Showing posts with label gift idea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gift idea. Show all posts

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Nadiya's Bake Me a Story Deluxe Baking Set Review & Competition!

Like many families, baking became one of our go-to activities during lockdown, in order to keep ourselves busy with an enjoyable activity that would usually end with a very tasty result. It is also something that Riley likes to do on a weekend and his older brother will often help him make some cakes that they can then enjoy together. 

Over the years we have accumulated a various amount of mix-matched baking products, but none of these were specifically aimed at children, so it is fair to say that our equipment was definitely in need of some replacements. We were therefore delighted to be offered the opportunity to review Nadiya's Bake Me a Story Deluxe Baking Set, which is packed full of funky coloured bakeware, that have been specifically designed with children in mind. 

Riley was really excited when the box of goodies arrived and he couldn't wait to open it up and see what was inside. The box was a lovely purple colour and featured clear images on the front of some of the products inside. A full contents list is also displayed on the reverse of the box. The full kit included:

  • A Silicone rolling pin with plastic handle
  • A Silicone whisk with metal handle
  • A Silicone spatula
  • 2.5l Mixing Bowl (Microwave Safe)
  • 12 reusable silicone cupcake cases
  • Sieve
  • 3 x Metal Cookie Cutters with safe silicone edge
  • Measuring spoons - 1/4 tsp, 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1/2 tbsp and 1tbsp
  • Apron
  • 6 x Recipe Cards
All of the tools are bright and colourful, dishwasher safe and most importantly, they have been tested to the highest LFGB food standards. They are the perfect size for children, without being too heavy or large for younger ages to hold. Riley loved the idea of having his very own special set of utensils just for him, which will be perfect in the future for any baking or cooking that we do together. 


Riley excitedly took a look through the recipe cards before deciding which baked treat we were going to attempt first. After much deliberation he decided on the Very-Berry Breakfast Muffins, so we made sure we had all the ingredients required and placed them all ready in the kitchen. We then selected the baking equipment that we would need and put on our aprons, before beginning to work our way through the recipe.

You can of course use your deluxe baking set to make any of your favourite baked goodies, but the recipe cards included all featured recipes that we had never tried before, so it made sense for us to try something new for a nice change. Riley chose the Very-Berry Breakfast Muffins, but the other recipe cards featured Star Anise Gingerbread Men, Cookie Mallows, Pastry Roses, Rock Cakes and Zebra Cake.

The Very-Berry Breakfast Muffins were super easy to make and the recipe was very simple to follow. We began by making sure we had all the necessary ingredients and then having a quick read through of the full recipe. The first step was to preheat the oven to 200 degrees, so I did this for Riley, whilst he placed the cupcake cases in the oven tray. 

We then placed the flour, oats and brown sugar into the bowl. Riley enjoyed mixing all these together and started wondering what the muffins may taste like. He used the measuring spoons to get the correct amount of baking powder and he also then added this and a pinch of salt to the bowl. Again he gave it all a good mix, before we added the wet ingredients of milk and eggs.

We varied the recipe ever so slightly as Riley doesn't like the smell of banana, so we decided not to put the mashed banana as suggested in the recipe into the mix. Instead we chopped up some more berries to make sure there was plenty of flavour and after adding these and 3 tbsp of sunflower oil to the mix, we gave it one last good stir before dividing the mixture into the silicone cases.

We baked the mixture in the oven for 25 minutes and Riley kept looking through the oven window to see if they were rising. They began to rise really well and also developed a nice golden brown colour so once the time was up, we were confident that they were ready to taste and enjoy. After removing them from the oven, we let them cool for around 5 minutes before enjoying them whilst warm. They were absolutely delicious and we will definitely be making them again in the near future.


