Move over Shopkins, step to the side Num Noms because the latest toys craze has arrived and they are called LOL Surprise Dolls! Straight off the bat of their US success, the collectible toy has arrived in the UK with an all inclusive, fashion-forward collection of 45!Due to work commitments, we were unable to attend the launch with Toys andMe and boy did that break my little peoples heart. To mend things back together, I promised them we’ll do a video unboxing, however, that also couldn’t happen.
After many tantrums, succumbed to just opening it off camera. Boy, was it worth the wait. Due to the same layers the toy comes in, we opened it like a game 0f pass the parcel. Each child got to open one layer and reveal the surprise. This definitely added to the anticipation of opening a brand new toy. A clue was revealed with each layer, until the doll was opened.
The girls were pleased to reach the end and reveal a brown-skinned, green-eyed dressed in a cat costume and named Baby Cat. Though I’m sure Cece and Amelia aware, I’m still trying to figure out what water skill Baby Cat.
In spite of the fact that I don’t want the colour of my children’s skin to ever be an issue for them, I wouldn’t be a good mum if I don’t acknowledge their reality. They know they are different. They, well the oldest has had questions about why her hair is different from her best friend’s. As a mum, I tried my best to explain this but I won’t sit here and lie that it wasn’t hard. Before I digress into a whole nother topic, what I’m actually trying to say is that LOL Surprise Dolls is a toy like no other. They are a diverse range that any child can relate to.
What I liked the most about LOL Surprise Doll was that nothing was left unused. The round ball the doll arrives in transforms into a doll stand and bath tub. Each leaflet contains valuable information about caring for the doll. It is rare for my husband to take interest in a toy so it really took my by surprise when he asked me where the toy was from before finishing with ‘it’s a classic toy’. What ever that means.
Available from the usual Argos, Smyths, The Entertainer and Toyrus
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As the mother of a 7-year-old girl, there are certain things I can’t run away from e.g playground squabbles with her classmate, tantrums when told to tidy up and of course major toy obsessions.
Thanks to the likes of Toy and Me on YouTube, Num Noms were what Santa was asked for this year. We were kindly sent a set which made Cece incredibly happy. For anyone who has no idea what they are, Num Noms are small, scented collectable toys. Today marks the release of the series 3 collection and Series 1 of the Num Nom Lights #unboxingday.
The Lunch Box Deluxe Pack Series 3 contains 13 characters and a host of new and special edition characters including an Erase-it Nom, Peachy Stamp-it Nom and Orange Pina Gloss-Up. As with most toys, they are not suitable for anyone under the age of three.
When buying toys, one of the main things I worry about is storage. I was impressed the package recycles as a storage. However, my eager beavers opened the box in such a rush they ultimately destroyed it.
Pardon my French but bloody hell #lidlsurprises. I’m the ‘chief shopper’ in my household which means I pick the clothes, the food and the appliances we buy. When it comes to our food shopping, my husband prefers we stick to the same place and for as long as I can remember, Tesco has been out go-to groceries store. However in recent months, I have tried breaking that mould and shopping around. We’ve occasionally done a ‘top-up’ shop at Sainsbury’s and get the odd bits from Aldi. With Christmas being such a special occasion, we go to Waitrose for that.
In all my years, never have I considered going to Lidl. The last time I stepped foot into one of their stores was when I was at secondary school and had a chocolate biscuit addiction. Mumsnet challenged me to buy party food from there. The Lidl Chrismas range were both great value and great tasting which left me pleasantly surprised.
To me Christmas is a time for family and a time to celebrate. I look forward to exchanging presents, eating my weight in food and watching an endless stream of Christmas movies. Since becoming a mum, I’ve found it to be even more important to me. I find new ways to make new traditions with my family and pass on old ones.
I dread slaving away in the kitchen so when I can, I slip out of having to make the turkey. Somehow, it always comes down to me. Maybe because my house is normally the central location where everyone comes to. When I can get away with not making turkey, I go for whole chicken because everyone loves it. Well, except for the vegetarians. For them, I have a wide selection of party food and snacks to compensate.
