Dear Mummy, the Easter holidays are upon us and social media is awash with things to do over the next 2 weeks. Along with days out exploring the countryside and getting fresh air we’re on the hunt to find things … Continue reading
Care Bear stare! We had the most amazing time at the London Toy Fair this week and our highlight was this giant wall of Care Bears! If you like this photo please pop over to our Instagram feed @dear_mummy to … Continue reading
Dear mummy, I always thought magazines were for adults and teenagers but I discovered a cool magazine this week called Something Special and it’s just that! My folks have seen kids magazines which litter the bottom shelf of newsstands in perfect … Continue reading
Dear Mummy, we’re huge fans of CareBears in this household having watched the original CareBears the Movie over and over again since Christmas. My mummy was brought up with the CareBears in the 1980’s and had all the little plastic … Continue reading
Dear Mummy, we’ve seen a lot of people post about this cool game from Orchard Toys so wanted to try it out for ourselves. It’s called the Shopping List Game and retails around £7-£8 from Debenhams, ELC and Toys ‘R’ … Continue reading
Dear Mummy, it seems Father Christmas has come early in this household and we’ve been sent a cool new board game to review! In fact this is no ordinary board game it’s one about Christmas which is perfect for this … Continue reading
Dear mummy, I’m convinced that fairies live in our kitchen. I often hear you talk about Fairy when you are at the sink with Daddy. I’m also slightly suspicious that when I go to bed at night and wake up in … Continue reading
Dear Mummy, you are excited about this next product we are reviewing. You see you had something similar when you were a child and it brings back a lot of good memories. We’re testing out a game called Farmyard Heads … Continue reading
Dear Mummy, as you know we are big fans of Melissa & Doug toys! We buy a lot of our items discounted from Achica online. Melissa & Doug is an American manufacturer and purveyor of children’s toys. The company was founded by … Continue reading
Dear Mummy, Woweee! Look at this little toy you found at Molly’s Den, Winchester. As soon as you saw it your heart-strings went. You see it’s no ordinary toy. When you were my age you used to fall asleep watching the … Continue reading
Melissa and Doug – Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks
Dear Mummy, it was my birthday a couple of weeks ago and we’re slowly working our way through opening my presents and trying out all my new toys. My mummy wants to do it in stages as not to overload my senses with all these new toys!
Today we are playing with these colourful cardboard stacking blocks from Melissa and Doug. They come nestled in a A4-ish square box with a red rope handle.
All the stacking blocks fit inside each other and we have fun pulling them all out, more and more keep appearing which makes me giggle. It’s a really great idea that the hollow blocks can be nested inside each other and it makes it easier to store.
Melissa and Doug are renown for making beautiful bright toys for children. They are an American brand founded by Melissa and Doug Bernstein in their basement in 1988. They can be found online at Tescos and through discount outlets like Achica, Zulily and Amazon. They are a very quirky and fashionable brand too. Melissa and Doug make a wide range of toys like dolls houses, wooden toys, toys for special needs, pretend play toys and baby and toddler toys.
The Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks have cute cartoon animals on the sides. There are 10 cardboard blocks and when stacked they form a tower nearly 3ft high! That’s nearly as big as me!!! I love the bright colours and laminated shiny finish of the printed cardboard.
They are super lightweight too as they aren’t like big heavy wooden blocks that you usual get.
I can build them up and knock them down really easily without hurting myself too which is reassuring for my mummy. Even though they are square blocks the corners aren’t sharp due to the soften cardboard. You would think the cardboard is flimsy but it’s very durable because it’s laminated.
They are great for family time, when you are stuck indoors. Mummy and I spend a good 20 minutes playing with them before I lose interest.
It’s one toy I will always revisit though, which is good. The patterns on the top of the blocks are fun too. I love the star motif and the trippy squares inside squares.
A great fun and educational toy for children. Toy blocks are great to help with motor skills and hand-eye coordination. I also love to solve a problem by fitting the right blocks back into the nesting compartment when we tidy up.
