Personalised my daddy, Peppa pig book review

IMG_0165I recently got the chance to review a personalised Peppa pig, my daddy book from Penwizard. This is a great little book for children who are fans of Peppa pig and would make a great fathers day present. Read on to find out more about creating the personalised book and what we thought of it.

The Penwizard website is easy to navigate and ordering our personalised book only took a few minutes. For the my daddy book you type in your child’s name, a personalised message for the recipient (printed on the first page inside the book) and then personalise the child and daddy character used throughout the book. For the child you select a girl or boy character and then you have a choice of hair style and colour. After that you choose your child’s skin colour, eye colour and there is the option to add glasses. Next up you personalise the daddy in the book with a choice of 8 hair styles (including bald), 6 hair colours (there is no grey but there is white available), then you can add a beard from a choice of 9 (from no beard, different types of stubble and different shaped full beards). After this you can add sideburns and moustaches if you like and finally choose their skin, eye colour and whether they wear glasses.

It takes only a few minutes to choose from these options and then you simply add the book to your shopping basket and check out (which is simple and quick to do). Whilst I was on the website I had a look at some of the other books that they sell. As well as a number of Peppa pig books there are Ben and Holly, Noddy, Roary the racing car and Fifi and the flowertots. There is also the option for your child to be a wizard, footballer, medieval knight or medieval princess. Of course they also sell a personalised christmas story featuring your child. I also noticed they have just started selling Lost my name book which I review last year. I can not recommend lost my name book highly enough, it’s a gorgeous book.IMG_0169

I ordered the Peppa pig book on a friday and it arrived the following Wednesday which I thought was very efficient (I was told to expect 5-7 days). My Daddy is a hard backed book with a high gloss cover and the inner pages are a lovely heavyweight paper quality. It is only 18cm square so perfect for little hands. Your child’s name is on every page (I’ve blurred Poppet’s real name out in the photos) which I am sure when Poppet is a bit older she will love. IMG_0172

The book is about Peppa pig, her best friend (your child) and their daddies. Peppa and your child are telling each other all about their daddies, such as how Peppa’s daddy is very good at planning DIY but your childs daddy is not very good at doing DIY (so true in our house). Other examples include exercise, trips to the seaside and reading (news and bedtime stories). The pictures are lovely and colourful and there is just the right amount of text on each page for toddlers. We love this book already but I am sure once Poppet is a bit older she will love being the star of the book and being friends with Peppa pig.

My daddy is available from Penwizard for £14.99 plus £2.50 postage. This seems expensive for a kids book but for a personalised book this book is very competitively priced. It would make a lovely fathers day present for the daddy of any Peppa pig fans.

Space for the Butterflies: What We're Reading

Disclosure – I was kindly sent a personalised copy of this book in exchange for this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own, as are the photographs.

Bing: Something for Daddy, review

IMG_0149Last week we were kindly sent a copy of the latest relaunched book from the Bing bunny series by Ted Dewan. Before I was approached to review this book I was not familiar with this author or series of books so I did a bit of research. I discovered that the book I was sent ‘something for daddy’, is one of 8 books from the Bing bunny series. These books are aimed at toddlers and parents as they focus on the dynamic between them as they experience the ups and downs of everyday life with a toddler. The basic story line of each book is that whatever happens, it’s not big deal, it’s just a Bing thing.

IMG_0144When I first received this book I was pleased to see the illustrations were brightly coloured and there wasn’t too much text on each page. Poppet is 12 months old and this is exactly the sort of book she is drawn to at the moment (that and books with textures, flaps or sounds). If there is too much text on a page, I struggle to read it all to her before she loses interest and tries to turn the page (not always in the right direction).

IMG_0155 IMG_0159In this book, Bing is making something for his daddy using shiny things, feathers, sparkles and goo. The picture gets a bit more gooey than planned, but that’s no big thing, daddy will love it anyway because it’s a Bing thing. I love that this book depicts a typical craft session with a toddler, the picture might not come out as planned but to the toddler and parent it will still be a work of art to be treasured. My daughter brought her first painting home from nursery last week and it has had pride of place on the fridge ever since. I know there will be many more works of art to treasure in the future.

