23 December 2013

Squirrel Point Hoodie from Lucas Frank

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I am always searching for good quality childrens clothing for the winter months. Something to keep them warm but still look nice too. Products that look truly British and have the quality to match. well, that's where Lucas Frank come in. They sell boys t-shirts, polos, hoodies and sweats which all feature their trademark nautical logo of a lighthouse. 

All of the Lucas Frank garments have been designed by some of the best designers and using the finest materials too. They are obsessed with the perfect details and so you’ll find that every button, every stitch, everything has been made with care and attention. 

At the moment they are strictly a boys range making items from 18 months to 10 years old. We were sent a Squirrel Point Hoodie in Navy to put to the test.  

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The navy colour is bold yet still bright and the coordinating peach lining matches perfectly to bring out its fun side. The monogrammed buttons and the embroidered logo show off the true quality of the item. 

All of the seams have been double stitched to ensure that they will last the years and the hoodie is machine washable up to 40 degrees and, after washing it now a few times, I can assure you that it comes out just as nice as it went in. Still bright and still in shape. 

Thomas is tall for his age and so we picked size 5-6 years and this fits him perfectly. I would definitely recommend Lucas Frank to all of my friends and lovely readers and at the moment, they have a 50% off promotion running for Christmas so get in their whilst you can!

22 December 2013

Fireman Sam My First Notebook from KD UK

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One thing the boys always try to do is to play with my laptop. Every time I leave it, even for just a second, they will jump onto it and tap away, usually posting randomness to Facebook.
So I have been on the lookout to find childrens laptops that not only look like the real thing but have a childish flare too.

The Fireman Sam My First Notebook looks just like a real laptop as it has the classic fold function, with eight folders on the desktop depicting scenes from all of the rescues taking place in Pontypandy, as well as a full alphanumeric keyboard and working mousepad too. 

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Thomas can easily work the laptop too by using the mouse to navigate through the folders and play one of the four games on it. He can choose between learning character names, fun facts, numbers, colours, letters or listening to music.

The laptop helps to:

  • Introduce numbers
  • Teach colours and their names
  • Help children to learn letters and the alphabet
  • Develop childrens observation skills

I love the look of this laptop because it is bright and stands out which is always good for children. The voice speaks loud and clearly so that Thomas and Charlie can easily identify what it is talking about and I also like that whilst you are learning about Fireman Sam and everything to do with the cartoons, it is also helping to educate in numbers and colours too.

Thomas likes to listen to it and copy the facts and also point out who everyone is. He enjoys the fact that it is all based around Fireman Sam, as he is Thomas' favourite character, and points out that it is usually 'Naughty Norman' that causes the fires.

Overall, this is a top toy and one that both boys will enjoy for time to come. Check out the KD UK website to find out more about their ranges. 

20 December 2013

Immink Childs Jersey Hoody

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Immink Kids are a childrens clothing company that create gorgeous clothes which are organic, made in the UK and are environmentally friendly too.

Their inspirations come from the great British countryside and they want to make clothing that children can enjoy and be comfortable in that are of great quality. Made in Norfolk, each piece of Immink clothing can be enjoyed throughout that years as all the fabrics have been designed to wash well, age beautifully and last the years. 

We were asked to pick our favourite piece from their selection and after much deliberation, I decided on a gorgeous Jersey hoody for Charlie. This 100% organic cotton hoody is a gorgeous navy colour but looks a bit more blue/greyish on. It has contrast rib jersey trims in a bright yellow, sunshine colour and is marked with the Immink logo. 

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It has been made from a soft and cosy cotton jersey which is not only comfortable to wear but also will keep Charlie warm on chilly days. 

Usually, I would hate to purchase items that have a mix of colours like this as I would be afraid of the colours running and fading but Immink say that the hoody can be in a machine wash at 40 degrees so I took no time in testing that out.
I was really surprised to see it exit the washing machine still bright and no running at all and still in shape. Even now after a few washes and being wore outside and covered in mud and chocolate, it still looks brand new.

I must admit that I do love this hoody, the colours are lovely and compliment each other beautifully. The quality of the hoody makes me confident that it will last the years and, once Charlie grows out of it, I will be able to pass it to family members who will be able to use it for years to come.

The Immink Hoody, priced at £30, is a little more than I would usually like to pay for clothing for my children but actually, I think that an investment piece like this that will be in use over and over, it is not a bad price at all.  

