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Great Gifts for Teachers

If you saw my recent blog post you would know that Lottie and I have a lot of teachers between us that we need to buy gifts for this year and it has actually been really hard to choose what to get them because they are all interested in very different things.

My Mum and I have been doing some research and have found some great presents ideas for teachers and teaching assistants which we thought we would share with you. Even if you are lucky enough to have already broken up for the Summer these will make fantastic Christmas gifts too so well worth keeping in mind.

Funky Tape Measure

We recently reviewed (and have a chance for one reader to win) the Funky Tape Measure and think this makes a brilliant gift for any teacher but especially one who teachers maths, science or design because they would be able to use it all the time.  You can personalise the tape measure with a message and design of your choice and it comes in a nice box so it makes a really good gift.

Choc on Choc Teacher’s Apple

All my teacher’s like chocolate but this Teacher’s Apple is so much better than a normal box of chocolates. The apple looks quite realistic and comes in a little box perfect to wrap as a gift. It is made of white Belgium chocolate (yum!) and looks really shiny, like a nice ripe apple! It is only £6.99 so a great alternative to a box of chocolates. We tried one and it was absolutely delicious and felt like a real treat. Apparently it will keep for a year but I am not sure how you could keep from eating it for that long!

bakerdays

If you are looking for an edible gift for your teacher that is a bit different or perhaps to share between teachers. I would recommend you have a look at the cupcakes from bakerdays They are made from the same delicious sponge recipe as the letterbox cake we recently tried from them and then topped with vanilla icing and an icing disk. You can choose from vanilla and chocolate or a mixture of both. They are £25.99 for a box of 12 so would make a great gift for the staff room. They even offer next day delivery but you can order ages in advance so you could cross them off your Christmas list already!

Luke Drew This

I couldn’t resist having a look at this company because their name was brilliant! They turn children’s artwork into gifts and it looks like a fantastic gift idea. I like the idea of a very personal present that the teacher can use for years to come.

They do all sorts of different things but we especially like the look of the bags and pencil cases. Lottie’s teacher’s favourite animal is a giraffe so she would like to make her a pencil case with a picture of one on- these start at £24 and make a unique and unusual present. It looks like it is really easy to do because you can just email them your picture and they get straight to work.

 

2 Little Boys

We love this Change the World Mug for a gift. Every teacher needs a mug they know is theirs and I really like this message. I haven’t seen this one up close but I have seen lots of other things from 2 Little Boys and have really liked everything they do, we have found the quality to be really good. They tell me that these are porcelain and made in Stoke on Trent and are really nice to drink out of which sounds perfect for a teacher’s gift. At £13.50 this would make a lovely present for your main class teacher.

It’s also worth looking at their stationary items if that is more your teacher’s type of thing as they have an amazing selection

 

Sprout Pencil Herb Pack

I think this is a really great idea, your teacher can use the pencils until they get too short and then they plant it and water it and then it grows into a flower or herb. They are £6.99 for a pack of 8.

 

 

 

 

Bubbablue and me school days linky

Please note I was sent some of the items within this post for review purposes and others are simply ideas we have found. All opinions remain our own

This post may contain affiliate links which should your purchase from I receive a small amount of commission at no cost to you

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Funky Tape Measure Review and a chance to win

Even though we are still in Lower School my sister and I have got 3 Teachers and 3 Teaching Assistants  to buy gifts for this Summer and it’s quite difficult to find new and interesting ideas for them all.

We were very happy when the people at Funky Tape Measure said they could send us one of their very funky tape measures to review for one of our teachers. We knew exactly who it would be perfect for- our maths and science teacher will love having her very own personalised tape measure.

We were able to choose from a large selection of designs and colours and add our own choice of message.

 

We went with a silver tape measure with a ruler picture and ‘you rule’ across the middle of it with her name at the top but there were plenty of other things to pick- lots of teacher designs and plenty for all other occasions you could imagine.

The tape measure arrived quickly and was in a nice box so it looked like a present. It was protected in tissue paper too which all made it look good.  The print was great- nice bright colours and very clear and the quality of the tap measure seems really good. I think my teacher will love this.

The Funky Tape Measure has a belt clip at the back and a lock for when you are measuring. It also has the measurements on both sides which are good for different types of work and it is rated as EC Class II which the people at Funky Tape Measure explain means it can be used by builders and tradesmen as well as just people who are doing DIY.

My Mum thinks these would be great house warming gifts and I know my Dad and Grandad would like them too so good for Christmas presents. I think I might get one for my own tool box at some stage too- they really are Funky Tape Measures!