Well done Melissa and Doug. It’s a super transportable way to learn your ABC’s! They range from £7.99 to £12.99 on most websites and well worth the money 🙂
Love Bella xx
Just for Tiny People’s 2nd Birthday Party
Dear Mummy, we love birthday parties! Especially when they are hosted by talented and creative individuals such as Effie Moss from Just for Tiny People.
The open day/second birthday party was listed on their facebook page and people traveled from far and wide to visit their business premises and celebrate their success since the notorious Dragons Den appearance on TV. (Series 12 Episode 5)
Just for Tiny People have done well! Capitalizing on their fame and talent and Deborah Meadens 25% stake in the business, they are also hot shots on social media too with over 154k likes on Facebook alone!
It helps that they make beautiful products too!
They are renowned for creating beautiful teepees and secret hiding places (Hidey Holes) for children and babies, we got to see the products first hand over the weekend..and let me tell you they were stunning!!
A bit out of my pocket-money budget, but if I pester my mummy enough *cough* I mean Santa, I might get one. Sadly we didn’t buy anything, the open day proved very popular, with queues of people out the door and through the starlit marquee.
Flattened teepees, colourful cushions, mats, postboxes and pillows were stacked high in the marquee in a rainbow of colours and patterns.
My mummy was busy taking photos while I was scouting the goods. The staff were very friendly and buzzing around like busy bees, So we didn’t get much time speaking to them. My visit wasn’t actually planned either, so they accommodated me very well.
We were in the Guildford area visiting Hatchlands Park owned by the National Trust which was a couple of miles down the road and briefly popped in.
Anyway, we left without trying the fabulous cake, shaped into one of their beloved teepees! A best seller for Just for Tiny people! So cute.
I wore my Frugi Owl dress and it matched my #JFTP Magical Adventurer sticker. I’m a great lover of owls so love Just for Tiny Peoples owl branding. We watched the youngest member of staff Alice, kindly hand out tons of sweets to customers waiting in the busy queues and all children were very well behaved!
Next time they run an open day it would be nice to have an area were the children can hang-out and test the teepees and play with toys, while the adults queue up and purchase, as I got figity at how busy it was in the marquee. They must have done a roaring trade over the weekend as it was soooo busy- well done! We love to see an independent UK small business do well. We are avid followers on Facebook and they usually run some fabulous competition to win their tepees. We can’t wait to see more of Just for Tiny People’s ingenious ideas come to life, such as the cardboard, foldaway teepee and the tablecloth sheetfort/playarea.
I promise next time we’ll stop to have a proper cup of tea, cake and a chat.
Well done on a fabulous 2nd Birthday and open weekend.
Remember tonight at 8pm (13th October 2014) they have an online market sale on their facebook page, so pop over and have a look!
Love Bella xx
NCT Basingstoke Nearly New Sale
Saturday, October 4, 2014.
Dear Mummy, it’s a wet and windy day and we’re all house bound watching telly and playing with playdoh. You hear on the grapevine about Basingstoke’s NCT Nearly New Sale and decide to pop down to see if you can pick up some bargains.
You’ve been an advocate of NCT for sometime and joined a group when you were pregnant with me. Along the way you made some friends for life, who helped you through the late stages of pregnancy and early motherhood. Taking part in an antenatal class was one of the best things you did, for support, education and aftercare. If it wasn’t for NCT my mummy probably wouldn’t have breastfed me…..she probably would have hidden away in the house and the NCT group gave her the confidence to get out of the house in the early days to attend Coffee & Chat on Fridays at Brookvale, Basingstoke and have friends introduced her to sling meets and the whole world of baby wearing.
We’ve both attended nearly new sales in the past, my mummy has carried me in her sling while browsing the sales. However this time, as I’m a little terror at present, she leaves me at home *sob*, you can’t take buggies or pushchairs into the sale rooms due to health and safety and how busy it gets.
They really jam pack the sale rooms as you can see from the pictures. It’s a buyers heaven! I stay at home and terrorized family friends while mummy ducks out.
She later informs me that it wasn’t a wasted trip and brings back two large bags filled with goodies, all for £35! She’s got at least £100+ worth of toys, a lot of them still in wrappers and all in mint condition…they do look like new! I’d never know the difference and I think that’s the point 😉
She tells me she queued for 20 mins in the rain in the non-members queue (which gets in 15 minutes after the NCT Members) the sale starts at 1pm, but luckily for mummy the organisers let us all in early due to the rain – that’s nice of them. She donates £2 to gain entry, usually it’s only a quid which is great value for money.
