Playmobil City Life Children’s Playground | Review

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

Jack is a big fan of Playmobil. The brand played a big part in his birthday and Christmas presents last year and will be doing so again this year. We recently reviewed the aquarium and were also asked if we would like to review the City Life Children’s Playground, available here exclusively at Smyths for £39.99. I immediately said yes as I knew it was something on the birthday list and couldn’t wait to see how we got on.

For ages 4-10, the set came packaged well with lots of little bags with different Playmobil bits and pieces inside. The set includes a carousel, a slide, swings, sandpit, skateboard ramp and picnic area plus lots of little details such as the little tiny squirrels and birds, the picnic food and the tiny flowers. We loved the portable BBQ, bottles and bottle crate!

The detail that has gone into this set is great; they really have considered all aspects of a children’s playground when designing. It took a while to put together as some of the pieces are quite small and can be a little difficult to snap together. Jack found a few things difficult to put together and he is almost seven so I’d advise helping your child if they are on the lower end of the age range for this.

Something we really liked about the set is that there were a vast number of figures included so it didn’t matter whether you were playing with the different elements of the playground separately or all together as one massive playground, you always had enough figures to do what you want. It was great to see that the figures ranged in age with some adults, some children and even a baby with its very own stroller!

When putting the set together, the aspect we probably found most difficult as a team was putting the trees together – trying to figure out which set of leaves went where was quite hard as we only had the picture instructions to go by and so many pieces looked similar! Other than that, I found it fairly simple to put together although Jack struggled with putting the bike together and the carousel seats.

 

I think my personal favourite part had to be the carousel – it is so simple to put together and such a lot of fun to spin with the child figures all in enjoying the ride. Jack particularly liked the swing section with the tyre swing and the rocking boat.

So what did we think? In terms of value for money, this is great. £39.99 for all the stuff you get is great – there is literally so much to see and play with in this set. It was a little fiddly to put together in places and with some quite small pieces so I’d suggest some parental help putting the set together if at the lower end of the age scale. The instructions were fairly clear – except for the trees, I’d say – and Jack has had a lot of fun letting the figures play in the playground since.

If your little one is wanting Playmobil this Christmas, this would be a great set to start their Playmobil journey if they haven’t already. If they have already started their journey, this would make a great addition to any other sets they already have.

 

 

Degustabox | November

We were sent the box for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

It’s that time of the month again, our thoughts on this month’s Degustabox. This is the ‘festive’ Degustabox – so what did we get in the box? (You can buy yours here for just £12.99 including delivery!).

Tabasco Original Red Pepper Sauce – £2

This isn’t something we use all that often but it is something we always have in our cupboard, just in case. Made with just three ingredients: red peppers, vinergar and salt; it has zero calories and is vegan too! I’ll definitely be using this at Christmas time.

The Bee’s Knees Non Alcoholic Sparkling Wine 20cl – £1.89

If you will be enjoying a festive tipple but someone prefers a non alcoholic alternative, this may be the drink for you. It is a sophisticated, vegan friendly alternative to sparkling wine, made from grapes and infused with green tea.

Mallow & Marsh Cranberry Marshmallows 

These were a lovely addition – we’ve had Mallow & Marsh products before and absolutely loved them.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Snowman – £3

This barely made it out of the box before Steve claimed it. He is a big fan of Reese’s products so this was a lovely seasonal treat – a peanut butter filled snowman with a chocolate coating. Steve certainly enjoyed it.

Amy’s Kitchen Organic Chunky Tomato & Organic Lentil Vegetable Soup – £1.80

These are the product of the month and I can see why. I think I’m in love. I adore soup at this time of year – well, anytime of year actually if I am being perfectly honest – and I absolutely loved these. They are a new brand to me but I will be certainly getting them again – especially the tomato soup as it was absolutely delicious!

Jules Destrooper Almond Thins & Belgian Chocolate – £2.19

Unfortunately these got a bit damaged in transit to my house however that didn’t affect the taste. I am not an almond fan so I didn’t like this – a shame as I love most other  Jules Destrooper products. Steve found them okay but the kids absolutely adored them! Goes to show you can’t please everyone all of the time.

