Showing posts with label Giveaways. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Giveaways. Show all posts

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Aquabeads Sylvanian Families Refill Set - Review & Competition

As you have probably seen on the blog, we have been very busy lately having some wonderful experiences and visiting some fantastic attractions. However, on the days that we have been at home, it is always great to have something to do with Riley to keep him busy and entertained. Over the last few months we have had the opportunity to try out some wonderful Aquabeads playsets and it has become one of Riley's favourite activities to do at home. This month we were sent a Sylvanian Families Refill Pack which we could use with our existing Aquabeads tools and so we picked a rainy day, to stay at home and have some Aquabeads fun.

Sylvanian Families isn't a brand that Riley is particularly familiar with, however he loves animals and Aquabeads in general. He was therefore delighted to be able to make some animal faces, a house, flowers, fruit and cakes which are all part of this refill set.

The box and packaging is a nice square compact size and costs around £5 from most good toy retailers. This makes it the ideal price for a gift for any Aquabeads fan! The front of the box shows what animals and designs can be made along with an image of a recognisable Sylvanian Family rabbit character. It also states in the top corner that the product is suitable for children aged 4+.

On the reverse of the box is some basic instructions, along with a contents list. This contents list includes:
  • Over 600 beads consisting of red, orange, yellow, light green, light blue,  pink, white, black, ivory and brown colours.
  • 4 x template sheets
  • 1 x instructions

There is also a small advertisement for the accessories that are available separately, which are a layout tray and a sprayer. You will need these to complete your Aquabeads creations, so if you don't already own them, then these will need to be purchased in addition to the set.

If you have never heard or used of Aquabeads before, then basically they are colourful beads that allow you to make beautiful creations. You simply arrange them on your chosen template in the specially designed layout tray, spray them with water and then the beads magically stick together. The templates can be used over and over again, or if you are feeling really creative then you can make up your own designs!

Inside the box everything was neatly packaged and we opened each of the bead bags and arranged them into one of our existing storage cases. Riley had a look through the templates and chose what he would like to create first. The set has a nice mixture of small, medium and large designs which was great for Riley. This meant he could pick and choose between quick and easy designs as well as others that would take more time and concentration such as the house.

Once we had arranged the beads and chosen our templates, we got to work making our designs. They each took between 5 to 15 minutes to make and once completed we gave them a spray with water to hold the beads into place. Riley was able to do all the designs he chose by himself and so he was very proud of his finished creations. We placed the template board on a slight angle in a warm part of the kitchen and left it for just over an hour.

After an hour had passed we removed it from the board and then left it for a further 20-30 minutes. We have found in the past that leaving it this little bit longer makes it slightly firmer and as Riley likes to play with them once they are dry, it makes good sense for us to do this.

Riley really enjoyed this set and just like all his other Aquabeads creations, he was really happy with the outcome. His favourite from this set was the house and the white rabbit and he has added these to his collection. As there were quite a few beads left over he also asked if he could attempt to make his own rainbow, which I agreed was a great idea!

This set is currently available to purchase on Amazon for only £4.99


We also have a great competition, for the chance to win an Aquabeads Sylvanian Families Refill Pack just like the one featured in this review. If you would like to enter, then please do so, using the gleam form below. Good Luck!

Win an Aquabeads Sylvanian Families Refill Set

Terms & Conditions

There is 1 (one) prize of an Aquabeads Sylvanian Families Refill Pack with an RRP of £4.99. Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 years or over. Competition closes 31st August 2017 at 23:59. A winner shall be drawn at random within 7 days of the closing date, who shall be notified via email. The winner will have 7 days to confirm their acceptance of the prize before an alternative winner is chosen. No bulk or third party entries. Parental supervision is recommended when using this product due to small parts.

Disclaimer: We were provided with an Aquabeads Sylvanian Families Refill Set on a complimentary basis, for the purpose of providing an honest review of the product. We also received an additional set to give away to one of our readers as a competition prize. This post also contains an affiliate link to Amazon. This means that I may receive a small commission should you choose to complete a purchase after clicking on the link. 

Friday, 17 February 2017

Aquabeads Animal Friends Set - A Review & Competition

This month we have another fantastic Aquabeads product to review for you, in the form of the Aquabeads Animal Friends Set. This is one of the refill sets which you can use alongside your exisiting aquabeads tools and with an RRP of only £4.99 it is well priced within pocket money range too.

The set contains over 600 beads, and allows your child to get creative in making numerous animals of various shapes and sizes. It is important to note that because this is a refill set, it does not include a layout tray or water sprayer, which come in the larger sets or can be bought separately.

