bigger if he hadn’t been worried about bursting them, although they were still fantastic ever so slightly less filled!

If you have a Birthday, Christmas or Halloween party coming up soon we would definitely recommend you take a look at the Qualatex catalogue from Pioneer Europe. If you don’t have anything coming up then have a look anyway as you will probably then want to organise something!

 

 

Family Fever
destination picture 2

Giant By Kate Scott Book Review

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Kate Scott’s book Giant to read and review over the Summer. It was so easy to get into that I read it over just a few sessions.

Giant is about Anzo who is 11 and very, very short. This probably wouldn’t be so bad if the rest of his family weren’t very very tall and  everyone didn’t call him ‘peanut’. He gets teased at school and has to play ALL of the seven dwarfs in the school play. His family want to open a restaurant together and everyone has a job to do except Anzo. He wishes he was tall so that someone would notice him.  It makes me feel sad for Anzo that he is so worried he will never fit in.

Anzo’s friend Elise suggests he tries positive thinking. He is not convinced but gives it a go. All of a sudden, over a week, Anzo starts to grow and grow.  However, Anzo soon learns that being tall perhaps wasn’t the answer to all his problems. Anzo starts to learn that if you want things to change you have to change them yourself. He starts to follow his dreams of becoming a comic book creator and goes on an adventure with Elise.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a great story while covering topics like being proud of who you are and how everyone is different. It made me feel sad at times when it made me think about how sometimes people at school can be horrible but it was good at reminding me to be kind to other people and that everyone has different strengths. I like how it shows it doesn’t matter who you are, you can still do anything you want if you try hard enough.

I think this was a book about feeling different and being lonely but also about friendship and having courage. This book is aimed at 8 to 11 year olds and I think this is about right. I am sure my sister would enjoy the story but she is perhaps a bit young to understand it all, whereas if you are a bit further through school you have probably felt exactly as Anzo has. I think this would be a great book to read as a class, from year 3 onwards as it would have lots of things for the teacher to discuss that are relevant to their children.

destination picture 2

Creating A Fairy Garden

As you might have seen already Lottie loves fairy gardens. She even had a fairy garden party for her birthday party the other week. She loves to create her own little secret fairy gardens and when she found out that she was being sent some things from Gardens2You to turn our family garden into a fairy garden she was really excited.

Our garden needed a lot of work at the beginning of the Summer and it has never really been safe for small children so Mum and Dad were very happy when one of our friends who is really good at gardening offered to help make it safe so my little brother could go out and play. This soon went from being a quick tidy up project to a full garden make over and our friend even learnt how to concrete and put in new steps!

I had lots of things to do like cutting the grass, cutting hedges down and generally helping tidy up but fortunately unlike the rest of us Lottie has got what my Mum says are ‘green fingers’ (I think she means messy hands!) and she got involved in all the planting and helping build a rockery which she loved. She has learnt lots about planting and looking after plants, which I think she will share in another post, but mostly loved creating her own little fairy garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once it was planted and filled we used the main flower bed for most of the area secret fairy garden and made our own magical stepping stones using old baking trays filled with concrete and setting glass gems in it in patterns, we then topped up the concrete and let it set for a few days before turning the stones out to place in the garden. These stepping stones looked great but we needed something special to turn it into a proper fairy garden. The people at Gardens2You had sent us a bundle of fairy items and Lottie decided the Strawberry Pixies would be perfect to live here- she loved then, they look very cheeky and she likes the idea of them watching out for fairies!

We then had to find the perfect spot for our fairy door– Lottie says this comes to life at night when we are all asleep so the fairies can bring their treasure back. We tried a couple of different spots- against the wall, in among some flowers and against the flower pot- Lottie likes it best against the flower pot so I think we are going to attach it here for her. The door is really nice because it is quite heavy and thick and can be used in lots of different places.

 

We haven’t yet found a permeant place for the little pixie twins and the toadstools because Lottie keeps liking taking them out to play with. She thinks they like hiding behind the plants! We think they are great because they still look lovely even after being in the garden for weeks and also because they are strong enough to cope with being played with.

Lottie loves her fairy garden and has been looking at the Gardens2You website to decide what else she would like to add to her collection!

 

destination picture 2

Term Footwear and stopping the school shoes buying panic!

