Celebrating The Birth Of The Royal Baby With The Baby Annabell Brother

Item sent for the purpose of review.

We recently reviewed the Baby Annabell Interactive Doll and when offered the chance to review the Baby Annabell Brother to celebrate the birth of the Royal baby, we just had to say yes.

We were sent the Baby Annabell brother doll and a celebratory package to celebrate the fact that ‘It’s A Boy!’. See the contents of the package below – it features a flag which the kids loved waving, a crown, some bunting, some gems and some sweets:

Jack was so excited to see a boy doll! I am not one for saying boys should play with ‘boys toys’ and girls should play with ‘girls toys’ and he has been loving playing with the Baby Annabell doll but he was so excited to see a boy doll, just like him. So many dolls are girls so he was eager to get playing with him as soon as possible – but he had to fight Olivia for the chance!

The Baby Annabell Brother doll retails at £49.99 and comes with the same items his sister does – a nappy, a pendant, a dummy, a bottle and a bib. He also makes real life sounds just like his sister and movement – although we noticed his movement was a little different to Annabell’s, his mouth didn’t seem to move as much which we weren’t sure if it was meant to happen or not.

Like his sister before him, Brother is meant to spark imaginative play and help encourage social skills from a young age. It has been amazing to see Olivia play with him and see her motherly instinct kick in – as soon as he starts to cry, she is there, comforting him – and she can sometimes be found trying to comfort both Brother and Annabell at once!

Baby Brother wets his nappy just like a real baby, uses the potty, sucks on a dummy, drinks from a bottle, burps, yawns, cries and babbles. This interaction is great as it really enables Olivia to role play – and she loves it when her own brother joins in with Baby Annabell so they can play all together.

As you can see, Brother has proved very popular with Olivia, especially in the wake of the birth of the new baby. She had fun celebrating, putting on the crown and trying to eat some of the sweets in the package. We’ve even put the bunting up in Jack’s room! She has also been loving taking him on the school run – everyone stops and asks her all about her baby and she loves babbling away to them, telling them all about him!

Like I mentioned in our Baby Annabell review, this isn’t the lowest priced doll on the market but it is incredibly high quality and worth every penny, even just for the interaction alone. There are so many interactive capabilities that Olivia is never left bored and he is usually one of the first toys she opts to play with every single day, she loves him that much.

You can find out more about the Baby Annabell range here but I have one final question. What should we name him? Is Louis too obvious? I’d love some ideas!

Do You Believe In Lucky Numbers?

Do you have a lucky number?

You may not realise it right away, but you probably have a lucky number. It’s surprising how many times numbers appear in our daily lives and how often we use them without realising it. Whether it’s calculating the cost of our morning coffee or checking how many unread emails we have.    

Are you choosing the right lucky number?

Having a lucky number isn’t always a conscious decision, sometimes we have subconsciously decided what our lucky numbers are.This can be influenced by myths or legends we’ve learned from our culture and from stories as children.

The guys over at Betway recently took a look at some of the world’s luckiest and unluckiest numbers and explored the reasons why these superstitions existed. Take a look at the infographic below and see if your lucky number has a good reputation in other parts of the world!  

I’m one of the 25% who counts 7 as a lucky number. What’s yours? I must admit I do have a few lucky numbers that I always tend to veer towards when needing to pick a number for something. Some of mine don’t feature on this list but some do – 7 has always been lucky for me but so have 11 and 20!

67% of people having luck because of believing in the number 3 is really interesting to me because everyone knows the saying that bad things come in threes – and in my case, they certainly do! Everyone I know always seems to experience bad luck in threes so I’d love to believe in the number and get some good luck for a change! My dad always used to opt for 3 though and had good luck from it – so who knows?

I also find it really interesting that many people have specific lucky numbers because of certain superstitions such as skipping the 13th floor in US tower blocks because of superstitious beliefs and the Chinese superstition of four as the Chinese word for death is similar to the Chinese word for four.

What is your lucky number?

Collaborative Post

Europe’s Top Road Trips #roadtripsofEurope

Collaborative Post

Do you love a good road trip? I do – they are lots of fun! You get to see so many different things along the way and have fun with your friends and family.

Kwik Fit have created an eBook all about the top road trips Europe has to offer – you can find it here: Europe-s Top Road Trips-The Scenic Edit. There are plenty of road trips I already knew about such as Route 500 or Trollstigen but there are so many that are new to me too. I love that Kwik Fit have created this as it has introduced me to so many new trips. It also reminds me to make sure my car is safe and ready to travel before heading off – so many people don’t check even the basics when heading on a road trip and end up getting themselves intro trouble.

Now I’ve mentioned before that I am not very well travelled – I’ve only been abroad twice – so my road trips tend to be here in the UK. However that does’t mean I don’t have the wanderlust and I would love to go on any of these road trips. I’ve always wanted to visit Iceland so why not travel along Route One or take a drive around the Ring of Kerry in Ireland – somewhere I have always wanted to visit because it is so beautiful!

There are so many beautiful places in Europe that I would just love to take a drive around. I say I – well I don’t drive so it would have to be Steve, haha!

Steve has also had a look at the eBook and it has certainly reignited his wanderlust – Steve is definitely intrigued by the Trollstigen in Norway and I must admit, it does sound like a fab road trip! We are so keen to get back out there travelling again soon so what would be better than a road trip in Europe, showing our kids the sights and beautiful scenes that our gorgeous continent has to offer!

Why don’t you take a look at the eBook and see which road trip takes your fancy? There’s so many gorgeous places to choose from – and don’t forget to make sure your car is super safe and ready for the trip! Kwik Fit cover what you should check in their eBook – checking your tyre treads, batteries and so many other things.

Let me know where you want to road trip first – do you have the same choices as me?