The box is of a compact size, with a lovely display on the front of all the animals that you can make. My son Riley who is 4, enjoyed looking at each one and naming them, and asking everybody which animal they would like to make. He was convinced however that the bottom left (as you look at it) was a killer whale. I will admit that I initially thought this too, until realising that there was a big and small animal theme throughout the designs and so I now believe that this is a tadpole, due to it being pictured next to the frog. 

The complete list of animals are:
  • A hen and a chick
  • A large squirrel and small squirrel
  • A large tortoise and a small tortoise
  • A large penguin and a small penguin
  • A large flamingo and a small flamingo
  • A white horse and a slightly smaller brown horse
  • A frog and a tadpole
The rear of the box is less graphic than the front, but shows a small image of the accessories required which are a layout tray and sprayer. These can be bought separately but if you already own one of the larger sets then the chances are you will already have these at home. There is also a list of contents and an image displaying what template sheets are included inside. This is then followed by a safety warning in various different languages.

On opening the box we found 4 template sheets and a large bag which contained nine smaller bags that each had different coloured beads inside along with instructions. The colour choices were plentiful and included red, orange, yellow, light green, light blue, pink, white, black and brown. Three of the template sheets featured 4 animals, and one of them featured only two. I think I would have personally preferred only two animals on each template so that they were slightly larger, as some of the animals such as the chick and tadpole were very small and didn't take very long to make. This is however a personal choice and others may prefer the smaller designs due to them being less time consuming and easier for younger children to complete.

The first design we chose to make were the horses, so we selected the template and slid it into the back of the layout tray. My son began to fill the larger white area first as he prefers to do the main body of the design first and then fill in any gaps. We do have several of the Aquabeads pens that we have acquired from our larger sets, but we all find it easier to use our hands to add the beads for the main parts and then use the pen for the smaller details.

My son kept bumping the layout tray whilst reaching for his beads, which in turn knocked some of the beads out of place. To help prevent this from happening again, we gave the design just one very light spray as he finished each area which helped to hold the beads in place much better whilst he completed the design.

On completion we gave it a good spray and left the designs to dry for a couple of hours whilst we had dinner. I have began to start leaving ours to dry on the kitchen worktop which is near a radiator, and I am not sure if it is a coincidence but I always find the designs much easier to remove from the board when I let them dry here.

The next template we used was the penguin and squirrel designs. We really enjoyed these as they required lots of different colours and so my son needed to concentrate well and focus. This kept him busy for nearly an hour, and he was very proud when he had finished, feeling a sense of accomplishment from completing a harder design. There was only a couple of occasions where he needed my help which were the larger squirrels tail, and applying the noses to each of the squirrels to give the animal a 3D effect. 

My sons favourite was the large squirrel, and mine was the large penguin as I thought the colours looked lovely and stood out well. Riley has decided that we are going to make a family of penguins in all different colours which is a great idea! After we had completed the animal templates we also had some beads left over from the set to add to our collection.

As mentioned previously the RRP of this set is only £4.99 which is a bargain and perfectly priced for a weekend treat. something to do on a rainy day or even a small birthday present for someone.

Overall we have been really pleased with this refill set. Riley found them easy to do without my assistance, where as he often has to ask for help with the larger template design so I think he actually enjoyed this more than some of the other sets as he could be more independent. However on a personal level I prefer it when he needs my help as I actually really enjoy making them too, and in the past I have found it a really nice activity to do together. This is a lovely set to add to any Aquabeads collection and I would definitely recommend it to others.

I also have the fantastic opportunity for one lucky reader to win one of these Aquabeads Animal Friends Sets. Please enter using the gleam form below. Good Luck!

Aquabeads Animal Friends Refill Set

Disclaimer: I provided with this product on a complimentary basis for the purpose of writing an honest and impartial review. All opinions and photos are my own.

Terms & Conditions: Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 or over. Any bulk/third party entries will be disqualified. The winner shall be drawn at random from all eligible entries. The winner shall be notified via email and will have 14 days to confirm that they wish to accept the prize. Should the winner fail to respond, then a new winner shall be selected at random from the remaining entries. The winner's details will be shared with the promoter for the purpose of prize fulfillment, which shall be sent directly from the promoter. Please allow up to 28 days for delivery. There is 1 (one) prize of an Aquabeads Animal Friends Set.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Aquabeads - Finding Dory Playset Review & Star Wars Playset Giveaway

My son and daughter both received an Aquabeads Beginners Studio for Christmas last year, which they really enjoyed and made some wonderful patterns. My daughter found some great tutorials on YouTube that taught her how to make some fab shapes and figures, and we were all really excited when we saw that Aquabeads had brought out some Finding Dory and Star Wars Aquabeads sets to add to the collection earlier this year.

