Tuesday 30 November 2010

Ila Security Personal Alarms

I remember (years ago!!) when I was a teenager I had a personal alarm that was huge and mainly ineffective as it was always stuck in the bottom of my bag, so last week when I had an e-mail asking me if I would be interested in reviewing an Ila product I was a little unsure! However in a recent survey by YouGov, 68% of women expressed a concern about their own personal safety so I figured I'd better have a look at their on-line brochure and soon discovered that they have some fabulous products.

There is a handbag charm that acts as a personal alarm and shrieks when you pull the chain. The hook is a compact mirror that unravels and can be hooked around your handbag to keep it safe or the Ila Sport which is the product I chose for them to send to me.  What I like about all the products is that they are fashionable and don't look like your traditional safety alarm. The compact mirror and the handbag charm come in a variety of patterns and colours including stars, flowers and black leopard print. What a refreshing change from the usual clunky tradition.

So as I said above, I was sent the Ila Sport. Not only is it a personal safety alarm but it also a pedometer which can count steps or distance travelled. It has a clock and a backlight on it as well and is perfect for running.  One thing that I always disliked when I was marathon training was running in the dark but I went for a run wearing this and did feel much safer. It's not only for joggers but would also be fab on these dark nights whilst walking the dog.

The alarm is LOUD, holy cow is it loud which is exactly what you need to scare an attacker away but I wouldn't recommend trying it at home! You can turn the alarm off as well when you are warming up or cooling down so that it doesn't go off unnecessarily. The Ila Sport retails at around £19.99.

For more information on the products please check out their website at www.ilasecurity.com Their products are available worldwide.  Look out for an Ila giveaway later this week :-)

Sunday 28 November 2010

Review - Tomica Big City Set, Aquadoodle Animal Sounds, Old McDonald Lotto and Crayola Mess Free Colour Wonder

As well as the box of toys that I donated to the hospital, Toy R Us were kind enough to give me two other boxes, one for Chick’s after school club and one for a local nursery.  This is me handing over the two boxes of toys to the Deputy Nursery Manager:

It also appeared with an article in the local paper.....cheesy, I know!

Here are their reviews:

Tomica Big City Set £39.99 - We felt it would be better suited for 1-2 children at a time, for in the home not really a large nursery group.  Disappointing that it only included 1 truck and 1 man that was really quite small.  It was fun to watch the tram go round the track and the children all really enjoyed playing with it.

Tomy Aquadoodle Animal Sounds £29.99 - Children enjoyed playing with it and liked how it made noises when you drew on it.

Old McDonald Lotto £8.99 – What a brilliant game, colourful and simple.  Children enjoyed playing it, fun and easy.  It also sparked conversation about the different things on the board.

Crayola Mess Free Colour Wonder Magic Light Brush £19.99- Needed one to one supervision, as needed to wipe brush after using each colour.  Couldn’t really leave child to play on own, more suited to 7/8 plus age.  They did enjoy seeing the colour appear though. 

All of the items above are available from Toys R Us. Don't forget to enter my competition to win a Remote Controlled Helicopter open until Friday, 3rd December.

Saturday 27 November 2010

GIVEAWAY - Radio Controlled Helicopter

This Giveaway is now closed. Please keep checking back for more great giveaways.
Seeing as it's nearly Christmas as well as the fact that our time being Toyologists in nearly finished, I thought I'd offer a lovely prize for one lucky reader. I'm sure that it would be loved not just by children but by many Partners too ;-)

This Silverlit I/R Z-Century is a four channelled radio controlled helicopter that apparently has superb stability. Not only can it fly up and down but can also hover and fly sideways!! Other info:

Superbly styled durable helicopter body design
Can be operated indoors in the smallest of spaces
Infrared 4 channel control
Authentic side flying
Gyro direction stabiliser 
Integral Lithium Polymer battery
Flight time: 10 minutes, Charge time: 15 - 30 minutes
Supplied ready to fly

Interested in entering? All you need to do is 'Like' Toys R Us on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall saying

'Adventures of an English Mum sent me and I would like to win her Silverlit Radio Controlled Helicopter Giveaway'

Simple huh?!?

This product is available to buy from Toys R Us at £39.99

* Closing Date is Friday, 3rd December 2010 at 5pm and I'm happy to send anywhere in the world!!

Friday 26 November 2010

Dodo Pad Diary

I’m sure that most of you remember how much I loved the academic year planner from Dodo-pad!! In fact, I loved it so much that I have a worn copy full of scribbles hanging on my kitchen wall and one by my desk at work. Well, now I have discovered the 2011 Dodo-Pad Diary or as Lord Dodo describes it.....a combined memo-doodle-engage-diary-message-ment book.

It’s the same bright colourful design with each A5 page being a week and the opposite side of the page being for doodling, pictures, quotes, phone numbers and any other info you may need. Each page is decorated with a different theme and pictures. For instance July 5th in 1686 was the publication of Isaac Newton’s Principal of Mathematics and the quote by Magnus Pyke is:

If it squirms, it’s biology;
If it stinks, it’s chemistry;
If it doesn’t work, it’s physics;
If you can’t understand it, it’s mathematics

My favourite quote is from TE Lawrence on reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover:

“Surely the sex business isn’t worth all this damned fuss? I’ve met only a handful of people who care a biscuit for it”

Obviously not a major part of the swinging sixties there huh?!