 

The lovely people at Funky Tape Measures have offered one lucky winner the chance to win a tape measure worth £10.99  from the range in a design of their choice, if you aren’t lucky enough to win you can take advantage of free delivery on your order using FTMFREE at checkout for a limited time only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note the winner must claim their prize within 14 days of notification and the competition is only open to UK entrants

 

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Buttoonies- Build Your Own Toy Review

We were recently sent some of the new Buttoonies Under The Sea sets from Craft Yourself Silly to try out and see what we thought of them.

Buttoonies arrive in small packets priced at £3.99 each and contain everything you need to make your toy. They don’t need any glue, scissors or needles and you can get straight on with making it. There was a good choice of toys within the Under The Sea range including a Clown Fish, Crab, Frog, Octopus, Pirate and Turtle. The packets are all marked with a difficulty rating out of ten.

Once we had decided what we were making to start with we unpacked the parts and had a look at what we had to do. Each pack contained thread, buttons and foam shapes. It was really easy to understand the instructions- they were pictures of the parts in the same size as they actually were and then these were numbered with a diagram showing exactly where each number had to be threaded on.

I thought the Buttoonies would be really quick to make but actually it took a little while- they weren’t difficult but they did feel like a proper craft activity rather than something easy that was over and done within a few minutes. We did have to slightly enlarge the holes in the foam parts but otherwise threading the buttons on in the right order was simple if you concentrated.

 

Once we had finished threading the parts on the models looked really good and my sister took them to school to use as puppets. She absolutely loved making these and really liked having a craft she could get on with on her own with hardly any help. I enjoyed them too- I liked the pirate as that was more complicated to make (it was rated as a difficulty of 4/10) and Lottie loved them all.

Buttoonies also make bigger versions which are made from MDF which can be decorated- these look good fun, they are £9.99 each.

We really enjoyed the Buttoonies Under The Sea range, they do several other ranges too including witches and bats. These crafts are great for children age 5 and upwards and I think they would be perfect as rainy day activities. My Mum suggested they would be nice to give instead of a party bag so we might do this at one of our birthday parties- she likes the fact there is no mess and that we didn’t even have to get the glue out to make something!

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Trutex School Uniform Review

Like most children I don’t get very excited about school uniform, I don’t mind wearing it but I don’t actually think about it that much. Considering that I spend most weekdays wearing either my uniform or a sports kit I probably should think about it a bit more…

It appears- as if by magic- clean and ironed on hangers ready for the week ahead most of the time and then other times it’s a last minute panic scrabbling around to get a jumper in the tumble dryer before we need to leave, but despite that the only time I really think about my uniform is when it is uncomfortable.

When I was asked to review Trutex school uniform I didn’t realise there was so many things you can think about with a school uniform. First off we had to choose which size I needed, which wasn’t too difficult because they have lots of sizing information on their website and then we had to decide exactly what we were going to order. I decided to go with the black trousers because even if it’s warm at this time of year there are still some days we have to wear trousers, such as for performances etc. I also thought the trousers would be a good idea because I could see if they were able to stand up to me running around and playing football in them then they would have to be good! I also picked a pack of two white shirts and a grey V-neck jumper.

The clothes arrived quickly and we opened them up to have a look before popping they through on a quick wash. The sizes came up really well- we had gone for the larger side of my size in the hope that they lasted after the Summer holidays and they were very good to what my Mum expected.

The trousers at first try were very comfortable and the shirt wasn’t at all scratchy. I was pleased because the collar wasn’t too tight and it didn’t irritate me at all having it done up. The jumper is my favourite though because it is so very soft- it’s really nice and fleecy inside- warm but not too hot.

When I wore the clothes to school I found them comfortable to wear all day and was able to run about in the trousers and didn’t get too hot in the jumper.

 

My Mum says that the clothes have all now been washed several times and they have kept their shape well, there is no fading on the jumper and they still feel as nice to wear. She has also tumble dried them too and they have not shrunk at all- apparently this is a very important with school uniform because it means they can be sorted out in a hurry on difficult days! I like that the jumper is still really soft even after several washers.  Mum thinks they are really good quality and says she will be buying Trutex products for us all in the future.