Aquabeads are unique individual beads, that you can arrange into a shape or design, which then stick together with a spray of water. They are such a fab idea and great fun for anyone with an interest in art and craft. Unlike other bead products on the market, there is no application of heat required, which helps to make it safe for children or families to enjoy together. You can create your own designs, or use the templates that are available. Add-on packs can also be purchased, including additional templates, beads, and themed sets such as 3D Animals or Crystal Charms.

Aquabeads kindly agreed to send us their Finding Dory Aquabeads set, so that we could try out this fab addition to the range which as you can see looks fantastic!

The packaging on the box was bright and colourful, and featured both Dory and Nemo. It provides you with brief three step instructions on the front that show how you simply Make, Spray and then they Stay. It also provides you with an insight into what is inside the box.

On the reverse of the box, there is a full list of what is included with the playset which is:

  • 3 x Template Sheets
  • Bead Palette
  • Design Table
  • Bead Pen
  • Sprayer
  • Layout Tray
  • Solid Beads (In a range of colours including white, black, blue, orange, red & ivory).
  • Jewel Beads (In a range of colours including Blue, Yellow, Purple, Orange & Red)
  • A set of instructions

After opening all the packaging, we selected the Dory template and placed the colours that we would need in the bead palette. There is enough space to put all the coloured beads in there, but we chose to just use the ones that were needed for this specific picture to make it easier for my youngest child Riley, who has never used Aquabeads before unlike his brother and sister. The template simply slid into the design table and we were ready to start.

We began using the Aquabeads pen to select the beads and place them on the palette, however my son found it easier and quicker to just use his fingers so we decided to use this method for the majority of the picture. The pen was very handy however, when trying to place in the last of the beads to get them in the right places.

Once we were happy that the picture was correct, we began to spray it to set it into place. Unfortunately on the first spray when I was trying to show Riley how to use it correctly, I squeezed too hard and the end flew off with water going everywhere. This was totally my fault and I should have been more gentle. Luckily I had some tissue to hand so was able to clean it up quickly before it affected the beads. I refilled the sprayer and my son took over, who was much better than me, and sprayed it gently all over the picture. We then stood the picture up at an angle as explained in the instructions and left it for an hour.

When the time was up we were able to easily peel the beads off the board and we had the perfect Dory artwork! My son was so happy with this, and he is taking it into nursery tomorrow to show his teachers.

I really enjoyed doing this with my son and I can see why it has been so popular with my other children too. It was a great activity to do together, and it was fun waiting to see the end result. All three of my children are now Aquabeads fans, which has meant a few late additions to their Christmas lists, however I am more than happy to purchase some more of these sets in order to provide them with a fun craft activity and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this product to others.

Aquabeads have also kindly provided me with a Star Wars Aquabeads set to give away to one of my readers. If you would like to enter, then please do so using the gleam form below. Good Luck!

Win a Star Wars Aquabeads Set

Terms and Conditions:
Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 or over. Any bulk/third party entries will be disqualified. The winner shall be drawn at random from all eligible entries. The winner shall be notified via email and will have 14 days to confirm that they wish to accept the prize. Should the winner fail to respond, then a new winner shall be selected at random from the remaining entries. The winner's details will be shared with the promoter for the purpose of prize fulfillment, which shall be sent directly from the promoter. Please allow up to 28 days for delivery. There is 1 (one) prize available of a an Aquabeads Star Wars Playset. 

*Disclaimer - I was provided with this product free of charge for the purpose of this review and to give my honest opinion and experience of using the product. All opinions are my own.

Monday, 5 December 2016

The VQ Retro Mini - Review and Competition

Like most people, I enjoy listening to music, whether that be whilst I am getting ready in the morning or for a night out, washing the dishes in the kitchen or even when I am doing the ironing, there is always an occasion where I want to just listen to some music, and play some of my favourite songs.

Unfortunately my phone isn't very loud, so I started using a small bluetooth speaker, but I found that the battery would never last very long, and it just wasn't suitable for my needs. I also like to keep up to date with the news and the latest new song releases, and so it was frustrating to also not be able to listen to the radio through the device.

I had a search online for a digital radio, and whilst there seems to be plenty on the market, the majority didn't really stand out to me, as I also wanted something that was funky and would look great in my home, and definitely not something that I felt I would have to put away all the time, or one that would look bulky and boring.