Posted in car

7 Easy Ways to Create More Garden Space

With the promise of a long, hot summer, it is no wonder that we want to create more space in the garden to enjoy the summer sunshine. If space is limited, you need these great hints and tips to create more garden space.

#1 Choose easy to store furniture

No matter what furniture you choose, style or material, make sure it can be easily stored away to give you more room in your garden for other activities.

For example, if you invested in an expensive piece of garden furniture, you don’t want your children using it as part of their outside tennis or football matches!

From cubed dining sets to loungers on wheels, there are all kinds of easy to store options. Rattan garden furniture is easy to store, for example, because it is lightweight, easy to move and yet robust. And none of this compromises on style either.

#2 ‘Lines of beauty’

In art theory, there is a concept known as lines of beauty. Straight lines, such as pathways, have their place but are considered formal and to the eye, absolute.

A serpent line – a pathway in the smaller garden that gently curves and weaves – distracts the eye. It is a peaceful shape, and one that invites the eye – and you! – to meander gently along its path.

This ‘line of beauty’ is used in all kinds of artistic applications, from paintings to sculptures. The gentler the curves, the more pleasant we find it. And in the smaller garden, an off-set or curvy path gives it interest as well as an illusion of more space.

#3 Clever planting

You want space in the garden to entertain, for the kids to play, to lounge around enjoying the sun and to dine al fresco too, complete with BBQing area.

That’s a lot to fit into a large garden but when your borders are closer than you would like, making the most of the space can seem impossible.

Thus, we stick to the three borders and large lawn, assuming that this expanse of lush green grass is ideal for everyone and everything you want to do.

With clever planting, you can create an interesting landscape that is both garden and playground. And this means repeating elements.

On your next trip to the plant nursery, just as you would repeat key elements in an interior room, do the same in the garden.

Choose two main colours, using a third as a surprising accent or choose the same plant, but different subspecies such as the variegated leaf Hosta and the large, bold leaf Hosta.

Pull one border wider into the garden or create a curved edge, similar to that we talked of for paths.

#4 Plant vertical or in tiered pots

When you don’t want to claim any more soil for the border or have a small courtyard garden, planting in pots is the solution to bringing colour and wildlife into your garden.

Introduce more, however, by planting vertically;

  • A garden wall is easily created. Use a tiered ladder shelving unit or fix lengths of rail onto a wall and use pots with hooks (you can buy systems online) and plant a green, garden wall.

  • Used tiered pots or strawberry containers where you can pack more in and add colour and lush greenery to your small garden.

#5 Add a focal point

We assume that a focal point is only needed in a large garden but it is just as important in a smaller garden too.

Keep it subtle with a water feature, for example, well-placed in the far corner, allowing the eye to roam across the rest of the garden. Or make the al fresco dining area and your rattan garden furniture the focal point of the summer garden.

#6 Mirrors

We know that mirrors in a small room make a big difference and they can in the small garden too.

Hang wall mirrors or lean them against a wall, allowing plants to cover the edge but not obscure it completely. Use indoor glass mirrors with care, especially if you have children running around.

#7 Soften the boundary

When a fence or wall signifies the smallness of your garden you either embrace this or try to soften its impact. From vertical garden walls to growing climbing plants up the fence boundary, there are many ways of softening the impact of such a fixed feature.

Clever planting, great use of colour and employing some lesser known tricks like the ‘line of beauty’ pathway can instantly transform a small garden. Try it and see!

Rattan Direct is an online retailer specialising in the highest quality rattan garden furniture from sustainable sources.


Stikbot Pirate Movie Set | Review

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

If you are anything like me, you will know the perils of letting your kids watch the TV channels. All the toys and games promoted in the ads are added to the birthday and Christmas wish lists and you hear cries of ‘I want that, I want that!’. Well there has been one thing that Jack has wanted for ages – a Stikbot set – and when offered the chance to review one, he just couldn’t wait!

We were sent the Stikbot Pirate Movie Set from Brainstorm Ltd – find out more about the range here – and Jack couldn’t wait to get started. Stikbot say ‘you create, you animate, you share’ and Jack was keen to get cracking – making his own story up and using the free Stikbot mobile app to create his own film. He’s only six so found it a little tricky to begin with – after all, stop motion animation can be tricky for us adults – but he has persevered and is hoping to record some films for our YouTube channel over the summer holidays! Jack is super creative and I loved the stories he was coming up with when we first set up the set so I can’t wait to see what movies he makes in a couple of weeks time!

Daddy helped Jack to get everything set up in the first place – inside the box were a double sided backdrop and four foam boards with numbered pieces so that you can put the ship and accessories together, following the instructions which tell you which numbers go with which. Once put together, you have the ship, a treasure chest with a flip lid for the treasure, some boats and oars, some cannons, sharks and palm trees – all the things you’d definitely expect to see in a pirate movie!

As you can see, once it is set up in the way you want it, it is extremely impressive! The set also comes with the obligatory Stikbot figure with some pirate accessories as you can see above. The stickers included in the box are stick on clothes so you can change the appearance of your figure if you wish.

I loved watching Jack set it up exactly how he wanted it – playing with it and making up stories before picking up my phone and giving the app a try. We are going to be practicing some more over the next few weeks on our pirate movies and hope to be sharing some soon – we’re hoping to find a perfect backdrop for it too.

The Stikbot pirate movie set is for ages 4+ and retails at £21.99 on Amazon here {affiliate link}. Whilst I would say that the set itself is definitely suitable for the age group and encourages imaginative play and creativity, younger children may find the stop animation of the app a little tricky and require some practice or some assistance. I know Jack is keen to keep practicing to get it perfect!

All in all though, we have been very impressed with the set and Jack is super keen to get some more sets for the future. Are your kids into the Stikbot sets?