My Mum is feeling quite happy at the moment, she has already sorted out one of the jobs she hates the most for the school holidays and can tick it off her list! She has got our school shoes already and she didn’t even have to leave our house!

A while ago my sister tested Term Footwear’s wellies and loved them, she still wears them all the time and gets a bit cross when our little brother takes to try and walk in so I was pleased to try their school shoes for myself and see what she was making a fuss about!

I was able to choose a pair of Term’s school shoes a few week’s before the school holidays. We printed off the size guide and were able to measure my feet easily at home. Obviously then my brother and sister had to have a go too! Then we went on the website and choose the shoes we liked the best. There was a really good choice for children of all ages, with lots of styles, all which would have been ok for our school uniform rules. We ordered a pair in the size I had measured and they arrived two days later. My Mum was a bit wary about measuring me herself but they came in exactly the size we had checked and fitted perfectly.

 

I expected to have to wear them around the house a bit to get them comfy enough for school but actually they were comfortable enough straight away. My Mum said I should wear them before the holiday for a couple of weeks in case I grew again and didn’t get to try them (I am currently outgrowing all my clothes and think I am going to be taller than her soon!) but to try not to ruin them straight away! I think she was amazed that they still look as good as new two weeks later as that never happens. I have played football in them, run around the playground and even been to the park in them and they still look really good.

We would definitely recommend Term footwear for school shoes- I loved how comfortable they were and my Mum loved how much choice there was, how easy it was to order and how well they fitted. I am so happy not to have to be dragged out school shoe shopping next week!

destination picture 2

Lottie Loves… Sylvanian Families Cosy Cottage

This review is by Lottie age 5 (with typing help from Mummy and photos by Luke)

I was sent the Sylvanian Families Cosy Cottage and the Chocolate Rabbit family to play with and see what I thought of them. I was really surprised and excited and jumped up and down when they arrived. I haven’t had any of the Sylvanian Families things before but I really wanted to play with them.

I couldn’t wait to open the boxes and have a look at it all. I was allowed to stay up a little bit late that night and see what they were like and have a little play.

The house has a kitchen, a table and chairs, a bed and a ladder that moves. You also get some food and cooking things. Cosy Cottage  comes with Freya who is one of the Chocolate Rabbit Sisters. You can take the top floor of the cottage out and open and close the door and you can make Freya’s bed up and cook her dinner. I really like the house and like setting it up. I am going to save up for bunk beds because I also got sent the Chocolate Rabbit family and so Freya’s twin sister needs somewhere to sleep too.

The Chocolate rabbit family have a Daddy Rabbit, Mummy Rabbit, Sister Rabbit and Brother Rabbit, the all have clothes on, which you can take on and off. They came with a little story book which I liked. I have read it lots of times and have a favourite picture in there. The other Freya rabbit isn’t in the story so I think she must have gone to the shops. The Chocolate Rabbit family are really cute. I love playing with them and sending them on adventures before tucking them up in their Cosy Cottage for the night.

I am so lucky to have these Sylvanian Families toys, they are one of my very favourite toys now and I have asked for some others for my birthday which is in two weeks… I hope I get some! My friend came to play with them the other day and she really loved them too, we had lots of fun making up stories and chatting with the Rabbits.

My Mummy is a bit worried that I have started another collection now…I think she is right!

 

 

Family Fever

Disclaimer: I was sent the Sylvanian Families Cosy Cottage and Chocolate Rabbit Family to review but all thoughts are my own.

Post contains affiliate links

destination picture 2

Aquabeads Cars 3 3D Set Review

My sister, Lottie, has been doing a little bit of a project with our latest Aquabead set.

She is making a 3D Lightning McQueen from the  Aquabeads Cars 3 3D range. It is more complicated than the Aquabead sets we have reviewed previously because it is built up in layers, so you do a layer, spray it with water and leave it to set before taking it off and starting the next one.

 

Lottie has really enjoyed this and has done a layer each day over the last week. You only need to leave it for a short time before you can remove each layer but we have found the longer you can leave them the better they set so doing a layer each day has worked well.

 

Lottie is really pleased with how Lightning McQueen came out- it’s brilliant how ‘real’ it looks when made out of Aquabeads. You can even drive him around because the wheels really turn but Lottie is so pleased with it she is going to put it on display in her bedroom.

