Monday, 20 October 2014

Mooshka Sing Around the Rosie Doll - Myra

We love the Mooshka dolls from Zapf Creation and LM is starting to develop her own little collection of these beautiful, soft dollies, each with their own individual personality. Recently LM's collection has seen a new arrival when she received one of the new Mooshka Sing Around the Rosie dolls, in this case, Myra. We have Sonia and Ina from the standard Mooshka dolls range so it was lovely to add another dolly to the collection.

Mooshka Sing Around the Rosie Doll - Myra

The Sing Around the Rosie Mooshka Dolls are very special because, if you hold the hearts on both of their hands, they play 'Ring A Ring o' Roses'  and, as you are already holding both hands, your little one can actually play the game with their doll too. The tune is quite pleasant (unlike many that toys play) and, as soon as you let go of either heart it will stop playing and will start at the beginning again if you hold the hands once more. I really like that it stops when the hands are released as that means your child won't wander off and leave the doll playing music. Much better than those that never seem to stop! The holding hands feature is really nice as the Mooshka doll story tells that they are paper dolls which came to life and were connected by holding hands, you can join the original dolls by connecting their hands up to each other.

Mooshka Sing Around the Rosie Doll - Myra

These Mooshka dolls are a little different to the standard dolls. They are  larger and they, obviously, have a battery pack inside them so they aren't quite so soft. This means that they aren't machine washable like the original dolls. They feature the same beautiful clothing and little design features which make them a real favourite with LM. She loves to explore the different dolls and the textures that they have. The doll is beautifully presented as usual, in a gift box.

Mooshka Sing Around the Rosie Doll - Myra - compared with standard Mooshka Dolll

 When we first received the doll and I realised how she was operated - by holding both hands - I was concerned that LM wouldn't be able to do it herself. She's just over two and it I thought she might not grasp it. I needn't have worried. I showed her how the music plays and now I can regularly find her dancing around with her doll.

Mooshka Sing Around the Rosie Doll - Myra - Heart on hand#

With an RRP of £24:99 I think that Sing Around the Rosie Myra is a beautiful dolly who's music is a unique and fun addition. She's a must have for little girls like LM who love the Mooshka range and she's already getting a lot of love here. She would make the perfect gift for any little girl this Christmas.

LM loves her Mooshka Dolls

Check out our other Mooshka Doll reviews:

...and check back soon for your chance to win a Mooshka doll!

To find out more about the Mooshka dolls visit their beautiful website or 'like' their Facebook page.

You can buy the Mooshka Sing Around the Rosie dolls from all usual stockists including Amazon.

Disclosure: We received the doll for review purposes. Contains affiliate link.

Big Energy Saving Week (#BESW14) with British Gas

This week is #BESW14, Big Energy Saving Week (20-24th October) and British Gas have teamed up with Netmums to help busy families to save energy as Autumn turns into Winter. Throughout this week British Gas and Netmums will be focusing on different rooms in the house and offering tips and suggestions for how you can save energy, and money, in each one. Check out the British Gas Hub at Netmums to find out more.

I was invited to ask a British Gas Engineer a question about energy saving and decided to ask what was the single easiest way to save energy. His answer was:
Making sure the settings on the central heating system are in line with each other. For example if you have a room thermostat, the boiler thermostat (usually a dial on the boiler with a pic of the radiator next to it or on a digital display on the boiler) should be set to around maximum through winter. (Though with young children in the property probably best set a little lower to avoid the radiators becoming extremely hot and potential burn hazards)

Radiator Control

I've been thinking about saving energy in our home. I think we are pretty good as a rule but, as I'm  home with LM most days I know that there are ways in which we can improve. During the day we tend to spend most of our time in the lounge and kitchen. Here are my tips for energy saving there:
  • Our house is pretty gloomy during the day so we usually have at least one light on. I tend to use the lower wattage lamp as this allows enough light but uses less power than our overhead lighting.
  • I ensure that we all wear socks in the house, bare feet is a really quick way to make you feel really cold. Keeping socks or tights on means that this is less likely to happen. Both children are now wearing vests as a cozy extra layer to help keep them warm
  • All of us reach for a jumper or hoodie when we start to feel cold. The heating doesn't go on if the cold person has less than three layers on!
  • I use my slow cooker to cook the evening meal quite often, it's a low energy device and I think that the scent of the cooking meal makes the house feel warmer. That's probably psychological more than scientific though!