If you are looking for a different Christmas present this year instead of the same dull old diaries I thoroughly recommend that you check out the Dodo website and look through their ranges! I’ll be buying these for my cousins who are at Uni.

The diary retails around £11.50 and is available from the Dodo website, John Lewis, Waterstones and WH Smith.

Thursday 25 November 2010

Play That Tune

This game is just so much fun!!! It comes with a plastic musical piano floor mat and we were fighting over who would get the first turn!! You get 50 'tune' cards with it and I really like the mix of music.....nursery rhymes, pop songs and classics like 'Happy Birthday'. It was good as it meant that both Chick and I knew some songs!  The cards are really clear so could be used by any age and it's pretty simple to pick up.

You are supposed to use the timer and play the notes actually in a tune but seeing as we are both tone deaf we didn't bother with the timer. There are also score cards which would work better in a family group! As there are just the two of us and Chick can't co-ordinate between looking at the cards and playing the notes it doesn't look like so much fun in the video but we are taking it to my Mum's at Christmas for the whole family to play!! I look forward to watching my 81 year old Grandma play Lionel Richie ;-)

I would definitely recommend this and Chick likes it too but it would be better with more players! Available from Toys R Us for £19.99

Reviewed as part of the Toys R Us Toyologist programme.

Monday 22 November 2010

Review - National Geographic Land & Sky Telescope

I imagine you've gathered by now that we are Science Geeks in the Brooks household so imagine our joy when this beauty arrived in our last box. The National Geographic land and sky telescope is perfect for Chick's age because it's simple to put together and really lightweight. It also only costs £12.99 which is an absolute bargain!

Chick is quite lucky in the fact that not only does she have one set of Grandparents but we're very close to Nelly's family so we get her Parents too who Chick calls Grandpa and Nanny. They have an awesome cabin on the river so when we went there at the weekend Chick wanted to take this with her and let Grandpa help he find stuff. This is them trying it out....even in the cold and rainy night:

They both had good things to say about the Telescope but because the weather wasn't so good Grandpa is coming around tomorrow night for a star gazing session!! Bless him!!  

If I was being fussy the only downside would be that it didn't come with a star gazing book which of course was the first thing that Chick wanted to do with it but generally this gets a huge thumbs up from the whole family!

Don't forget to check out Toys R Us on Facebook to see all the other Toyologists review and some fabulous ideas for Christmas!!!

Friday 19 November 2010

Review - Barbie Glitterizer Wardrobe

This Barbie Glitterizer Wardrobe is ideal for budding fashionistas! From the new movie, Barbie A Fashion Fairytale, this fabulous playset adds glitter and sparkle to your doll’s outfits, accessories and your own personal items in 3 simple steps! Basically you put stickers onto the clothes etc, put them in the Glitterizer and hey presto they come out all sparkly!!  In the set there is the wardrobe, a Barbie, a couple of outfits, stickers and of course lots of lovely  glitter!

I gave this to Chick as her main birthday present and she absolutely loves it. We were lucky enough to have been sent lots of Phillips batteries alongside the toys so I didn't need to worry about remembering them!!

The glitter does get absolutely everywhere and we were sparkling more than vampires in the sunlight but I guess that's part of the fun! Chick has added glitter to lots of her Barbie accessories!! It only comes with a small pack of glitter but you can use any kind.

This retails at £49.99 but is still on sale at Toys R Us at the moment. It's quite expensive but I was going to buy this as her main present anyway!

Chick says: I think it's very glittery and Barbie looks really stylish but it needs some more outfits!

Thursday 18 November 2010

Mega Blocks - Dragons Universe

We received the Mega Blocks Dragon Universe Dual-Blast Hunter Dragon and the Universe Egg -Blackheart. I gave these to my lovely Cousin Mr.E to test as Chick wasn't interested because she's 'not a boy'!!! Mr.E's Mum said:

My son Mr.E. (age 7) really enjoyed playing with these, so much so that he's added them on his Christmas list as he would like more!!

I was impressed with how easily Mr.E. could follow the instructions and made them up himself. It was also nice that the batteries were already included and that there is an on and off switch.

I think the are value for money and it's good that you can add to the sets.

Mr.E's description of these:  Brilliant, excellent, fantastic fun to play with, easy to build.......amazing......would like more!!

The Dual-Blast Hunter Dragon is available from Toys R Us at £24.97. The add on sets are available from £9.97.

This is Mr.E and Chick on her birthday:

Monday 15 November 2010

Review - Micro Pets-i

The Micro Pets-i move, walk, sing, chase the ball and act as if they have a mind of their own. They interact with each other and play games together. Each one has their own 'special' talent! This is Chick & The Punk reviewing them:

My opinion: The first thing that you will want to know about these as a Parent is exactly where the off switch is!!! Within 10 minutes of the kids reviewing them, I was begging them to turn them off because they just don't stop squeaking.  The kids claim to love them but since they first opened them they actually haven't touched them!!