Overall we thought that Nadiya's Deluxe Baking Set was fantastic and included all the tools required to create and enjoy a variety of recipes. I felt that the set was really good quality and whilst the tools are lightweight and easy to hold, they are not flimsy at all. All the products all felt really safe to use and I particularly liked the silicone trim around the metal cookie cutters which is a great idea. The recipe cards were easy to follow and not over complicated, so this meant that Riley (who is 7) could read through the instructions himself and understand what process he needed to follow. With an RRP of £24.99 I feel that this represents good value for money and I would happily recommend this set to others. 

In addition to Nadiya's Deluxe Baking Set (£24.99), there are two other sets also available to purchase from Smyths, which are Nadiya's Simple Baking Set (£14.99) and Nadiya's Savoury Cooking Set (£19.99). Further information on all of these sets can be found over on the Smyths Toys website here.


However, if you are feeling lucky, then why not enter our fantastic competition below, where we have the opportunity for one lucky reader to win their very own Nadiya's Deluxe Baking Set. If you would like to enter then please read the terms and conditions and then enter using the gleam form below. Competition closes on the 30th October 2020, so get your entries in quick and good luck! 


Terms and Conditions
  • There is 1 (one) prize of a Nadiya's Deluxe Baking Set
  • Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 years old or over
  • Competition closes on the 30th October 2020 at 23:59
  • A winner shall be drawn within 7 days of the closing date and notified via email.
  • The winner will have 7 days to confirm their acceptance of the prize, before an alternative winner is drawn from the remaining eligible entries.
  • No bulk or third party entries
  • The winners details shall be shared with the promoter for the purpose of prize fulfilment and permission shall be obtained from the winner prior to doing so.

*Disclaimer - We were gifted Nadiya's Deluxe Baking Set in exchange for writing an honest review of the product. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Outdoor Fun with Bunch O Balloons - A Review

(AD - This review features gifted items)

Whilst the sun has recently been shining, we have been trying our best to enjoy the garden along with some outdoor family fun and games. Last week saw temperatures soar, so what better way to cool down than with an epic water fight that saw the battle lines drawn between siblings. Admittedly, it looked far too much fun to let them enjoy it all by themselves, so I was also on standby for some balloon throwing and water gun blasting excitement!

Bunch O Balloons kindly sent our family a fantastic selection of water toys that guaranteed us a splashtastic time. This lovely gifted bundle consisted of over 500 water balloons, a Zuru Filler/Soaker, a Zuru XShot and a Zuru Xshot Micro Fast Fill. We certainly had plenty of equipment to keep us busy and we couldn't wait to put them all to the test.


Admittedly, it has been a couple of years since we last played with water balloons, there was something about having to stand by a tap for lengthy periods of time, along with the struggle of then trying to tie them, that kind of took some of the fun away. I seem to remember it taking around an hour to fill approximately 15 balloons which then only lasted a few seconds at the most.

However, Bunch O Balloons have solved this problem with their awesome fast fill design that allows you to fill AND tie 100 balloons in only 60 seconds. I was really keen to find out if this was really possible and my children found a bucket each to put their balloons into. They also selected their water weapon of choice, with Ben opting for the Soaker, Riley choosing the Zuru X-Shot Fast-Fill and finally Emma with the Zuru X-Shot Micro Fast-Fill.


The products all come in really eye catching and bright packaging, with the items very clearly on view. This means you can see exactly what you are getting for your money which is always my preference when it comes to how toys are boxed. Each product had accompanying images, which all really appealed to my children.

The Zuru Bunch O Balloons Filler/Soaker is dual purpose as this can fill your balloons, as well as blast water at your opponents. It is really easy to use and you simply connect the valve to a water source and pump the water into the balloons. It has an RRP of only £12.99 which I think is very good value for money, considering the fact that it also comes complete with 100 water balloons. This fabulous soaker is also great for the pool or beach and can reach targets from almost 30ft away!

Riley's water gun of choice, the Zuru X-Shot Fast-Fill has an RRP of £12.99 and can be reloaded with water in as little as one second. You simple dunk it in a water source (we used our paddling pool), pull the hammer to fill and then release it again to seal and continue with your water battle. Riley found this really easy to use and it had a great accurate target range of 30ft.

