Review | Isla Fisher’s Children’s Books

We were sent the books for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Isla Fisher has been one of my favourite actresses for as long as I can remember. Not only did I love her in Home and Away but she also stars in the film adaptation (Confessions of A Shopaholic) of one of my favourite series of books and she also stars in the incredible first Now You See Me film – seriously….if you haven’t seen it, go watch it! I also remember owning both of her 90’s novels, Bewitched and Seduced By Fame when I was younger so you could definitely say I was a huge fan!

When I was contacted asking if Jack would like to review her children’s book series, I think I was probably most excited. Jack is a little bookworm and is starting to branch out into slightly longer books so these seemed perfect to keep his love of reading alive.


Isla has so far released three children’s books – all in the same series. These are Marge In ChargeMarge and the Pirate Baby and Marge and the Great Train Rescue – you can order them from Amazon here {affiliate link}. The series is about an unruly babysitter and each book is divided into three stories.  Isla said she wrote the books for her kids “just to have a laugh with them”.

So what did we think?

David Baddiel describes the series as ‘Charming, funny and delightful‘ and I would have to agree. From the very first page of the very first book, Jack was hooked. The characters are described so well and he gasped when Marge took her hat off to reveal her long multi-coloured hair. I think every child dreams of an unruly babysitter who lets them do what they want that their parents would never let them do and Marge certainly is mischievous!

The illustrations really help the books come to life too. These are well drawn and really convey what the text says. With each book containing three stories, they are long enough to keep the child entertained but short enough not for them to get tired. A story a night is perfect!

Jack loves the character of Marge – he thinks she is incredibly funny and yes, he would like a babysitter like her! He thinks he is more like Jemima than Jakeypants but thinks the character of Jake is very funny too. When I asked for his thoughts on the series, he said ‘Good….No, BRILLIANT!‘ and I can tell he is a big fan already. Here’s hoping there is more in the series as Isla Fisher has created some fantastic characters who we can’t to read more about – even Olivia has been enjoying listening to us reading the stories!

We are definitely impressed with these books and these make a great addition to Jack’s bookshelves. What have you or your children been reading recently?

L.O.L Surprise Series 2 | What Did We Get?

Item sent for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own,

You may remember our post regarding our L.O.L Surprise Easter hunt so when we were asked if we would like to review a surprise from Series 2, I was always going to say yes. Jack constantly asks for them when seeing them in the supermarket – and I think that’s great. It is so good that children aren’t falling for the gender stereotyping adults push onto them when it comes to toys and I am more than happy for him to play with what are considered mostly as ‘girl’s toys’.

The first L.O.L collection proved very popular with consumers   you get seven layers of fun with every L.O.L. Surprise doll! Inside there is a secret message sticker, a collectible sticker sheet, a water bottle charm, a pair of shoes, an outfit, an accessory and a L.O.L. Surprise! doll with water surprise. Series 2 has just been released so what did we receive?

There are over 45 dolls to collect in series 2 – and you never know what one you are going to get. Priced at £9.99, you really do get a surprise.

So who did we get?

Of course when it comes to a collection, you are always wishing and hoping for the rare ones but you are very lucky if you do get them. We weren’t lucky enough to get one on this occasion but we did receive number 2-012 called Kicks – we guess she is a footballer!

The surprise dolls are categorised with their number and have a symbol which shows them as popular, fancy, rare, ultra-rare and on my way (the ones that haven’t quite arrived yet!). Kicks is popular so I expect there to be more of her and a few of the others than Splash Queen (which of course Jack wants!).

Jack was very happy with his L.O.L Surprise doll and of course is wanting to buy the whole collection once again. The dolls are perfect for ages 6 and over and will be a great stocking filler come Christmas time as whoever you are buying for will be totally surprised and won’t know what they are getting – and who doesn’t love a surprise?

We’ll definitely be picking up some more of series 2. Have you started collecting them yet?

A Unique Gift From Twenty Fingers

Described as ‘a cut above gifts’, Twenty Fingers is a family run business based in Milton Keynes. Owned by a husband and wife duo with a passion for design and photography, they have a million ideas that are used to create their unique home décor gifts and quirky artwork. All the products are handmade by them in the UK. Natural materials such as paper, wood, glass and metal are used in the production of their gifts.

Offering a personalised service, you can choose from a variety of gifts for the person you are buying for. Whether you want artwork or home accessories, you are sure to find it and receive a gift with a unique and bespoke finish.

I’ve been looking for a gift for my mum from Jack and Olivia that is something that she will want to keep forever – something that isn’t just a use once item. When we were offered the chance to review something from the Twenty Fingers website ourselves, it didn’t take us long to choose what we wanted. Between Jack and I, we chose a bespoke children’s photo papercut. Priced at £69 for the standard size or £89 for the larger size, you are even able to choose the colour of your frame and the colour of the artwork. Now I have a lot of photos of Jack and Olivia together but we decided to choose the one above.

We were kept informed of the creation process throughout and were shown what it would like before we agreed to anything. Once we were happy, it was sent out to us and arrived very safely and quickly.

The attention to detail is incredible. You can really see that the papercut is of Jack and Olivia. People who make papercuts are highly skilled so I tip my hat to them – it really is incredible just how much detail they can add in. As you can see we chose the wooden frame with a white/cream artwork and I think it works really well.