Cozy socks

I decided to ask a few of my blogger friends how they save energy in their homes and they were quick to respond with some fab tips:
  • Eileen at ET Speaks From Home suggests using radiator reflecting panels to stop heat loss through the walls.
  • Mary at Over 40 and a Mum to One has switched to LED lighting where possible in her home. 
  • Angela at The Life of Spicers has turned down her thermostat by one degree and keeps doors closed to keep heat in rooms.
  • Jenny at The Brick Castle uses her air fryer instead of her oven, especially when cooking in smaller quantities. You don't need to wait for these to get to temperature and they often cook more quickly than conventional ovens.
  • Anna from In the Playroom suggests getting walls and lofts insulated. There are government grants available to help with this for those who are eligible.
  • Tina at The Soup Dragon Says uses any leftover boiled water from the kettle to fill hot water bottles in winter, or to speed up boiling vegetables throughout the year.
  • Jen at My Mummy's Pennies suggests using extra blankets and encouraging little children to share bath water.
  • Kel at Writings, Ramblings and Reviews suggests really thinking about which cycle you need for your washing machine. Can you use quick wash or a cooler temperature?
It's so important to save energy, especially at this time of year, and remember you can always put those extra pennies saved towards a Christmas treat! Hopefully there are some useful tips here for you. How will you be saving energy in #BESW14?


British Gas have launched the Hive Active Heating Control system which allows you to control your heating and hot water from wherever you are. Great if your plans change and you don't need your heating to turn on with the timer you have previously set. They estimate that it could save you up to £150 from your energy bills per year! No more heating an empty home and it even has frost protection.

I've teamed up with British Gas to give away a Hive system, worth £199, to one of my lucky readers. To enter simply complete the Gleam widget below. The blog post comment is compulsory and will unlock a range of additional entry options. Please read the terms and conditions.

I am a member of the Netmums Blogging Network, a unique community of parent bloggers from around the UK who have been handpicked by the Netmums team to review products and brands on their behalf. I may have been paid expenses, and have been supplied with a product sample for this review, but retain all editorial control. All my Netmums Reviews will display the Netmums logo within the post.

This is a Netmum's sponsored review.To find out more click the button: 

Win competitions at 

Sonny Angel Ladurée Collection #BigReveal and Giveaway

Have you heard of Sonny Angels? For those not in the know they are a range of collectable little dolls from Japan which have been around for the last ten years. The dolls are sold in themed collections and arrive packaged in cardboard so you cant't see which doll you have got. Each purchase is a big surprise!

Their collectable nature means that they are popular with all ages. In our house LM adores them but, as she's just two she isn't allowed to play with them. I think I definitely have a future Sonny Angel collector on my hands though! My Sonny Angels live on the bookcase out of reach.

Sonny Angel Ladurée Collection

For their tenth anniversary collection Sonny Angel have teamed up with Ladurée - the legendary French patisserie - to produce twelve new Angels. Six of them wearing the Ladurée trademark macarons and the other six wearing some beautifully crafted pattiserie creations! As will all Sonny Angel collections there is one that is super secret and you'll never see it unless you're exceptionally lucky enough to receive it!

If you saw the #bigreveal over on Twitter earlier you will have seen that I opened our Ladurée Sonny Angel to reveal the Macaron Menthe Glaciale Sonny Angel. This one is super cute and I love the teal green macaron on his head. He's a lovely addition to my little collection.

Sonny Angel Ladurée Collection Macaron Menthe Glaciale

The Sonny Angel Ladurée Collction dolls have an RRP of £13 and can be purchased from Kind Toys.

If you'd love to add a Ladurée Sonny Angel to your collection, or use it to start your Sonny Angel collection then enter my giveaway below.

The blog post comment is compulsory and will unlock a range of additional entries. Please read the terms and conditions.

Win competitions at 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Our Autumn #VitaPicnic

The weeks have been running away from us recently with school and then busy weekends so we have been in need of some time to reconnect a little. Recently Vita Coco Kids sent us a fantastic picnic hamper and invited us to get out and share our Autumn #VitaPicnic so this was a great opportunity to go and spend some time as a family.