Whilst I still don’t think about school uniform a great deal I would recommend everything I tried in the Trutex range as being comfortable and practical and would suggest that when the time comes to take your children shopping for new uniform you don’t drag them round loads of different shops making them try on tons of different things but instead check out Trutex and find your nearest school uniform stockist

 

 

Bubbablue and me
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Things I have loved whilst blogging

Last week I posted about things I had learnt from blogging over the two years I had been doing it and today I am going to share some of the amazing products and places I have discovered thanks to blogging.

As I mentioned blogging can be hard work sometimes but the experiences I have had from it have been well worth it.

There are lots of things that stand out as being great but these are some of my very favourite things from the last two years.

  1. So many great books. I have read too many awesome books to list them all individually but have loved having lots of brilliant books to review and it has been fantastic to discover new authors who I might not otherwise have come across. One of my favourites is Abi Elphinstone who I am a huge fan of since reviewing her Trilogy on my blog.
  2. Finding new games- I especially like games that the whole family can enjoy together and we have found some great ones through the blog. One of our family favourites is the Randomise Game If you haven’t come across Randomise before then you should read the review I wrote a while ago- it’s really great fun and so very funny to play. We have played it so many times since and I would recommend it to any family that enjoys playing games together.
  3. Things that other people enjoy. It’s awesome finding a new product that I love but I have really enjoyed finding things my sister and brother love too. My sister has especially liked Aquabeads and Pusheen, both of which is she has been lucky enough to review for the blog.
  4. Challenges- I would never have even known about the kids version of Tough Mudder without the blog. My friend and I were lucky enough to do the Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder last year and it was an amazing experience. I would love to do it again and it got me into running a 5K run for charity too and helping as a steward at another.
  5. Amazing days out. We have been lucky enough to be invited to lots of great days out, I have enjoyed them all but some of the ones that I really liked were BRICKLIVE and the ‘Summer Saturdays’ Day at Newmarket Racecourse
  6. New experiences. It also falls under points 4 and 5 too but was so amazing it deserves a heading of it’s own! Our favourite experience as a whole family has been our visit to Camp Wilderness– the bushcraft day was so unlike anything that any of us had ever done before, we all learnt loads and came away having had a really fantastic day. It was such a different thing to do with my Mum and Dad- I would recommend the camps to anyone!

 

  

 

As  you can see I have been very lucky over the last two years, I have had lots of fantastic experiences, met some brilliant people and learnt a lot. I have loved having my own blog, even though at times in has been hard work and I have caught ‘writer’s block’.

I can’t believe I have managed to keep it up for two years and am holding a competition to celebrate this! One of our lucky readers will win their own copy of the brilliant Randomise Game, a copy of a fantastic children’s book -my current read- The Midnight Gang, by David Walliams, a £10 Amazon voucher to treat themselves to one of the amazing products we have reviewed and a 3 day place for a child age 6 to 15 at one of the awesome Camp Wilderness camps during the Summer Holidays- the lucky winner can choose between Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cheshire or Kent subject to availability.

This prize bundle is worth over £260! Good Luck!

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Heat Holders Thermal Slipper Socks Review

We are working on getting my Mum to agree to take us camping in the Summer holidays but she isn’t keen- it was really cold last time we went and that has put her off, but I think I have found the perfect solution.

We were recently sent some Heat Holders Slipper Socks to try and they are literally the warmest, softest, most comfortable pair of socks you could ever find. I think these will be perfect to keep you warm when you are camping.

Heat holders do lots of different products including adult socks and tights but we were pleased to try the socks from the children’s range. I have a pair of R2D2 socks and Lottie has a Disney Princess pair and they are both equally warm and comfortable, we both found the sizes were what we expected them to be too.

They do loads of other options for children including Frozen, Minions, Hulk and Spider-Man. The character socks are £7.99 a pair, which seems quite expensive until you try them on and realise how much better than normal socks they are! They also do children’s socks without characters on for £4.99 which looks like a great deal.

I can see these being perfect for Summer Nights sitting outside or if you go camping or to a festival and I also think they will be brilliant for the cold winter nights so I think they will be used most of the year round. Heat Holders tell me they are 3.1 tog so it’s like having a little duvet wrapped around you feet keeping you toasty warm! I like the grip on the bottom too as we have wooden flooring and it makes it much less slippery!

Heat Holders do lots of other things too including blankets, hats and thermal clothes- I think I might have to get my Dad to order it all for my Mum and then maybe we will be able to get her back into the idea of camping again!

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Things I have learnt from blogging- two years and counting…

It’s hard to believe it has been over two years since I started blogging. I was only 7, didn’t really like writing much and needed quite a lot of help to finish my posts. Even then I loved reading though and my Mum found asking me to write book reviews was a good way to get me to practise writing and not complain about doing it.