We had already been enjoying our Aquabead sets but Lottie enjoyed the challenge of making a more tricky set. She did need some help with stacking the layers to make the final car but otherwise, other than needing Mum to cut up the templates which are on the instructions for her she was able to do it all herself. Her tips are to use loads and loads of water (far more than you think you need), leave them to set slightly longer than you think they need and be really careful to not use the grey beads instead of white! We also found that you need to try and squash the layers together a bit so it’s useful to have a heavy small box to put on top of them to keep it all flat.

We really like the 3D Aquabead sets, and they do some other ones as well as Lightning McQueen, including Cruz in the same range so you could have a pair! They are aimed at children age 4 plus and I think a four year old could make this with some help but we think they are perfect for children age 6-8 and would make great birthday presents for children of this age group.

 

Disclaimer: We were sent this awesome Aquabeads Cars 3D set to review but all views are my own and my sister’s.

 

 

destination picture 2

A Day Out with Hamerton Zoo Park

We recently discovered Hamerton Zoo Park is on our doorstep and were pleased to be invited for a day out there so we could see for ourselves what it was like.

We found it easily met up with our friends before heading in. Even though the car park was really busy it quickly felt quite peaceful and quiet once we got through the gate and although there were plenty of other people there it didn’t feel at all crowded like lots of places do in the school holidays.

I really liked the set up of the zoo. There were lots of animals I had never even heard of before as well as some that I had that were very rare. I really liked the white tigers, they were awesome and I had only ever seen one before in a zoo in France.

Taking a break from the admiring visitors!

 

I especially liked Hamerton Zoo because it felt more like a conservation place than a zoo. The animals all had nice big enclosures and plenty of things to keep them busy- some had long tunnels and runs going off their enclosures too. There was a lot of information about the animals and their habitats as well as explaining how their population was in different parts of the world, this was really interesting to read and some of it was quite shocking.

My very favourite animal was the white tiger but I also loved the chipmunks who were great fun to watch, the monkeys and meerkats who are really entertaining, the kookaburra who made a brilliant noise and the tortoises who are actually surprisingly fast and have an enormous enclosure that they race around. Actually I am sure there are lots more animals that are on my favourites list!

 

    

Along with the enclosures and information we were also very impressed with how the zoo managed to blend with the environment generally. We saw two nests with baby swallows in and my friend’s Mum, who loves all things to do with nature and wildlife pointed out that there was lots of plants like buddleia that were good for bees and butterflies and plenty of bamboo and other plants too so it was good to see that Hamerton are supporting all the other wildlife too.

Tiny baby swallows in their nest.

 

One of our tests as to if somewhere is a good family day out is whether or not it has something that keeps us all happy and Hamerton Zoo seemed able to do that. My brother, Sam is two and liked being able to see the animals himself through the little windows in the side of the enclosures- he also absolutely loved the train. My Mum felt this was a little pricey at £2 per person (although she is judging this for our family of 5 which can make things seem expensive) but she said it wasn’t too awful because it was a longer ride than we expected and you got to see quite a few animals on route.  Lottie and I also loved all the animals, I especially liked having all the information to read but also we both really enjoyed the play area too, this had a great selection of play equipment, with a huge climbing frame and a zip wire. There was a smaller play area for under fives too which had much better things than a lot of areas aimed at small children and kept Sam entertained for a fairly long time. There is also a stone maze within the play area which we all had fun walking on.

There is a café which served a selection of snacks and things like hot dogs and sausage rolls as well as lots of benches that you could use if you had taken a picnic so it had a good set up for having a long visit.

We spent most of the day at Hamerton, it was a great place to visit, we loved the fact that there was plenty to do but also liked the fact it wasn’t so big you couldn’t go back round and see things again.

 

My Mum felt that although a zoo visit is always quite an expensive day out Hamerton Zoo was good value for money at £13.99 for adults and £8.99  for children with under 3’s going free- we will definitely be going back again and have already suggested it to lots of our friends for the Summer holidays.

 

Disclaimer: We were lucky enough to be given free entry to the zoo in return for our honest review and all thoughts and comments are our own.

Please note several pictures in this post were taken by Diana Evans. For more of Diana’s projects or to contact her directly please visit Diana Evans Artist

The Places We Will Go
Plutonium Sox