The X-Shot Fast-Fill Micro version works the same, but is more of a compact size. This model has an RRP of £10 and despite its smaller size, it still has a shooting range of up to 26ft. This collection together was the perfect trio for my children and we were all really impressed with their quality and design.


The Bunch O Balloons Water Balloons are completely stress free and are super simple to use. They are self tying, so there is no need to spend ages fiddling with awkward knots and instead the balloons release with ease. We had several buckets and containers ready to store the balloons in, so that each participating family member had their own supply. The balloons each have individual straws connected which then leads to the valve at the top. You then simply switch your water source on, watch them fill and once you are happy with them, you turn the water off. We then just pushed the filler in a quick downward motion (like a jolt) and the majority of the balloons simply fell into the buckets. For the odd couple that remained attached, we just used our hand to push them off the straws at the bottom. It really couldn't be simpler!


We placed a dividing line across the garden whilst the children decided who was on which team. Each of them had a bucket or bowl of balloons and they began to aim them at one another. They were very easy to throw and they broke well on impact. Once the balloon stocks had all been used they began to use their water guns which ensured that the fun could continue even longer.

Another thing we really love about the Bunch O Balloons, is that they are recyclable. Prior to using them, I had thought about the effect of having the remains of 500 water balloons spread throughout our garden. However, I turned the collecting of the rubbish into a game and offered 50p to the child who could collect the most pieces (genius I know)!

They are 100% recyclable which immediately put my mind at ease and with their partnership with Terracycle, this provides the ability to not only recycle the balloons, but all the packaging including the stems, which I think is fantastic. You can read more about their recycling program over on their sustainability page here: https://www.bunchoballoons.com/sustainability/

If you are also looking for other ideas of how to use your Bunch O Balloons, then you can find a great post over on their website which suggests 10 backyard activities for kids and features games such as Water Balloon Pinata, Bunch O Balloons Juggling and Parents vs Kids to name just a few. This handy list can be found here: https://www.bunchoballoons.com/10backyardactivitiesforkids/


Overall, we were extremely impressed with Bunch O Balloons and I will absolutely be buying more in the future. With our holidays for the remainder of the year now cancelled, we are looking forward to making the most of our garden and planning lots of fun that we can have together throughout the summer. I therefore have no doubt in my mind that this will involve a weekly water fight, which I will enjoy just as much as my children.

The products are really good quality and very reasonably priced and I would definitely recommend these items to other families looking to enjoy some outdoor fun together this summer. They can be purchased from toy retailers including Smyths, The Entertainer, Argos and Amazon.

If you would like to find out more about Bunch O Balloons, then you can visit their website and social media pages on the following channels:

Website: https://www.bunchoballoons.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BunchOBalloons/
Instagram: @bunchoballoons
YouTube: ZuruToys


*Disclaimer - We were provided with a selection of Zuru and Bunch O Balloons products for the purpose of writing an honest review of the items and our experience. Thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Bank Attack from John Adams Toys - A Review

Bank Attack is a brand new game from Ideal by John Adams Toys, which is sure to get families working together to crack the code and win the prize. But can you become criminal masterminds to break the vault and release the hidden gold inside?

Each player must pick their role in the group from Hacker; Money Man; Look Out or Explosives Expert and then use your special talents to break the bank. You can also select a difficulty level, then follow the spoken commands without delay: grab the right tools, pass them on at the right moment, use them quickly and grab the millions.


Now that my children are getting older, I really like the fact that we can play more challenging games together. This new electronic game encourages players to cooperate with one another and follow the instructions carefully in order to win, so it was really nice to play something a little different as a family.