The NCT Nearly New Sale is not a Carboot or a table top sale where sellers bring their goods and sell direct to the public. The sellers arrange via the NCT branch before to sell on behalf of them for a small charge, which is great when you think about it, someone else selling your stuff for you, no mucking around with setting up and sorting out change and dealing with buyers.
There are 2 large sale rooms which are split into departments, so all books will go together from multiple sellers up on the stage of the hall, the clothes rails are clearly marked in ages on the left hand side as soon as you walk through to the second hall etc.. As my mummy’s been a couple of times she has a fair idea where everything is and makes a beeline to the books and the toys. It’s like supermarket sweep trying to fill her large NCT shopper bag which is handed out at the doors.
In the first hall there are large toys (e.g. bikes, slides, swings, small trampolines, scooters) but it’s been raided by the NCT members which got a head start 15 minutes earlier. Even though my mummy is 20 people from the front of the queue not much is left, it’s worth getting there early, a good 30 minutes before the sale opens to get some of the larger items such as cots, prams, high chairs and moses baskets. The good thing is that if something large was to take your fancy you can pay, get a receipt and leave your items in the holding area, and return once you’ve finished shopping in the second hall.
When mummy enters the second hall it’s a hive of activity, people whizzing around everywhere, there is a little bit of jostling at the toy tables, people grabbing and bagging, but it’s all part of the experience…it’s like the NEXT Sale, you aren’t going to grab a bargain unless you get stuck in.
A great thing about the autumn sale is that they have a fancy dress clothes rail, which is perfect for finding fancy dress costumes and we pick up some Pom Pom and a little monster costume for £2.50 and £1.50 respectively. Another bottle neck is the shoe area, a lot of parents make their way to that area first. It’s a great idea that everything is sectioned together as it helps buyers to find similar items all in one place.
Mummy loves the fact that she can browse without having the pressure to buy and people looking over her shoulder. She picks stuff up and puts things back down, it’s great that before the payment tables there is a quiet area with tables that parents can pre-sort and double check their goods and that they are happy with their purchases and put things back if they don’t want them.
There is enough friendly volunteers to help and we are helped by Emily, Pat and Tracy who all seem like they are enjoying themselves too. It must be very rewarding helping a charity such as the NCT.
All in all a good day at the office for mummy. It’s the best children’s market she’s been too and much busier that the other Children’s Baby Markets that are around. The prices are competitive with other sellers and very realistic and reasonable, that’s why items fly off the shelves. My mummy informs me that 70% of toys that I play with have come from these NCT Nearly new sales… Perfect. Well worth a visit. To find a local sale near you visit the NCT website and find your branch.
In the end my mummy bought me 5 books ranging from The Gruffalo to Peace at Last, a fancy dress costume and Pom Poms, Happyland characters and a house, a WOW Aeroplane, a Fishers Price tractor and farm animals, a Playdoh Set Rucksack, some clothes, a shopping food basket with cool plastic fruit and veg and some Christmas presents which are a surprise. Ooooo exciting 🙂
Love Bella Xx
Little Tikes UK Tiny Testers Competition
Dear mummy, this week Little Tikes UK are running their competition to find ‘Tiny Testers’ to product test their great range of toys! We’d love the opportunity to be one of the selected few to have a good ol’ play with some of their great toys at their headquarters and write some reviews for them. The competiton closes on 30th September 2014 and we’re on the scrounge for votes.
We’d love to visit the UK Toy workshop on the 11th October and meet the elves.
We’re hoping our followers on Facebook, Twitter, Bloglovin and WordPress can help by voting for us. Please visit the Little Tikes UK website and help make our dreams come true.
I just need a great big thumbs up on my mugshot (gallery image). I’m under the ‘little explorer‘ category as it fitted my personality beautifully.
You all know how much I like to explore the great outdoors and make new discoveries.
Hopefully we’ll have some good news in October.
Please share and vote by clicking and registering below 🙂
Thanks Bella xx