Weetabox On The Go Kids – £2.99

Now I don’t know about your kids but my son loves breakfast drinks or even those little probiotic drinks you can get! Jack was very excited to see these – there are four single serve pouches in this multi pack and are a source of vitamin D, calcium, fibre and protein. They have no artificial sweeteners, colours or flavours.

Emily Veg Crisps Sweet Potato Sticks -£1

I’ve previously tried the Emily Veg Crisps and really liked them so I was very excited to see these new sweet potato sticks. They made for a great snack and were very flavourful as I expected.

Nick’s Coconut Bar – £1.45

A rich and delicious naturally sweetened coconut bar with no added sugar, this was a great snack and perfect for some guilt free indulgence.

Jack Daniel’s & Cola and Jack Daniel’s & Light Cola – £2

This is the second or third month in a row that we’ve had Jack Daniel’s products and whilst I am appreciative and the drinks have been different each time, it is getting a little monotonous now. As always, they tasted good but I’d like to see something different next month.

Kallo Organic Vegetable Stock Pots – £1.80

What is a kitchen without some stock pots or cubes? We always have some and these are natural, organic and have no added MSG or artificial ingredients. I was very happy to see these included.

With a price point of £12.99, this box works out as roughly around £23/£24 in content value which is a great deal – almost double the price you are paying. I was quite impressed with this box this month however for a festive theme, this could have been way more festive and I’d like to see a difference from Jack Daniel’s products in the future.

What would have been your favourite item?

Raising Awareness Of Pancreatic Cancer

I don’t know about you but cancer has hit my family and friends multiple times over. I’ve lost family members to the disease yet also had family members survive and go into remission. Steve has had family suffering from the disease and we have also had friends suffer – some who sadly did not survive and some who are currently in remission. We’ve even ran to raise money for cancer charities in the past.

It is a dreadful disease and whilst everyone is aware of cancer, how many of us can say we know exactly what type of cancers there are out there? We all know breast, prostate etc but there are some rare ones out there too. One that isn’t rare but is still not as talked about is pancreatic cancer but from what I’ve read recently, the numbers of people being diagnosed with it is growing increasingly.

Pancreatic cancer can can affect the oesophagus, stomach and the duodenum (small intestine), pancreas, liver and the biliary. The patient’s treatment is dependent on the type cancer and how advance the cancer is including the age of the patient and their general health.

What I find truly devastating about this particular type of cancer is that it often doesn’t cause any signs or symptoms in the early stages which make it incredibly difficult to diagnose early – as it grows, it may start to cause symptoms. Symptoms can include: abdominal and back pain, indigestion, unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, changes to bowel habits and feeling and being sick among others. However, these symptoms could also perhaps be caused by something else entirely, something more common and even if you actually have pancreatic cancer, you may not have all the above symptoms. Regardless, if you are having some of these symptoms, a trip to the GP should be in order – it is better to go and find out it is nothing than to not go and it be something.

With it being so hard to diagnose, the disease is still considered to be largely incurable – although survival rates do increase from decade to decade however it seems more and more people seem to be being diagnosed with it. Research found that for all stages of the cancer combined, 20% is the one year relative survival rate with 7% being the five year survival rate. Shocking, right?

Pancreatic cancer hasn’t ripped through my family or friends yet and I hope it never does – but I think it is so important to be aware of the signs. I’ve found out a lot more these past few weeks as I have looked into it, did you know much about it?

In collaboration with LOC

Holiday Shopping for Kids Clothes

It’s that time of the year again. That time when our children are a constant barrage of requests for toys, games, and devices. Instead of giving in to their whims – and we all know that’s what they are – maybe you should take a moment to consider something they need instead of something they want and help make this Christmas memorable.

For instance, we break our kids’ gifts up into four categories: Wants, Needs, Wears, and Reads. That doesn’t mean they only get four presents to open on Christmas morning, it simply means they receive at least one gift that they want, one that they need, one that they’ll wear, and one that they’ll read.

When thinking of the Wear category, think of what types of kids clothes you’ll want this year. There is a wide range of kids clothes from which you can choose. We tend to focus on the necessities, like socks, shoes, pants, and underwear, but there are plenty of other options. For instance, this year we’re getting our seven year-old a new winter coat because that’s what he needs.