The product itself comes packaged in a recyclable cardboard box which features brightly covered graphics all over. The front doesn't really give much away as to what is included or what the game is about, however the reverse has very clear photographs that show the product well, in addition to some basic instructions which gives you a good understanding of what is involved. Both the front and rear state the recommended age of 7+ and also advise that it is suitable for 2 to 4 players.

It was really easy to set up the game and simply involved removing the tools from their packaging and placing some batteries into the safe. It requires 3 x AA batteries to play and it is important to note that these aren't included. The full list of contents are:
  • 1 x Electronic Safe (requires 3 x AA batteries which are NOT included)
  • 8 x tools consisting of goggles, drill, laptop, map, flashlight, headset, explosives and gloves
  • 12 x plastic gold bars
  • 20 x money bills
  • 1 x set of instructions
I read through the instructions briefly and so initially there was a little bit of confusion amongst us and we failed the first attempt spectacularly! However after reading through them again more carefully, it soon became clear as to what we needed to do and we very quickly got the hang of what was required.


To play the game all players need to firstly select their role in the mission. This can be the Hacker, Money Man, Lookout or Explosives Expert. Once all the positions have been decided then you next select your level. There are five progressive levels to choose from which each get quicker and more intense, so it is definitely the best option to begin on level one until you have had some practice. There is also a bonus level which we haven't attempted just yet. You also need to load your gold bars into the top of the vault which is really easy to do and takes less than a minute and replace the lid.

Once you are ready to play you need to follow the instructions from the Boss, whose voice comes out from the electronic safe. The Boss will tell you whether you need to grab certain tools, pass them to one another, use them quickly, or collect the money bills. If mistakes are made then the alarm will trigger, but if you manage to successfully work together then you will pull off the heist and the gold bars will be released from the top of the safe.


We thought that the audio was really loud and clear so it was easy to hear and follow the instructions, but it could sometimes be hard to remember who had what tool which added to the fun element of the game. It was exciting and challenging and I really liked the fact that there was no designated loser out of the individual players which certainly meant that there was no upset or arguments between my children.

Overall we really enjoyed this game. Admittedly it took a couple of goes of level one for us to fully get the hang of it, but once we knew our roles and what to do, it quickly became a fast paced and engaging challenge. It is recommended for ages 7+ which I think is definitely the right age bracket as although my six year old played with us fine, he found it hard to process the information and react as quickly as he needed to, especially in the harder stages. I really liked the fact that it encourages the family to work together, so there were no arguments about anyone being the loser. It stores away in the box easily and it's size also means that it is ideal for us to take away with us on holiday. I would happily recommend this game to families and groups of friends and I can definitely see this being a popular game to play on Christmas Day.


Bank Attack has an RRP of £24.99 and it is currently available to buy now from Argos, Smyths, Amazon and The Entertainer.

To find out more about Bank Attack or other games in the John Adams range, then you can visit their website and social media on the following channels:

Website - www.johnadams.co.uk
Twitter - @JohnAdams_toys
Facebook - facebook.com/IdealGamesUK
Instagram - @johnadams_toys
YouTube - JohnAdamsToys



*Disclaimer - We were sent this item for the purpose of writing an honest review of the product. All opinions and photographs are my own unless otherwise stated. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. Video is from the John Adams YouTube channel.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Dough Nab The Game - A Review

We love a good games night in our home, especially now the darker nights are closing in and rainy days have been in abundance. We were therefore delighted to receive Dough Nab from Ginger Fox to review and add to our family collection.

Dough Nab The Game is described as being "Jam-Packed With Fun" so we were very excited to put this to the test. My children couldn't wait to find out what the bakery themed game was all about and whether we would enjoy a 'hole' lot of entertainment!

The game itself comes really well presented. We loved the bright and colourful design that adorned the box and the doughnuts that were visible through the clear window on the front. It opened just like a real bakery box and I thought that the packaging suited the theme of the game perfectly. The age recommendation of 8+ is shown in the bottom corner along with a player suggestion of 3-6 people and an estimated play time of 20-30 minutes.


