Thursday, 2 October 2014

Shimmer 'n' Sparkle Designer Nail and Body Art Studio *review*


Molly was sent the Designer Nail and Body Art Studio from the popular Character Cra-Z-Art range. 

There's a huge selection of pieces to create glittery tattoos, body art and nails. 




The workstation was really easy to put together and took around 5 minutes. 4 AAA batteries are needed for the station's colour changing glitter dome.

Molly started off with the tattoos. Small sheets of sticky shapes are provided and you add gems to them before placing the sheets in the dome to be 'glittered'. Templates are also provided for the designs but Molly went with her own ideas. The gems were really fiddly and she ended up using my precision tweezers instead of the chunky plastic ones provided. 


Once the gems are on you place the sheet into the dome, add some glitter and then switch it on and watch the glitter swirling around covering the tattoos. Adding the glitter was fun she said but I found that unless you made sure the lid was clicked in really tightly (not easy for her to do) the glitter ended up flying out of the dome through small gaps. The end effect looked great though and she was really pleased.



Next, we used the stencils to draw body art on with the supplied pens. The pink was a little too light on her tanned arm but she loved the sparkle of the silver gel pen. The pens wash off easily with soap and warm water.


Molly then wanted her nails painted. The bottles that come with the kit are quite small so I can't imagine that they would last long but she has plenty of her own varnishes to add and I'm sure most girls could raid Mum's supply! She then put her finger into the dome to add glitter but it turned out really messy. There was more glitter on her finger than on her nail unfortunately. In future I'd probably just sprinkle some glitter onto her nail straight from the glitter bottles without using the dome.



We didn't use the false nails as Molly hasn't had enough time to wear them but she has a school disco coming up soon and can't wait to customise them with varnish and gems. 

Molly really enjoyed this kit and is looking forward to getting it out when her friends are here. If it's pink and glittery I know she'll love it! It will be used again and again but I wasn't so impressed with it. The dome was a great idea but it just didn't work for me. There's a funnel provided so that you can put the excess glitter back into the vials but because it flew out there wasn't any left and it was vacuumed up!



*We were not paid for this review. All opinion is honest and based upon our own experiences.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

What a day!

Charlie has had an interest in acting and the theatre since we first saw a Red Rose Chain production of Theatre in the Forest back in 2009 and although he hasn't been to drama classes or done anything other than school plays it came as no surprise when he wanted to take part in the open auditions for John & Michael Darling for the Peter Pan pantomime at Norwich Theatre Royal.

I had my reservations as he had no professional training nor experience of the theatre, other than treading the boards at the theatre's open day a couple of weeks ago and he can be quite flighty at times.

I didn't relish sitting with a bunch of precocious primadonnas and their pushy parents but he was adamant he wanted to do it and various people had said the audition process would be a great experience for him, especially if acting was a direction he wanted to take in life, whether it's now or when he's older.

Despite my reservations and negativity I was supportive of his choice so off we went this morning. I was more nervous than he was!

I was so pleased to see a friend and her son walk in as it took our minds off waiting as neither Charlie nor I are the most patient of people but Charlie was rather laid-back and relaxed about it.

I was thrown when the children were taken off to the auditorium and the parents had to sit in the bar waiting…and waiting….and waiting. It was hell!

Charlie's group returned and I was awaiting the "thank you very much but sadly you haven't got through" but Charlie's name was called out as he'd got through to the next stage! Soon after that he returned to the auditorium, again without me, and he was gone for what felt like hours. Gradually boys were returning to their parents with sad faces and I steeled myself for one very disappointed boy but then we were spoken to about the boys being either principal cast, understudies or stand ins. It hadn't sunk in that they were talking about my boy. He had won a part! Jo looked at me and I promptly burst into tears. I was convinced he'd be an understudy, even when he walked up the corridor punching the air but I didn't get to speak to him and ask what he'd got as they were all whisked off again (to be measured up for their flying harnesses!) and only then were we told who was doing what.

I was gobsmacked when his name was announced as one of the 3 Michael's. My boy had actually done it! I thought my heart would burst with pride (and yes, I nearly cried again.) I couldn't wait to phone everyone and tell them.

It's going to be a massive commitment, very hard work for him and will completely screw with Christmas plans but what a fabulous experience he's going to have! I'm really excited about him working with Sid Sloane and Kevin Kennedy but he was just so blasé when I told him. He's certainly not going to be starstruck!



Friday, 19 September 2014

PlanToys Outdoor Games *review*

PlanToys specialise in environmentally friendly toys and I love the look and feel of their traditional style wooden toys. We were sent one of their range of pre-schooler outdoor games for Harry to review. The Meadow Ring Toss is made from recycled chemical-free rubber wood and painted with non-toxic water based dyes.




Autumn may be fast approaching but we've been very lucky with the weather recently and the children have still been able to play outside after school and couldn't wait to get home from school to play.



There are three posts and bases, each one colour coded to match the wooden beads on the six rope rings, and they vary in height.

The children have played a variation of games; youngest aims for closest post, 2 rings each and you have to land your hoop on the matching post, and random aim.

Ring toss games are great for improving a child's hand eye coordination, attention and accuracy. The colour matching element could assist with younger children being able to identify and name colours. It also encourages taking turns.


PlanToys toys are beautifully made and incredibly sturdy. They're a range of toys that will last for years.



*We were not paid for this interview. We received the game for the purposes of the review. All opinion is honest and based upon our own experience.
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