The font used is lovely too – it really is a lovely gift and we couldn’t wait to give it to my Mum. She was coming round to ours anyway so we told her that we had a surprise for her and gave it to her once she arrived. She was so happy with it – it’s something a bit different from the usual mugs or photos she receives – and it is something she can cherish as a joint present from them forever.

If you are looking for the perfect unique and personalised gift, I would suggest heading over to Twenty Fingers – you’re bound to find something you will love!

Item sent for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own

Mum Hacks by Tanith Carey | A Review

Book sent for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Described as ‘Exactly what every time-starved modern mum needs‘ by Fiona Phillips, I had high hopes for this book. I usually read a lot but since I gave birth to Olivia, I hadn’t even managed to finish just one book. That was until this book came along.

I am exactly what Fiona Phillips describes – a time-starved modern mum. Working from home, I am juggling my work, housework, a baby and the school runs among all the other things that come with being a mum, partner, daughter and friend and sometimes it can all just get too much. Especially when your child likes to push you to the limit. Now I know I am by no means the only person who has this – all mums have so much on their plate just like me – and we all know how difficult it can be to juggle absolutely everything!

With Tanith Carey’s latest book, Mum Hacks, claiming to offer time-saving tips to calm the chaos of family life, I knew I needed to read this and see if she could help me with some of my daily struggles. I mentioned before that I haven’t managed to finish a whole book since Olivia was born and Tanith seems to have thought of this for all of us stressed mums – you can dip in and out of it as it is handily split into sections. Ranging from Kitchen (with ideas ranging from quick meals, how to get your children to eat more vegetables and the best kitchen products to have in your household) to Playtime to Housework Hacks, you really can just dip in and pick and choose what you want to take from the book at that specific time.

Whilst I knew some of the tips that the author mentioned, she certainly gave me plenty more ideas. She’s revolutionised the way I will be doing my laundry from now on and I also have a few more quick meals I want to try out that she suggested. There’s even a quick recipe for microwave in minutes banana bread – Jack is keen to try this as soon as possible.

I love that the author talks about getting the children more involved with things – especially in the kitchen. Helping out with the shopping list or meal planning really helps Jack to be more adventurous with his food – he can be quite fussy. The author also gives some handy tips for aiming to get round situations like this – and I will definitely be giving them a go.

No matter what you are struggling with, I’m sure the author has a tip for you. I’m currently going through the book again section by section to see what I can implement to make my life that little bit easier. I’ve already tackled my hallway from the Housework Hacks section and now have a new coat and shoe rack ready to store our stuff – no more dumping our stuff wherever we can when we get in.

If you are looking for some time-saving tips to help you out in your everyday mum life, I would definitely suggest picking up a copy. Whilst every tip won’t be for everyone, you are bound to find some tips that you can put into practice to make your life as a mum that little bit less stressful.

You can buy a copy for yourself (either in paperback or on Kindle) here {affiliate link}. Are you looking for some ‘hacks’ to make your life a little bit easier?

Back To School With Sambro

When Jack goes back to school, he is going to be in Year 1. He is growing up so quickly – and of course with it being August, we are starting to buy all the back to school things he needs. It is always good to be prepared so when we were asked if we would like to review a Lego Batman 3D backpack, we just had to say yes. Lego and superheroes? Jack has recently seen the film and loved it – and as it features two of his favourite things, I knew a related backpack would go down a storm.

Sold by Sambro on Very among other retailers for around the £16 mark, the backpack is actually a 2 in 1 backpack. As well as being a front pocket, the circular pocket at the front also doubles up as a detachable lunch bag – extremely handy if your child takes packed lunches into school! The backpack has adjustable straps and has a carry handle on each of the two sections.

The detail on the rucksack is incredible. There is a Lego print on pretty much all of the bag including the back, sides and straps. The 3D element is also incredible – it really seems as if Batman is flying out of the backpack towards you! The colours are intense and I am very impressed.

Storage wise, this is fantastic. There is plenty of space for all your child’s school essentials and then even more – handy if your child needs to store their coat or jumper somewhere – you know it will all fit. As well as being a pocket, the lunch bag part is fully insulated with foil so that you can guarantee that your child’s lunch is kept as fresh as possible whilst stored in their bag during school time. You can be confident in the fact that your child’s food will still be as tip-top as it was when you put it in there.

As you can see, Jack is incredibly chuffed with his new backpack. As I mentioned, it features two of his favourite things – Lego and superheroes, what’s not to love? One thing I feel I should mention is the size of it – the backpack itself is quite large (perhaps because of how much storage it has to offer and the 2-in-1 detachable element) so this may be better suited to someone a little older than Jack, perhaps 7 or 8 plus. He is 5 and quite tall for his age and this was quite big for him – the straps adjusted well but as you can see in the pictures above, the backpack itself is the size of Jack’s upper body!

All in all, Jack is extremely happy with his new backpack and can’t wait to use it. He’s also very happy with the lovely set of stationery Sambro also kindly sent him which will set him up perfectly for September. Sambro have yet again pulled it out the bag with the products they have to offer – perhaps you will be picking something up for your child for September?

Item sent for purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.