Friday 10 August 2018

Review: L.O.L. Surprise! Biggie Pets

I would never have imagined that L.O.L. Surprise craze would last for so long in our household (and in general). 

L has been a massive fan of all series and ranges, she not only changes toy's outfits or finding out it's features, L also moved to a different level of creativity- role play. Perhaps Youtube tutorials and videos involving L.O.L. Surprise!! helped a little too.

Few weeks ago we have received something that I believe is not widely known just yet, but few videos here and there have caught my eye- L.O.L. Surprise! Biggie Pets (£36.99, available at the most toy retailers).
So imagine L.O.L. Surprise! ball but bigger, including versatile toys and accessories and something even cooler- secret messages hidden all over the packaging and even inside! 

This time there are no layers of surprise to reveal, the clue who is inside the ball is right on the box itself and if you look very carefully you can even spot some features of the pet by looking through an almost see-through ball.

Once the box was not so carefully opened and plastic wrapper removed we were ready to see what is inside this gorgeous ball and inside the box.
Inside the box we found: white frame'd Eye Spy series glasses with pink lens, an accessory that could be a collar or a choker or perhaps a handle for something.
If you remember in previous series L.O.L. Surprise! balls came with different type of handles some looking like a zip well in the new L.O.L. Surprise! Biggie Pets this large ball represents a handbag! Yes it might be awkward to carry but I bet it will be filled with all L.O.L. Surprise! dolls soon.
The Biggie Pet that we received was a very cute bunny called Hop Hop or how L called it at first Bon Bon.

Hop Hop is not just a big bunny it is also a money box and a quirky backpack (yes it even has a ribbon/strap attached to it's tail and some "plastic loops" on the head). Inside the Hop Hop we have found lots of accessories and toys starting from a bone that has a secret message/joke inside and that can be used as a charm for the necklace to "treasure" boxes with kinetic alike sand and some hidden mini pets inside. 

At first I was a little puzzled how our mini pets were a little mismatched from collector's leaflet but after watching some Youtube videos it seems to be the idea. It also appears that inside each Hop Hop you may find completely different mini pets and even different quantities 2 or 3.

The spy theme fits very well within the series, L discovered that by putting large glasses on she can read secret messages or puzzles on the box and even on the Hop Hop's strap aka backpack ribbon.
Other accessories were: wish bone, another choker or perhaps a bracelet, fortune teller, pet scoops, mini glasses for L.O.L. pets or even dolls, mini harness and collar. Some of these accessories come with little loops which can be used if you wish to attach them to the necklace, keychain or a bracelet, you are absolutely not limited in your options!
I have been restricting L's play with the sand from mini crates (as it happens L likes to cover carpets and sofas in it) but Hop Hop has already slept by L's side on few occasions, Hop Hop has been on mini trips to restaurants and generally used around the house as a toy on it's own or as a storage for little L.O.L. Surprise! accessories and dolls. 

Such a versatile toy, which I am planning to keep as a centrepiece in L's toy room. I just love it's pastel colours but I am sure if L had a different pet form the range (Neon Kitty, Hamster or Dog) we would be pleased with it too! Just look at their cute, big eyes! 

Disclaimer: We have received this product for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday 3 August 2018

In the Night Garden Live

We were invited to watch the final show of In the Night Garden (Birmingham) 2018 and it was spectacular.

This is our third time of viewing the show and it did not disappoint.

We opted for the pinky ponk show, purely based on the starting time. There is an earlier show which is the Ninky Nonk show.

We arrived a couple of minutes prior to the show and arrived/parked without any issues.

The showdome is sign posted well around the park with excitable families walking towards the dome, so you can’t miss it. We were greeted by enthusiastic staff members as we entered who commented on L’s desire to wear a unicorn headband (very night garden!).

The dome is well decorated and there are stalls for merchandise up on entry.

Once you walk through the small walkway, the dome opens up into a lovely green area, which has seating for all the family and great views of the stage from all directions.

We opted to sit at the top half and centrally, to get the best view (but not too far away).

The show started with the recognised ‘round and round’ tune, with the parent hand stroking the child’s palm, greeted by a cheer when Iggle Piggle’s sail boat appeared in the background.

The show featured Makka Pakka, who wanted to wash everyone’s face. He appears in both large form and small puppet form (which the cast move with their hands is a smooth formation). He appeared in each scene with a willingness to take out his sponge and clean
away.. even though he nearly lost his sponge at one point!

L sang along to Makka Pakka song, Iggle Piggle song (which the dome erupted when he entered the stage) and Upsy Daisy (L’s favourite – show likes the tune for her intro song).

The show also features the Tomliboo’s and the Pontipines .. who also get their faces washed by Makka Pakka’s sponge and soap (which he keeps on his trendy push bike).

All of the children around us stood for the majority, singing and dancing to each of the characters entry theme. Everyone seemed to recognised all of the characters as they appeared on stage and were greeted by cheers from all.

The bubbles were a great touch to a super show, with the kids trying to catch them as they were blown around the dome (from both sides).