The rear of the box provides some basic information on the game, along with the list of contents which includes:

  • 3 doughnuts (Not edible)
  • A 'Head Baker' winner's hat
  • 60 doughnut cards
  • Turn tracker
  • Game rules
In terms of setting the game up, then it really couldn't be simpler. You place the three plastic doughnuts in the centre of all the players and someone can then shuffle the cards. Each player is then dealt 10 doughnut cards in the face down position before the bakery blitz can then commence. Any spare cards can just be put to one side for the time being.

Each player must then take it in turns to flip over the top card in their pile. The first person can be given the turn tracker token so that it is easy to know whose go it is next, which is also great to eliminate any arguments that may arise. The cards must be placed face-up in front of everyone which quickly builds up the individual Dough Nab piles. As soon as you see three cards with the same coloured doughnut, you have to grab the corresponding doughnut as quickly as you can.


The player who successfully gets their hand to the doughnut first, can then choose a player to receive their dough nab pile who then adds it to their collection. Play then continues until you have managed to not only offload all of your dough nab pile, but also played all the cards in your hand too. The winner then receives the fabulous Head Baker's hat which can be worn with pride! 

The aim of the game is to be the first person to get rid of all their cards, so it's vital to be both extremely observant and very quick. It is important to note, that as well as the coloured doughnuts, there are also some 'Special Cards' which add even more fun to the game. These are:

  • The Magic Doughnut Cards - These can be matched with doughnut cards of any other colour, but you must grab the doughnut that corresponds to the majority colour. This is unless three Magic Doughnut cards are visible at the same time, in which case you can select any colour.
  • Crumbs Cards - These can't be used for a grab and have simply been included to cause some confusion amongst players.
  • The Don't Nab! Card - You cannot grab any doughnuts until the Don't Nab! card is covered up
  • The Nab! Card - If this card is revealed then all players can immediately race to grab any doughnut. 

Overall we found this game to be great fun and VERY competitive. It is really fast paced and all of my children really enjoyed trying to be the fastest to grab the matching doughnut. The suggested age is for children aged 8+ however we played as a family with children aged 6, 11 and 12 and my youngest had no issue understanding or keeping up with the game. We loved the design and simplicity of the product and would definitely recommend it to families looking for a fun game that can be enjoyed together.


Dough Nab is currently available to buy from Amazon and other good retailers.

If you would like to find out more about Ginger Fox games, then you can visit their website or social media pages on the following channels:

Instagram - @GingerFoxUK
Twitter - @GingerFox_UK


*Disclaimer - We were gifted this product for the purpose of writing an honest review of the game. All opinions and photographs are my own unless otherwise stated. This post contains an amazon affiliate link.


Monday, 21 January 2019

Valentine's Day Letterbox Cakes from bakerdays - A Review

One of my favourite things about blogging is being introduced to brands that really appeal to me. I love to purchase unique and special gifts for friends, so when I first became aware of bakerdays a couple of years ago, I knew that they were a company that would quickly become one of my favourite online stores.

When shopping for the perfect present, I always try to find something that is personal for the intended recipient. It is nice to show that you have put a little thought and effort in to finding the perfect gift and I believe that bakerdays makes this simple, especially when shopping for friends and family who can sometimes be very difficult to buy for.


The company bakerdays create personalised cakes for all occasions, with a whole host of different themes, flavours and sizes available. This review will focus on their popular letterbox cakes, however they do offer some much larger options which also makes them ideal for weddings, birthdays or even corporate gifts. There is a huge selection available to choose from, but the website makes it easy for you to narrow your options down, by using the search or category functions.

My favourite choice though is the Letterbox Cake which measures approximately 5 inches in diameter. As the saying goes, the best things come in small packages which certainly rings true with this product. They have been designed to fit through your letterbox, so there is no need to worry about the recipient being at home at the time of delivery and they are sure to put a smile on anyone's face when they return to find their gift.