I guess they would make ok stocking fillers if you don't mind the £9.99 price tag. Would I buy these for Chick? No, probably not but then I'm tight and she has far too many toys anyway :-)

Would you like the chance to become a Toyologist from now until Christmas? Them make sure you enter the fab competition that Toys R Us are running until 21st November.

Sunday 14 November 2010

Review - Bop It

Those of you that are friends with me on Facebook or Twitter may have noticed that I was a teeny bit excited to have received this in our latest Toyologist box!!

It's loud, infuriating, completely addictive and we LOVE it and highly recommend it!!! 

Available from Toys R Us at the cool and very reasonable price of £17.97.

Would you like the chance to become a Toyologist from now until Christmas? Them make sure you enter the fab competition that Toys R Us are running until 21st November.

Saturday 13 November 2010

Review - Bouncy Balls Kit

This kit comes with 8 packs of glow in the dark crystals and a couple of ball moulds.  This is how you make them..........First of all read the instructions:

Next choose which coloured crystals you'd like:

Pour into the mould:

Place into cold water for two minutes:

Rinse and leave to dry for approximately 4 hours. The end result:

Chick really enjoyed making these but I would recommend that you encourage them to make the small ones. We made one large one that took most of the crystals and she was a bit disappointed that they ran out so quickly. She has however played with the balls quite a lot and has even taken them to school to play with her friends. The fact that they glow in the dark is a bonus too :-)

My verdict: They make a great stocking filler and are an okay price. Really simple to make and lots of fun afterwards.

Available to buy from Toys R Us at £5.99.  Would you like the chance to become a Toyologist from now until Christmas? Them make sure you enter the fab competition that Toys R Us are running until 21st November.

Sunday 7 November 2010

BirdsEye - 100challenge

A few weeks ago I was invited by Birds Eye to spend the day with them and Amanda Ursell who is a nutrition columnist for The Times. The idea was that I would take 5 items from my kitchen that I always have in (guess they weren't thinking wine ;-) and challenge Amanda to cook a quick, healthy meal.  Chef Paul from Birdseye was also on hand to answer any questions and I thought that I could get some starter cooking tips from him as you all know just how terrible my cooking is!!!!

I would have loved to have gone as I'm sure that they would have whipped up something amazing but unfortunately I was unable to make it at the last minute due to work commitments.  Click here to see what a fabulous time they had without me!!! Sally from 'Who's the Mummy' was also invited and she wrote a post with the tops tips that she learnt from the day!

Birds Eye have set up something called the 100challenge, where they have recruited a 100 families to take part in weekly challenges focussing on healthy eating family time and living life to the full. The website at http://www.100challenge.co.uk/ is a really good tool and you can follow how the families are getting on, read their blog posts, get lots of fab recipe ideas and enter their weekly competitions.

For more information follow check out the website or follow them on Twitter

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Playskool - Push 'N Stack Gears

I'm guessing that you are all wondering why Toys R Us sent me this when I no longer count Chick's age in months???? Originally this was part of the box destined for my local Children's Hospital however as it has three little pieces of fabric on it, the hospital are unable to have it on the wards due to infection control. Being the lovely person I am, I donated it to a friend of mine that has a one year old!!

There wasn't anything that they didn't like about this which is always a bonus and at £14.99 was something that they would have bought themselves.

What they loved about it:

- Brightly coloured

- All the pieces moved as you pushed it which had the little one completely engrossed

- Very durable and after being dropped from a great height several times as well as bashed about is still as good as new!!

- Lara enjoyed taking the pieces of the toy apart and putting them together again

- Big chunky parts are fabulous as Lara could handle them with ease and chew on them without swallowing anything!

A big thumbs up from Lara and Mummy and Daddy. The Push N Stack gears is available from Toys R Us online and in store, you can also follow them on Facebook.

Monday 1 November 2010

Think Fun Games

We recently received two ThinkFun games in our Toys R Us Toyologists boxes. The first one is Tipover:

The game comes with different levels of cards from beginner to expert. Using the grid and placing the crates in the positions indicated on the cards, you need to tip the crates over to create a path from start to finish.

We took this away on holiday with us for the girls to play and they struggled to understand what to do without our help. It also took us a while to figure it out!!! Once we had got it the girls were ok with it but Chick didn’t really enjoy playing it and she found it too hard. The Punk was more interested but that didn’t last too long either.

I think that maybe it was too grown up for them and may be better suited to older Children. I honestly don’t believe this is a bad game it’s just not fun enough for my Girl as she has to think about it. It’s aimed at ages 8+ and costs around £12.99

The other game that we were sent is Rush Hour and is based on similar rules to Tipover, with this one however you need to escape the gridlocked traffic.
Chick enjoyed this one much more which I find really odd! I’m not sure if it’s the brightly coloured cars as the principal is exactly the same as Tipover. Again this comes with cards from beginners to expert so is great for the whole Family but is aimed at ages 8+. Available from Toys R Us at £12.99

Remember that you can ‘like’ Toys R Us on Facebook to read all the reviews from the other Toyologists as well as some fabulous Competitions!