I then spotted an advert for a VQ Retro Mini, and although the one pictured was white, it definitely didn't look boring, and I loved the design. I had a read through the description on the MyVQ website and was delighted to find that it came in a whole host of colours and patterns suitable for all tastes. There are even some exclusive Emma Bridgwater designs available, and I could imagine these looking great in a kitchen, conservatory or summer house.

The product looked great to me, but I needed to ensure that it offered me the sound quality I was after, aswel as being able to run on mains power so that I didn't need to worry about the battery going flat. I was therefore delighted to be offered the opportunity to review this product and discover more about it.

The box it arrived in was also stylish and had a sticker over the edges claiming "Quality Assured". It is great when brands are confident in their product, and it instantly makes you feel more reassured in the item. It also features the Which? great value logo, which means it has also been recognised by unbiased reviews that it is a product that consistently provides quality and great value to consumers. I thought that the colour coding at the bottom of the box was great, as rather than it being an image of the product colour inside, or a simple tick box like some companies do, it featured a soft leatherette sample of the actual casing so you could even feel it too.

On opening the box, there was an envelope placed at the top which contained the warranty details and underneath this, was the quick start guide. Placed at the top of the inner packaging was the plug and on removing the inner packaging it revealed a white dust bag underneath. I pulled this out to then reveal my fabulous new digital radio & bluetooth speaker. The wonderful VQ Retro Mini.

I had chosen the light blue design, as although I am a big fan of monochrome, I wanted something that would inject a bit of colour into my home. I immediately set it up in the kitchen and connected the mains power to the power port. I pressed the circular VQ button in the middle to turn it on, and it began to scan for radio stations. The LCD Screen was lovely and bright, and easy to read. It visually looked fantastic, and I waited for it to complete the DAB scan before exploring the range of buttons.

The VQ Retro Mini, boasts a whole host of features including DAB radio tuner with 30 presets, bluetooth connectivity for smart devices and MyEQ equaliser for personalised sound. The quick start guide easily explains how to use the product, and which buttons to press for each function. I was really pleased to find that not only was I getting a digital radio, but that I could stream my music via bluetooth, use it as a clock, and even set it as an alarm. I was also really pleased with the size of it (224mm height, 147mm width, 105mm depth), and the fact that it was really light, weighing in at less than a kilo. As we are a family that travel regularly this was a big bonus for me as it means that we will be able to take it with us on our adventures, and have music wherever we may go. The handle also means that this can be easily carried, and the dust bag which is included will also help to protect it from dirt whilst we are out and about, so it had already ticked so many boxes for us.

You can easily save your favourite channels by simply pressing the star button when tuned into the station or if you want to play your own music, you can connect your device to the speaker using the "Bluetooth mode" which will allow you to pair your phone/tablet. The alarm can also be set using the clock icon, and again it is a really simple process, you can even use the arrow keys to select your desired alarm volume.

The price of the product is £59.99 if choosing one of the 11 block colours, and is available for a slightly higher price of £79.99 if you would prefer one of the Emma Bridgwater designs. I was surprised at how fantastic it was, and it really does offer excellent value for money with so many functions and features. My initial instinct was that this was a product for adults, however since receiving the product my teenage stepson has commented on how much he likes this, and my daughter who is 10 has been consistently dropping hints that she would love a pink one in her room for Christmas.

There are so many people that I would love to buy one of these for as a Christmas gift as I could just imagine my dad working out in the shed listening to his, or my mum cooking and singing along to some ballads in the kitchen, so I would definitely recommend this product as a great gift idea, and if my daughter is very lucky, then Santa may just bring her a pink one too! have kindly offered the chance for one of my readers to win one of these fantastic VQ Retro Mini's and if you would like a chance to win, then simply enter using the gleam form below:

Win a Retro Mini Dab+ Radio from VQ

Terms and Conditions:
Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 or over. Any bulk/third party entries will be disqualified. The winner shall be drawn at random from all eligible entries. The winner shall be notified via email and will have 14 days to confirm that they wish to accept the prize. Should the winner fail to respond, then a new winner shall be selected at random from the remaining entries. The winner's details will be shared with the promoter for the purpose of prize fulfillment, which shall be sent directly from the promoter. Please allow up to 28 days for delivery, though every effort shall be made to try and get this to the winner before Christmas. There is 1 (one) prize available of a VQ Retro Mini. 

*Disclaimer - I was provided with this product free of charge for the purpose of this review and to give my honest opinion and experience of using the product. All opinions are my own.