IMG_0145 IMG_0033 IMG_0163We’ve read this book a few times now and it keeps her attention well. In fact she has been known to pick this book up if it is within reach and look at the pictures (sometimes they are upside down but she doesn’t seem to care). I love the attention to detail in this book such as the first page that encourages your child to write their name in the book (although most children that this book is aimed at will be too young to do this themselves) and also the final page which asks what the readers favorite things to make things with is. I really feel that Ted Dewan has successfully created a book that toddlers will love and I am sure that we will read this book many times over the coming months and years. I will also be keeping an eye out for more books in this fun series. I’ve also heard a rumour that Bing will be making his tv debut later in the year.

Space for the Butterflies: What We're Reading

Also linking up with Damson Lane.
Disclosure – I was kindly sent a copy of this book, free of charge, in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own as are the photographs.

Oxo tot sippy cup review

IMG_8584Poppet has never taken to bottles at all (believe me we have tried many different types). I think she has taken a grand total of about 4oz from a bottle over the past 11 months! She just doesn’t seem to be able to figure out how to get milk out of them for some reason. When we started weaning her at 6 months I started giving her water in a sippy cup along with meals. She manages ok with the one we got her (its a faily basic one and not non-spill) but she only has small sips of water. On the advice of health visitors I have tried (or rather my husband or mum has tried on my rare nights out) to get her to take milk from a cup. She seems enthusiastic at first but again only manages small sips of milk and barely has an oz of milk.

IMG_9094So when I was offered the chance to review an Oxo tot sippy cup set, I jumped at the chance. I liked the sound of a cup that grows with your baby from 6 months up. It comes in 3 gorgeous, bright colours (raspberry, aqua and green), has removable handles and has two types of lid. The first stage is a spouted sippy cup lid with removable non-leak valve. The second lid is recommended from 12 months and is a training cup lid. I’ve never seen anything like this lid before and I think it is a fantastic idea. It is useful for going from a spouted cup to using non lidded beakers. Basically there is a plastic disk which has holes around the edge so that the liquid does not come out of the cup as fast. Once your little one has mastered drinking with this disk in place it can then be removed completely and you are left with a standard beaker.

IMG_9020The beaker is a good size and holds 200ml. The handles are ergonomically designed for little hands and do not move easily (they are easy to remove by an adult intentionally but they do not wobble etc). Once the handles are remove, there are soft grip panels on the beaker, another feature I thought was really useful. Oxo really have thought of everything, there is even a dimple in the top of the sippy cup, ensuring room for baby’s nose. The cup is BPA, phthalate and PVC free and is suitable for use on the top rack of a dishwasher. The recommended retail price is £10.21 although I have seen it selling for less than this.

IMG_9015 So how did Poppet get on with this cup? Well it was no great surprise to me that she was unable to get any liquid out of the sippy cup. I do not think this is a problem with this cup, so please don’t let this put you off buying it. She was able to hold it by the handles well though and did enthusiastically put it to her mouth. She also threw it on the floor a few times and I can confirm it is tough and non-spill. Although she is only 11 months out of desperation (I go back to work in 4 weeks so she needs to drink water or ideally some milk from something whilst I am at work) I tried giving her water with the training lid. I had to help her by holding on to the cup so she didn’t tip it up too much. Even with my help it was still messy with water spilling down her chin or she often spat it out if she got too much. Even so with a lot of patience on my part, I managed to get her to drink 2 oz of milk from this cup. A massive step in the right direction. Obviously this lid is not idea at her age as she would throw it on the floor given half the chance!IMG_9098IMG_9028All in all I think this cup is well made and very well thought out. It is full of great features to make your life easier and make your baby’s transition from bottle to adult cup smoother. I will definitely be trying out more products from this range as the quality and the design features are some of the best I’ve seen.