#VitaPicnic Hamper

I've written many times before about the Country Park that lies within walking distance of our house.. We love to take a walk to feed the ducks and play on the park there and, as we've not had the chance to visit for a while, we decided to take our picnic there. The Country Park is based around a set of mill lodges and has walking and cycling trails, a centre which runs children's activities in the school holidays and weekends, playgrounds and lots of wildlife. We are very lucky to have it within just ten minutes walk of our home.

#VitaPicnic at Crompton Lodges

With Bud on his scooter and LM on her new toddlebike, we soon found the perfect spot for a little picnic. It was a bit too wet to use our lovely picnic blanket on the floor but it made a great tablecloth instead! Bud and LM loved trying out the two flavours of Vita Coco Kids (Apple and Blackcurrant and Mango and Pineapple) with the Apple and Blackcurrant being the favourite. I had to try them myself and found them really pleasant, refreshing with a lovely fruity flavour. I think I will definitely be picking some more of these up in our next supermarket shop.

Trying out Vita Coco Drinks at our #VitaPicnic

It was rather windy so after our picnic was completed we walked over to feed the ducks, geese and swans. They seemed rather hungry and were very pleased to see us. LM hasn't really fed them properly herself before and cried when the bread ran out! There's a real range of waterfowl on the various lakes and the children loved saying hello to this years cygnets who we've seen lots of this year.They are now almost the same size as their parents but still have brown, fluffy feathers instead of the snow white of the mature swans.

As the weather was growing cooler we decided to head home after feeding our feathered friends but we all loved spending some time outdoors in one of our favourite spots and I'm sure our picnic basket will get lots more use in the future!

Disclosure: We received a picnic hamper from Vita Coco Kids to help with this post. 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Autumn Birthday Gift Suggestions for Ladies

We have a couple of birthdays coming up in the next month or so and I'm a bit lacking in inspiration! I always find it so hard to think of birthday gifts when my thoughts have firmly turned towards... Christmas!

Still my lovely Sister in Law and friend have birthdays on the way so I've been trawling for ideas online and making a couple of sneaky purchases too. I'm not going to show you what we've bought but .hopefully below will give you some ideas if you're searching for gift ideas for ladies in their 30s and 40s. I'm sure some of them will work for Christmas gifts too.

1. Knitwear - Wool Overs are celebrating their 25th Anniversary this year and I've been browsing their range of Chunky Knit Cardigans. They are all made from pure lamsbwool or British wool and even have a  multi-buy option, if you're looking for more than one gift! I really love this belted cardigan, how warm and snuggly would that be for the autumn weather?

Wool Overs Chunky Knit Cardigan

It's available in five colours too, I love the red. It's the perfect festive colour to make you smile when out Christmas shopping.

2. Console Games or eBook Vouchers - My friend loves her Nintendo 3DS for her bus commute and is often found playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf or similar so I'll definitely be checking out new 3DS Games for her. I usually browse the supermarket sites like Tesco first and often find some fab bargains! My Sister in Law loves to read so a gift voucher to allow her to add some new titles to her eReader is always a popular gift.

3. Pampering - A spa day is always a great way to spend time with loved ones. Getting away for a bit of pampering, child free is the perfect treat. I love one of our local hotel's spas and was treated to a day there last year. I'm going to give them a call to see if they have any tempting offers on at the moment. A treatment or two, time in the spa pool and lunch would be lovely to relax in the run up to Christmas. If you can't make time to get out for a spa day, why not choose some of their favourite, indulgent products as a gift?

Spa Day

4. Theatre Tickets - If your friend or relative enjoys the theatre then tickets for a show are always a popular gift. Check out what's on in your local town or city and get booking Have an early dinner (there are loads of restaurants with fab pre-theatre bargain menus) and have a girls' night out. You could even fit in a cocktail or two after the show!

5. Her Favourite Things - Sometimes it can be really hard for busy women to get some time for themselves, whether they are busy at work or with their children. I often like to collect a few of their favourite things together in a pretty box or basket to make a really thoughtful gift. The contents will differ for everyone but you could include their favourite chocolates, wine, magazine, a paperback book, their favourite lipstick or hand cream, you can include anything you think they would love. It's sure to be popular, I'd love it if someone did that for me! There are lots of suggestions online to make your basket look lovely,  check out this post from Camp Clem for suggestions.

Hopefully there are some really useful ideas for you here? Do you have any suggestions to add?

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