The holidays are a great time to get a jump start on swimwear or offseason clothes that your child may need. Sales abound for clothes that won’t be worn for another six months, so be on the lookout for good deals. Or maybe your little one really enjoys a certain cartoon or character. What better time to splurge on a new t-shirt than the holidays? They’ll be excited to sport their favorite character and you’ll add another piece of clothing to their closet.

When it comes to kids clothes, your choices are nearly limitless. Whether it’s a new pair of kicks your child wants or something they need for the upcoming year, take time to shop around and find just the right item to add to your child’s wardrobe.

Collaborative Post 

How NOT to Go Broke During the Holidays

It’s less than a month until Christmas, whoa! Wasn’t it just yesterday that you were making New Year resolutions?

With the holidays upon us, it’s time to start preparing financially for Christmas. If you fail to plan your finances, you’re likely to usher the New Year in debt.

The average American consumer will be spending about $800 on Christmas presents alone. This a substantial financial hit to take in a month, and the more reason why you should plan your Christmas finances.

Check out these tips that will save you from going broke during the holidays.

Make a Budget (and Stick to It)

Making a Christmas budget is the most important thing you can do this holiday season. A budget will help you to avoid going into debt.

You need a budget before starting to shop for gifs; not the other way round. Make a reasonable and realistic budget that you can stick to. Look at your current budget and check how much you have saved towards holidays. If your total savings for the holidays is $300, this is what you should spend on gifts. There are various awesome budget-friendly gift exchange ideas for any amount you have.

If you anticipate you would need more than you have currently saved, look for ways to increase the amount before Christmas. This may mean skipping your daily call at Starbucks or even getting a side hustle during the weekends for some extra bucks.

Shop for Worthy Deals

Stores offer deals galore during the holidays. If you know the gifts you’ll want to get your loved ones, start checking prices now.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are right around the corner. Check deals during these days to find out whether you can grab a few gifts that are on your list.

However, make sure that the deals advertised at stores are really worth it. With customers expecting huge price drops during Black Friday, some stores actually charge more for items on the day but advertise them as deals. Do not buy an item simply because it has a “Black Friday Sale” sticker.

If you prefer shopping in brick and mortar stores, one easy way of confirming whether you are getting a good Black Friday deal is by using a QR scan app. Download the app on your phone and when you see an item you want to buy, scan its barcode in the app. The app will then let you know which other stores carry the same item and their prices.

Using a QR scan app will help you know whether you are getting a good deal or the store is simply taking advantage of the mad shopping frenzy of Black Friday.

Sharon McCutcheon

Say “No” Often

Most holiday spending is done on impulse. This is the reason why many people end the holidays in debt. To avoid getting trapped by impulse spending, you will have to practice saying no. In particular, say no to the following:

  • Withdrawing your emergency fund money to spend on Christmas gifts
  • Charging Christmas gifts on credit cards and racking up interest
  • Opening a credit card to spend more than you have saved for the holidays
  • Spending more than you have allocated for your holiday budget

‘Tis the season to be jolly… but the season only lasts a short time. In a few weeks, you will be back to normal life with financial obligations to be met.

Before spending any extra amount during the holidays, consider your long-term financial goals. Perhaps you have a mortgage to pay, your kids’ tuition fees, insurance and so on. Is it really worth it racking all that debt for one season when dozens of financial obligations will be waiting for you over the next year?

If you have a spouse, have an open and honest conversation about holiday finances. Would you rather you rather use $1500 on gifts or invest it in your business? Make wise decisions.

They say money is jealous and when it goes, coming back is never easy. Spend money on things that will make you debt-free.

Check Return Policies and Save Receipts

If you wish to buy Christmas presents early, check the return policies of the stores where you are buying. You never know whether the gift would be suitable for the person you are buying for. Save the receipts just in case you would want to return the gifts.

New businesses and smaller boutique shops don’t always offer returns. However, if they offer returns, you may only be given store credit. Check the policy of the store where you are shopping just to be sure you can get your money back if you decide you do not need the gift anymore. Follow the tips above to avoid going broke during the holidays.

Collaboration