Disclosure – I was kindly sent the Oxo tot sippy cup set, free of charge, in exchange for this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own as are the photographs.

Family Fever

In my kitchen – Cake angels review

Cake angels very kindly sent me a selection of their edible cake decorations so that I could get some cake decorating practice in before my baby’s first birthday (where has the last year gone?).

IMG_8325 I decided to make fairy cakes (or cupcakes if you prefer) and used their recipe for vanilla cupcakes (see below). There are lots more delicious sounding recipes on their website and lots of inspiration for decorating cakes so it is well worth a visit.

IMG_8315The recipe worked well for me and the cakes were moist and delicious. I will certainly be using the recipe again.

IMG_8331Now you will have to excuse the poorly decorated cupcakes. Although I cook and bake a lot, cake decorating is not something I do very much of. I also had limited time (nap time) to decorate them and although I think I do have a piping bag some where, I had to make do with spreading the icing with a knife. The great thing about cake angels decorations is that they are so easy to use and even with limited time and skills you can make your cakes look great.

IMG_8345I don’t think I will be getting a new career in cake decoration any time soon! The most important thing though is that they tasted great. For the biggest impact I would usually decorate all my fairy cakes in a similar style but I decorated them all differently here to show off the possibilities with the range of decorations I was sent.

I love that you can pick up edible cake decorations so easily and affordably. They make your cakes look beautiful, with very little effort. I will be buying more cake angel decorations in the near future without a doubt.

IMG_8353I’ve never bought ready made icing before but it was so quick and easy to use and tasted delicious (my husband later confessed to eating some of the left overs with a spoon, straight from the tub!). If time is not on your side then I can recommend cake angels vanlla icing tubs. I’ve heard there is a chocolate fudge icing tub which sounds yummy! IMG_8352Vanilla cupcakes (makes 12)

  • 125g Self-raising flour
  • 125g Soft unsalted butter
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6 and line a muffin tin with 12 cake cases.
  2. Using a bowl and wooden spoon, cream the butter and sugar, beat in the eggs one at a time with a little of the flour. Add the vanilla extract and fold in the rest of the flour, adding the milk to get the dropping consistency as before.
  3. Spoon into the cases equally. Put in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the cup cakes are cooked and golden on top, check to see if the cupcakes are ready by inserting a cocktail stick into one of the cupcakes. If it comes out dry then the cupcakes are done. As soon as possible, take the cupcakes in their cases out of the tin and let cool, on a wire rack.

Disclosure – I was sent this selection of edible cake decorations, free of charge, in exchange for this review. The recipe is kindly reproduced with permission of cake angels. All thoughts and opinions are my own as are the photographs.

Halos N Horns baby products review

IMG_7147Over Christmas we have been testing out a couple of bath time products from Halos N Horns. I was kindly sent a bottle of baby bath, baby moisturiser and kids zingy orange hair and body wash.

When these products first arrived I liked the packaging. They are bright, modern and I am happy to have them in my bathroom. They are also easy to open, use and close without spills or using too much or too little product. I love that Halos N Horns don’t put SLS, parabens or other ingredients that can potentially irritate babies skin in their products. The products I have tested smell great and perform well. The baby bath has a lovely smell that is not overpowering, it’s kind to eyes and washes my baby’s hair well. Although there is a separate bubble bath available, this product does form some bubbles if added to the bath when you are running it. Please bear in mind that SLS is the ingredient responsible for foaming so if you are avoiding SLS then don’t expect lots of bubbles unless you use lots of product.

The baby moisturiser again smells very similar to the baby bath so they compliment each other well. It is none greasy and is absorbed quickly. My baby doesn’t particularly have dry skin except this winter her cheeks have become a little dry. A couple of days of using this moisturiser has cleared this bit of dry skin right up.