With Valentine's Day fast approaching, I opted to try a cute romantic theme for my Letterbox cake, so after having a search through all the available designs I finally made my choice. The website is really easy to use which makes choosing and personalising your cake, a really easy process. Once I had chosen my selected cake image, I simply clicked on the required size and my flavour option, then added a special message of my choice. You can either choose the template design or amend this to suit your requirements.

The hardest decision I had to make was the choice of flavour as they all sounded delicious. The available options were:
  • Traditional Sponge
  • Lovely Lemon Drizzle
  • Rich Chocolate Chip
  • Gluten Wheat Free Sponge
  • Dairy Free Sponge
  • Fabulous Fruit
I decided to go with Rich Chocolate Chip after some deliberation, as to be honest chocolate and cake are two of my favourite things, so it seemed the most obvious choice for me. Also as the whole family would no doubt be sharing it, I needed to make sure I chose a flavour that we would all enjoy.  Once I had made all of my choices and continued to the checkout page, I saw that there was the ability to add extras to the order such as balloons, teddy bears or a card. I thought that this was a great idea and the price was clearly displayed for each add-on so you can customise your gift package to suit your budget.

Once my order was completed, it was simply a matter of waiting a couple of days for it to arrive. Due to various family members being unwell and having an extremely hectic week, I had actually put it to the back of my mind, so when it popped through my letterbox on Friday it was a lovely surprise and certainly cheered me up. 


The cake came well packaged in a sturdy cardboard box branded with the bakerdays logo and securely fastened with tape. It was good quality packaging and there was no damage to the exterior at all, not even a scratch. On opening the box, we found a beautiful miniature cake tin, a small card and further bubble packaging that prevents the tin from moving around whilst in transit. I thought that the presentation was lovely and my children and I couldn't wait to look inside.

When we opened the tin, we found the cake exactly how it had been displayed on the website. The image and text were clear and it looked a really good quality product. My husband has been poorly for a couple of weeks, so I knew that it would cheer him up and I was really pleased with the whole presentation of the item. 


I had chosen the text "To my darling Valentine, I love you with all my heart now and forever!" This was actually one of the template scripts, but as I was happy with the message I felt no need to amend it and I was really pleased with how it was displayed. I particularly liked the hearts which went all around the border as I felt this created a lovely romantic design that made it that little bit more special.

There was a large paper tag that hung over the side of the cake tin and continued underneath the product itself. The aim of this is to help you remove the item from the tin without any damage and it is a simple idea that works well. I was able to remove the cake from the tin really easily and we placed it on a small plate ready to cut and share between our family.


The cake looked even better on the plate and we went to get a knife to cut it into pieces. Although it recommends this cake as being suitable for 3-4 people, we were actually able to cut six nice size pieces which meant that one of us were able to enjoy two slices. (I wonder who claimed the extra slice?) 

When it came to the taste test, we were all pleasantly surprised. We have eaten bakerdays cakes before and have always enjoyed them, but the rich chocolate chip flavour was so tasty. I had thought that the chocolate chips may be hard, but the chocolate was so smooth and delicious, that we all agreed it was extremely yummy!

Overall we find that bakerdays offer a wonderful product that makes the perfect gift for any occasion. They offer a great range of designs that not only look great, but taste superb too. I love the fact that they can be personalised to your particular requirements, making a beautiful present for friends and family. I would definitely recommend bakerdays to others and my family and I will also continue to use them in the future.

If you would like to find out more about the great range of cakes that bakerdays offer, then you can visit their website or social media channels on the links below:

Website - www.bakerdays.com/
Facebook - facebook.com/bakerdays/
Twitter -  @bakerdays
Instagram - @bakerdays


*Disclaimer - We were provided with a complimentary letterbox cake from bakerdays for the purpose of writing an honest review of the product. Opinions and thoughts are my own unless stated otherwise.