Before long I was doing book reviews through Love Reading For Kids and saw some of the children on their site had blogs which I quite liked the idea of doing so we decided to give it a go and set one up. I soon realised writing wasn’t too bad when you could write about almost anything you want to! Two years later I now quite enjoy writing most of the time but am still not that keen on practising spellings!

I have learnt and experienced some brilliant things since I started blogging and we have done things together as a family that we would never have had chance to do without blogging but it has also been hard work at times. These are some of the things I have learnt over the last two years.

Writing is fun

Sometimes I just set a timer, sit down and write for ten minutes about anything, it doesn’t matter if it isn’t for the blog but it is something good to do when I am bored or grumpy and often I will feel better afterwards.

Blogging is hard work

I love blogging and am really amazed and grateful that people will send me fun things to do and review but sometimes it gets hard to get everything done quick enough for the company with school and clubs. I know I am incredibly lucky but sometimes it is hard to squeeze everything in, especially when you need to get photos taken and the weather doesn’t let you!- I think that lots of people are jealous of grown up bloggers who get to try amazing things without actually realising how hard they work.

Sometimes it is difficult to think of something to write.

Sometimes I have pages of ideas as to what I might want to write about and others I really can’t think of anything. My Mum says that is called writers block and that even grown ups get it from time to time but when I catch it I am very glad I just do this for fun rather than a job.

Earning your own money is amazing.

I have been lucky enough to do a few posts that I have been paid for now, it is so exciting to have the chance to earn some money myself. I have put this away for the Summer holidays and am going to use it to get some fun things for me and my sister to do.

You have to be honest…and sometimes that isn’t very nice to do!

The most difficult thing about reviews is when you don’t like a product. Normally I can find something good to say- even if it isn’t suitable for my age group my little sister or brother might be better suited and we can test what they think of it instead of me but sometimes you get something that just isn’t right for any of us. I have had to give up on a couple of books that I just didn’t enjoy and tell the publishers that I didn’t enjoy them and I have had to turn down things from companies that I would have liked to work with because the product they are wanting reviewed is just not suitable for any of us- it doesn’t look very truthful that a 9 year old would be reviewing a 12 month old toy- and even my little brother is two and a half!

I really want to be honest on my blog- if someone buys something because I have recommended it then I want to be sure I actually like it and genuinely think they should buy it!

Not everything you write needs to be published.

When I first started blogging I would sit down to write a ‘post’ now I just write whatever I think of and sometimes decide it’s either just for fun (mostly about Star Wars or LEGO) or that it’s more personal than I want to share at the moment. My Dad has been very poorly over the last few months and has had to have lots of scary tests. Before Christmas I was very worried, I found it helpful to write it down but decided not to publish it. I might publish it later as it might be helpful to other children who are worried about their parents health but for now we are still in the middle of things and although everything looks a lot better I am not quite ready to share it yet. Other times I might just plan out a post in my head to help me get my thoughts straight about something that is worrying me.

It’s OK to decide you don’t want to do something you aren’t comfortable with.

Lots of kids my age have YouTube channels and do vlogs, I really liked the idea of it but sometimes find it uncomfortable being filmed as I never know what to say, so at the moment I am not doing that even though I would like to try again at some point soon. My sister loves the idea and just chats away but my Mum says she is a bit young at the minute!

People are mostly very nice!

I have to be very careful not to share too much personal information online which makes me a bit wary sometimes but everyone I have meet from blogging either in real life or through the internet has been really nice and encouraging- I am obviously not going to stop being careful (or supervised by my parents!) but it’s nice to know there are lots of normal people behind keyboards!

I have loved the last two years of blogging- even if I have had a few breaks along the way.

Thank you to everyone who has read and commented on my posts- hopefully there will be lots more to come!

 

 

 

 

Twin Mummy and Daddy
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Are we nearly there yet? Games for a long car journey

As we get towards Summer people are starting to get excited about their holidays. I thought I would give you some ideas of games you can play on a long journey so you arrive on your holiday without too much shouting and grumpiness!

Yellow Car

This is our on-going car game for any journey. My Mum’s friend told us about it and we have played it ever since. There is no winner and no loser (except my sister and I still manage to argue about it!) and the game never ends. Basically it doesn’t matter where you are in the World or what you are doing, if you see a yellow car you have to shout ‘YELLOW CAR’. My little brother does not yet know his colours but he does recognise yellow! The only time this game gets old is when driving past a post sorting office in France!