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15 December 2013

Christmas at the Leeds Christkindelmarkt German Market


This week we have had fun at a traditional German market. The Christkindelmarkt German Market is at Millennium Square in Leeds every year and runs from the middle of November till the middle of December. Even though I have lived in Leeds for all of my life, this is the first time I have ever visited it.  

Christkindelmarkt in Leeds is one of the most established German Christmas markets in the UK and has wooden stalls, carousel rides and traditional German food and drinks. There are over 40 stalls and rides and fun for the whole family. With seasonal gifts, hand-crafted toys, jewellery and festive decorations. The speciality foods from Germany like bratwurst sausages, goulash, soups, stollen and gingerbread go down a treat and there is even a German bar, selling ale and lager, although I didn't try these as they were mega strong. 

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It was great to be out in town and seeing all of these lovely stalls and rides. Both the boys got to go on a few of the rides, the carousel had cars and vans as well as horses on it and Thomas loved driving his truck (round in circles) whilst Charlie chuckled as they were going round. 

I loved the gifts that were all handmade. These lovely Starlights which were like small white domes with a candle inside. Each dome had been carefully cut out into stars and snowflake patterns and were really pretty. They also had gifts for men which were made out of nuts and bolts that had all been welded together. One was made into a big motorbike and I know my dad, being a biker, would love one of these. I will definitely be popping back into to get one for him. 

Further along were more stalls, hook-a-duck and darts games. Thomas managed to hook a pink duck and won a pirate set which he loves and then daddy had a go at the darts and won a minion toy which Charlie claimed. 

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After our fun and frolics around the Christkindelmarkt German Market, we had a walk down past the Leeds Town Hall and towards the Trinity Centre for some lunch. Deciding to try somewhere new, we popped into TGI Fridays as none of us have been there before. 

Yummy burger and chips went down a treat. I got a beef burger and Simon went for a chicken blt which was huge. Even the boys kids meals were big too and they enjoyed the veg fingers. 

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We will definitely be popping back to the Christkindelmarkt German Market again this week but without the children and I cannot wait to sample some of their foods and drink too. 



Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Inch Blue Christmas Range

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The boys have way too many Christmas things but when I see them, I just can't help myself and have to buy them. Funky jumpers, funny looking hats and now cute shoes too. 

Inch Blue have a huge selection of childrens soft-soled shoes that are funky and bright. They are a family run business based in South Wales and they make their shoes knowing that all of the components are the very best quality available and environmentally friendly too. 

Inch Blue shoes have been designed to give total comfort for little growing feet. They are made exclusively from soft natural leather allowing your baby's feet to breathe. I am always talking about and telling people how young children should not be wearing hard shoes as they can affect how feet grow and cause problems in later life and so to hear that a shoe company are thinking about this too is great. 

Their range of fun, fresh designs is what they are best known for with over 100 different styles to choose from and all made within the UK. The only choice you have is what design you will pick. From princesses and animals, to sporty styles and farmyard friends, there really is a pair suitable for everyone. And now they even have a Christmas range too. 

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When I got in touch with Inch Blue, they were very pleasant and happy for us to work with them in doing a review of their Christmas range. After chatting away, we decided on a pair for each of the boys. I couldn't choose from them and all resorted to asking the boys themselves to pick. In the end it was Red Rudolf ones for Thomas and Baby Blue Penguin ones for Charlie. 

Both pairs can be purchase in various sizes to fit from newborn to up to 6 years old. It is nice for a company to think of the older children that might want funky designs too. 

Once ordered, the shoes are put into production and then sent out. We weren't waiting very long at all for them to say that they had to be cut, stitched and fitted together before being sent out. They come in clear plastic bags with a press-stud fastening so you can see the bright designs straight away. 

I quickly took a photo of them in their packaging before the boys pinched them off me to try on.

Thomas loves his reindeer shoes with their bright red design and funky reindeer stitched lovingly onto the front. The reindeer has a sparkly nose to make them extra special too. Charlie loves his 'peggin' (penguin) shoes and every time someone comes to visit us, he grabs them and wants them on straight away to show them off. 

The suede non-slip soles are fantastic for when the boys are running around the kitchen as they stop them for slipping over and the elasticated ankles means that they fit better and stay on too. 

Overall I can say that myself and both boys are happy with these shoes. The quality, durability and the thought that have been put into them makes them perfect for young children and the quirky designs and bright colours appeal to young children too.  
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