With a £25 budget , I headed to Lidl to see how much party food I could get from the Party time range. With a packed basket I headed to the till thinking I’d be told I’ve exceeded that budget. Instead, I was told I was significantly below it and had to get more things. Here are the party food I got:
Partytime 60 Indian selection, £2.99
Christmas Hand Cooked Crisps
Premium Cracker Selection, 1,79
Partytime 12 Chicken Skewers, £1.99
Partytime 14 Vegetarian Spring Rolls, £1.99
Deluxe 12 Tempura Prawns, £1,79
Partytime 10 Gyozas, £1.99
Partytime 14 Duck Spring Rolls, £1.99
With all these food and not enough mouth to feed, I invited some friends and their kids for a girls night in. In the video below, I mention how eager I was to try the Deluxe Tempura King Prawns. My, oh my they were incredible and cost only £1.89! I left them in the oven long enough for the crispy batter coating to be really crunchy. The sweet chilli dip was slight runny but tasted AMAZING. So good, I dipped a few chips in there too. These Tempura King Prawns literally flew off the plate when they came out of the oven. I’ve had to promised to return to Lidl and get some more because even the kids liked them.
Another thing that was quite enjoyable were the Premium Crackers Selection. For £1.79, you get a selection of six multigrain, whole wheat and poppy seed crackers. My nephews who are super fussy and hate trying new things loved them. As they ran around the house, they’d stop to take some and eat. It was an absolute pleasure having everyone over. It truly felt like Christmas day with all the food and people around.
The least favourite from the Partytime range were probably the Indian Selections. I’m not much of an Indian food fan so maybe I should have cooked half and save the rest for another day. In hindsight, the 60 Oriental snack selection might have been a better option or perhaps even both seeing as they cost a mere £3.99 each. The snack selection of vegetable samosas, onion bhajis and vegetable pakoras were very pocket-friendly and definitely something to serve if you are expecting a lot of people.
I cannot tell you how happy I was that all the food cooked at the same temperature of 190C. I really hate cooking frozen food that require different cooking times. Everything went straight in the oven from freezer. In addition, even for the small price tags attached to them, they didn’t taste like generic frozen foods. Each item had enough flavour to have your taste buds dancing.
My nearest store was the Woolwich branch. After a recent renovation, it nice and clean. Things are pretty easy to find and when they are not, the staff are willing to help. As someone who prefers shopping online, I appreciate all the help I can get when I have to shop in-store. As previously mentioned, I was pleasantly surprised with my visit to Lidl and will definitely be going back to get the Oriental Snack Selection and Deluxe Tempura Prawns and maybe a few other bits.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher in return for writing this post
I can’t tell you how much I love the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipsticks. It’s no secret, I’m a matte lipstick kinda gal. When the liquid lipstick trend began, I was beyond happy. The liquid formula promised a staying power that my other matte lipstick just couldn’t provide.
I have a few from brands including Revlon, NYX Cosmetics and Stila (which I have reviewed on here). What I’ve found with the other liquid lipsticks I own is that they are quite drying and and tend to be heavy on the lips.
The Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick however is the complete opposite. It’s mega lightweight and surprisingly moisturising. The pigmentation was poor. It takes about three coats for me to get the colour showing very well. I guess this is what you get with a lightweight formula.
I have three shades Hot Pepper, Cherry Leader and Carameli melo which is my absolute fave for daily wear. Due to how sheer it is, one coat is what I’d normally. As previously stated, when I do want a statement pout, I simply add a couple more layers.I discovered that I can also wear the Rouge Edition Velvet on top of my other lipsticks to create a matte finish. This made me very happy.
For £8.99 a tube, I definitely recommend trying out these liquid lipsticks. Aside from how affordable they are, they are perfect for anyone who wants to try out the liquid lipstick trends but is put off by the drying formulas from other brands.
My abhorrence for the cold whether can only be tamed by dousing myself in hot drinks. I love coffee but I’m partial to tea. I don’t really mind what type of tea but Peppermint is normally my go to. The fact that not only does it keep me warm but it also possesses health benefits makes it a win in my book.
The new matcha range from Pukka Herbs is absolutely amazing. Matcha tea is a type of green tea in a powdered form. It originates from Japan, where it’s best known for its use in tea ceremonies. It is the oldest and most premium form of green tea. Unless you’ve been under a rock recently, I’m sure you’d have come across the hundreds of matcha recipes doing the rounds online. Its become the magic potion for clean eating. Some of its benefits include Improving metabolism and supporting weight loss, Maintaining bone strength and healthy mouth and fresh breath.
I’ve truly enjoyed drinking the Pukka Herbs matcha tea range, particularly the Mint Matcha Green. It great for when I need a midday pick me up during a long working day. I’ve been trying to be more conscious about what I eat recently so I was happy to see that it’s organic and fair trade.
Try Pukka Herbs’ new matcha tea range; Ginseng Matcha Green, Clean Matcha Green and Mint Matcha Green. For more information, check out: http://www.pukkaherbs.com/