I have not used the kid’s zingy orange hair and body wash yet (out of interest when do you switch from baby to kids toiletries?) but it smells fantastic. Halos N Horns products are available to buy from Asda, boots, waitrose, co-operative, independent pharmacies and toys r us (as well as online). I’ve just checked Boots and the baby bath and Kids hair and body washes retail at £2.10 for 250mls and the baby moisturiser £3.59 for 250mls which is very competitive and I would be happy to buy them myself.

Disclosure:  I was kindly sent a bottle of baby bath, baby moisturiser and kids zingy orange hair and body wash. I was not asked for anything in exchange but since we loved these products I decided to tell you about them. All opinions are my own.

UK handmade spotlight – Minnie’s Macaroon, Mrs Mouse hat review

Disclosure – I was kindly sent this Mrs Mouse, baby crochet hat to review by Minnie’s Macaroon. All thoughts, opinions and photos are my own. For further details see my disclosure policy.

Today I have a special UK handmade spotlight post for you. Regular readers will know how much I love handmade items and how much I enjoy showcasing the talented makers we have here in the UK. You may also remember that I have made a few crochet items for my baby. So it will come as no surprise that when I saw a message on twitter asking for bloggers to review handmade crochet children’s hats I added my name to the list. The following day I discovered that I had been chosen by Minnie’s Macaroon to review one of their hats. I picked their Mrs Mouse crochet beanie hat in baby size. It was a difficult decision to make since they have so many other gorgeous designs (you can find them all here).

IMG_6667Minnie’s Macaroon is based in West Yorkshire and they have been making and selling hand made items for babies, children and adults since 2009. As well as hats (available in adult, child and baby sizes) they also hand make and sell toys, such as this adorable gingerbread man rattle. All items are made using lovely soft Icelandic yarn.

I received my babies hat on Wednesday morning and I was really pleased with it. I love the design and the yarn is indeed very soft and it also looks like it will be warm and snuggly. I have had many compliments already from other mums and my own mum over how cute the hat is and I couldn’t agree more. The hat is £11 and available in baby (0-24 months) and child (2-9 years) sizes. There is also a Mr Mouse design available in the same sizes. My little girl is almost 7 months and at present the hat is a little too big for her but I have found this with many 6-12 month hats. The only thing missing is perhaps some washing instructions. Minnie’s Macaroons aim to supply high quality, unique and fun gifts not available on the high street at affordable prices. After reviewing this hat I would say that they definitely do just that.

Thank you Minnie’s Macaroon for sending me and my daughter this beautiful hat for review.

Lost my name book – what we’re reading

IMG_5512Lost my name is a personalised children’s book created by three dads and an uncle. Their aim was to create a personalised book and do it better than ever before and in my opinion they have. Even more amazing than the book itself is that they have created over 150 illustrations so that any name can be used and the project is entirely self-funded and self-published.

Lost my name is available for girls (as the little girl who lost her name) and boys (as the little boy who lost his name) and is the story of  how the little boy or girl gets up one morning to discover their name is missing from their bedroom door. The child does not know his or her name and sets off on an adventure to find it. Along the way the child meets various creatures who give him/her a letter for their name. At the end of the story the child realise that all the letters spell out their name.

IMG_5513I have to say I adore this book. Although my 3 month old, little girl is too young to appreciate this book now, I can imagine reading it to her when she is older and learning to spell her own name. It truly is a magical book. A perfect present for any child.

Details:

Words by: David Cadji-Newby

Illustrations by: Pedro Serapicos

The book is A4, printed in the UK on environmentally friendly, thick, uncoated paper (it really is great quality, more card like than paper and with a smooth texture).

Available to buy via their website, for £16.99 (free UK post and packaging) and they ship worldwide.

If your still unsure, visit their website, input your child’s name, select boy or girl and preview your childs book.

Maggie StoneDisclosure: Shortly after my baby was born, I won a personalised lost my name book via a twitter competition. I was not asked to review the book on the blog but I wanted to share it since it is such a beautiful book.