L was smaller when we last visited the night garden live, so likely watched the show for the colours and sounds.. However she seemed to grasp the characters a lot better and sang the songs with ease.

All in all an excellent afternoon out at the showdome to watch In the Night Garden.

We opted to remain in Canon Hill park afterwards and the play area is located right outside the showdome, so L did enjoy herself on a thoroughly entertaining afternoon.

I would definitely recommend the night garden live to anyone who has little ones, as it is really good fun.

Saturday 30 June 2018

Unicorn themed birthday party

Our darling little L is 4! I was planning Unicorn themed birthday celebrations for months, and finally the time has come to put all decorations up and celebrate this big event!

I have teamed up with Personalised parties who provided cute unicorn themed party pack for a party of 8 (£29.99),  Wowtastic online shop have kindly provided Unicorn space hopper (£16.80) and Unicorn hatch grow eggs (£1.45) for party bags and lastly we had mini unicorn pinata (£6.95) and iridescent foiled unicorn bunting (£5.75) from lovely Luck & Luck.

We have invited L's close friends from pre-school to a mini Unicorm themed garden party as I thought that I would feel so much more comfortable being in my own home, be in control of drinks and food and having kids all close by. 

Preparations started few days in advance, I needed something to create almost a photo backdrop for conservatory as it meant to be an escape room in case of a rain. I have spent several hours looking for a cheap alternative and came across plastic table cloth in purple on ebay which was about 99p, to finish the look I was lucky to grab the last Unicorn wall sticker from B&M bargains for £3.99 which was a perfect addition for the my wall decoration (I kept it in the packaging) and it was also used to play famous version of  "pin a horn on a unicorn" game. 
For little kiddos we prepared a separate table with snacks and drinks served in Personalised Parties tableware, we opted for a simple personalisation on plates, food flags and party bags saying "L's party". Party bags were very easy to assemble I just had to follow the number instructions on the bottom side of the bag, so were party hats, masks and food flags as the set comes complete with elastic cocktail sticks.
We had few jokes about parents not being able to share the same set as we only had enough for kids, which is a bit of a downside.

I decided not to go overboard with the party bag contents and kept it small but sweet. I have put couple of Unicorn themed printable colouring pages, Haribo mini bag, Unicorn hatch grow eggs (L had to try her own prior to the party), I have also put the masks from the Personalised Party set into the party bag which was a good idea as party hat were destroyed by kids the moment they got them.

Unicorn hatch grow egg was perhaps more than just a toy for L, she carefully listened to the instructions and tried to look after the egg as if it was real. "Hatching" didnt take long- approx. 24 hours and required a simple jar or a glass filled with water to allow an egg to hatch and for the hatching unicorn to expand. L was checking on the egg every so often and would tell me straight away if she spotted the unicorn or if the egg cracked more. I wasn't sure for how long we should be keeping unicorn in the water so after 2 days of waiting I allowed L to take it out and dry our little unicorn baby. It feels a little jelly and looks a little wrinkly but it's a fantastic idea and a very cheap party bag filler!

Unicorn space hopper took the main centre stage with it's pretty pink main and tail and golden horn. It was very easy to blow up as it comes with a hand pump and took us literally no more than 5 minutes! Unicorn hopper survived bouncing, squashing and many other things adventurous pre-schoolers were happy to do with it which just shows how durable the toy is. It's been almost a week and the unicorn didn't deflate at all! Even though it says that the product is for the age range 3+, I would say that it could even work for a 1 year old toddler too. 

To make the party more interesting I have also planned to play "Pin the horn on a unicorn" and a unicorn version of chase, where guests attached pegs with ribbons to their clothes at the back to represent unicorn's tail. I was planning another game with the cute pinata we have been provided, but due to it's miniature size (17cm high) it remained a table's centrepiece. I was really surprised to learn that kids actually knew what to do with pinata. Maybe until next time when they are a little bit older and I am feeling less stressed about them hitting each other with the stick/basher. 
The last but not least I wanted to mention Iridescent foiled unicorn bunting. Preparation and decoration of our conservatory with iridescent foiled unicorn bunting was lots of fun. As always I didn't look at the packaging and assumed that it would be fully assembled and we would just need to put it up, my fault! Thankfully we had few minutes before the party started to make our own unicorn bunting. The set comes complete with tissue paper, pink woolen thread and unicorn cut outs. 
It was extremely easy to do and didn't require any special skill hence I allowed L to get involved too. So we used purple, baby pink, peach and bright pink tissue paper to roll and create a tassel, once that was done we just needed to thread through iridescent foiled unicorn cut outs followed by a tassel which created a unicorn's tail look, very cute!

Some may say that perhaps I went overboard with filling the space with Unicorn items but I think that helped to break the ice in a way and create a party atmosphere. It just seems that it wouldn't be a proper Unicorn party without all these goodies!

Disclaimer: I was provided products mentioned above for the purpose of this review/feature. All thoughts and opinions are my own.