I went to the Shops…

This is a memory game that runs through the alphabet- the first person starts with ‘I went to the shops and brought an apple (anything beginning with A), the next person says ‘I went to the shops and brought an apple and a banana (anything beginning with B) and so on through the whole alphabet… by the time you get halfway through it gets very tricky to remember whatever everyone else has said.

I Spy…

Everyone knows how to play ‘I Spy…’ it’s the perfect game when you are on a long drive, especially on country roads where there is lots to see.

Car Bingo

My friend and I created an alphabet of all the cars we could think of and managed to cover every letter and now we both use them to either play bingo with or I spy with when we are out in the car- you get the most amount of points for a yellow lamborghini!

Twenty questions

You have to think of a thing or a person and the other people can ask up to twenty questions before they have to guess what you are thinking about.

Name that Tune

You need a spare adult in the front who isn’t the driver for this one, they just have to play a few seconds of a song and then everyone guesses what they think it is. You can do it just for fun or you can give points to how quickly the correct answer is given.

Hopefully these ideas might make long journeys go a bit quicker-we would love to know if you have any others you play in your car- especially before we go on our ten hour drive to France in a couple of months!

 

Lots of points for spotting a yellow Lamborghini!

 

 

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Book Review- On The Trail Of The Missing Pets by Marianne Su Yin

It’s always great to come across a new author who you haven’t seen before and I love it when I find a book that is very different to any others I have read before so was pleased when Marianne Su Yin contacted me and asked if I would review her new book- On The Trail Of The Missing Pets, A Mystery In History.

I really like history and have enjoyed reading fact books about World War Two for a long time but I haven’t read any fiction before so this was something a bit different.

It follows the story of Violet Vintage and her dog Spike who travel back in time by using a wardrobe of magic clothes and accessories and this time they find themselves in 1944 in bombed London. All the pets have run off in fright when the bombs were going off and Violet and Spike make friends with their owners and promise to track them down. The mystery is where could they have all gone?

Spike and Violet hatch a plan and travel around London hunting down the person who appears to be taking the pets but will they track him down?

I really enjoyed the style of this book- it’s written in rhyming though the whole thing which is really clever and the drawings are brilliant with lots of detail-my favourite drawing was the very last one, I won’t say what it was off but I like the way it was mainly black and white with certain things in colour.

On The Trail Of The Missing Pets is a good story, suitable for younger children, especially because of the rhyming style it is written in but it’s also got quite a lot of facts in so it’s good for older children too- I didn’t know Buckingham Palace was bombed nine times in a row and that the Royal Family decided to stay.

After the story there was several pages of information about WW2 that was really interesting and had lots of facts that I didn’t know so I especially enjoyed this addition to the story.

I enjoyed this book very much, it was a quick read for my age but I would go back and read it again and my sister loved it being read to her so I would probably suggest it was suitable for children age 6 to 10.

I am looking forward to Violet and Spike’s next adventure!

 

Family Fever
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Star Wars Aquabeads Set Review

My sister was recently sent a Disney Princess Aquabeads set to review which she loved. I wasn’t so sure if it would be my kind of thing but I kept watching over her shoulder and helping her out with bits and pieces so I was pleased when Aquabeads asked if I would like to review a set myself.

I was happy to have a go but wasn’t sure if they would really have anything for older children- although I would have been happy with just making patterns I wasn’t so keen on princesses! Aquabeads got it just right though by sending me their Star Wars set so I could make C3PO, R2D2, Darth Vader or a Stoorm Trooper.

This set is great, like the others it is all set out in compartments so you can find the right colours quickly and easily and is really easy to set up. I was able to get straight on and decided to make C3PO. My sister gets a lot of craft type gifts and while I like doing this sort of activity there aren’t really many specifically aimed at my age so I really enjoyed having something to make, not only to doing some craft but to make something I was happy to have in my bedroom afterwards.

 

I actually found it quite relaxing to sit and put the beads in the right place and follow the colour patterns, it was a nice activity to do after I had finished my homework. My Mum enjoyed the peace and quiet of my and me sister sitting together doing our Aquabead sets!

I had no problem with getting it to set, I just used plenty of water and left it before removing it from the template ready to make another one.

I was really pleased with how C3PO came out and am going to be making R2D2 next. I thought this was a great set as it appeals to both boys and girls from age 4 right up to my age and it was easy to get on and do it without needing an adult around to help.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I was sent a set of Star Wars Aquabeads to review but all thoughts are my own