I was invited recently to the Smiggle in Bluewater to open the next window on their Christmas advent calendar and see what treat could be waiting for me.
Anyone that has been to a Smiggle store will know it’s an explosion of colour and a total must for all stationary lovers. The store there is not huge but is very well stocked with both lots on the shelves and underneath the display tables. So I cannot see you having any trouble getting a particular item you may be after.
At the moment they have lots of their fabulous Christmas Advent Stockings, that retail at £28. That may sound a little extravagant but is in line with Lego or even Yankee candle (if you buy yourself one).
However, the goodies that are in the advent would cost around £40 if they were bought individually. So a bargain when you consider that and also a great alternative to just more chocolate.
Maybe that isn’t the right thing thing to teach your teenagers to play poker ( but my 2 are both dab hands at Texas Hold ’em *coughs*)
But this is a different style of poker, more like poker stakes with a difference- no money changes hands!
I’m totally sick and tired of my two whinging, whining, woe is me teens. Honestly I don’t know how on earth I got to the ripe old age of………43 without them. It’s a total miracle that I have made it in one piece with their infinite wisdom. C’mon all you with teens will know- THEY KNOW EVERYTHING!!
Well here’s my Teenage Poker game :
* I ‘see’ your 700 channel, 24 hour on demand TV ( in your own room) remotely controlled so minimum of movement is required- and I ‘raise’ you a one telly per household, with an amazing 4 channels to choose from, with kids shows only available on certain times AND you had to get off your arse to change channel, adjust the volume and switch it on and off!!
* I ‘see’ your health and safety gone mad child safety toes including padding for everywhere for anything used on the move, trampolines with total surround safety nets and barriers to stop you getting even remotely close to anything that could possibly damage you precious little bodies- and I *raise* you the Pogo stick, metal adjustable skates that went on your shoes and homemade go carts with no brakes and a rope to steer! ENOUGH SAID
* I ‘see’ your named brand clothes that are a ‘must have’ where literally NOTHING costs less than £60 even though the ones you are wearing are absolutely fine and still fit- and I ‘raise’ you the 80’s fashions!!!! We have been scarred for life and we have the picture evidence to prove it.
* I ‘see’ your games consoles, laptops, Ipads, tablets and Iphones with everything at an instant touch of a button teaching you nothing but lack of patience- and I ‘raise’ you……….The Atari with the exciting Pong game!!! Graphics at it’s best LOL
* I ‘see’ your door to door on call chauffeur service to all your extra curricular clubs so your precious little legs didn’t get worn out and so are kept safe from all the horrible nastiness that is on our streets today – and I ‘raise’ you the if you cant walk there your not going and the the journey to school in an easily recognisable protestant uniform across town on the bus through a predominantly catholic area starting when I was 11 years old going to secondary school. I looked danger in the eye on a daily basis and still made it to my ripe old age!
* I ‘see’ your on your person 24hrs a day phone in touch with your friends and family wherever you are at any given moment- and I ‘raise’ you the one telephone household. A phone normally situated in the hall that had an attached receiver that stretched all of a metre if you were lucky and no privacy to talk what so ever- with everyone listening in to your conversation!
Therefore, I win hands down and if anyone should have Childline on speed dial then it should be US- your old, know nothing, haven’t lived parents.
It’s sad that we haven’t even experienced our summer yet *cough* and already Christmas is being mentioned!!! Shoot me now!
But in all fairness if you have kids it’s best to get organised and be ahead of the game, so………………………………………………………………………..
Sneak Preview Of This Year’s Must-Have Christmas Toys
Log on to our live and interactive WebTV show to get the inside track on Argos’ Top 10 Christmas Toys countdown
Show date: 19th July
Show time: 3pm
Christmas may still be five months away, but millions of children will already be starting to think about what they want in their stocking come December the 25th.
Every year, there’s a must-have list of toys that all children are desperate to get their hands on, so what will be the big hits of 2012?
Last year it was all about talk-back toys such as Dance Star Mickey, a talking robot for girls called Fijit and Sesame Street Let’s Rock Elmo. In previous years it was all about kids’ construction toys, with the Real Construction Deluxe Workshop topping Christmas wish lists in 2010.
As the UK’s leading toy retailer, Argos will once again announce their Top 10 Christmas Toys list, a prediction of this year’s most-wanted toys and games.
Over the years many parents and grandparents have come to rely on the annual list to get the inside track on what will be on children’s Christmas lists so they’re ahead of the game when they start their festive shopping.
So what will be the new craze this year? Will digital toys continue to dominate or will we see a return to the retro? Log on to our WebTV show where all will be revealed.
We’ll also be discussing the importance of toys and how different types of toys not only keep your children entertained but also help them learn and develop key creative and problem solving skills.
Watch our live and interactive WebTV show from the launch of Argos’ Top 10 Toys Christmas event with [Richard Woolfson Child Psychologist, Mummy blogger and Toy Buyer at Argos]
As regulars will know I have 2 cats- one 2 yr old and a 16wk old kitten. So I jumped at the chance recently to review some of the available ‘cat scratcher’ toys that are on the market thanks to PetPlan, the Uk’s leading pet insurer, who asked me to take part in a Pet Toy Test in order for them to put the best toy up for a competition prize on their PetPlan Uk Facebook page.
The toys were quickly delivered and this is what I received:
As you can see the one in the middle is the traditional style cat scratch post, while the ones on either side are new to me- made of cardboard and look to be recyclable, and come complete with a bag of catnip to use with it. The idea for the review was to test the toys and discover which one I liked as a pet owner and also which one the cats preferred!!
As an owner I will be honest and say that I like to pay for things that will last, so the traditional style immediately got my vote!
However after having the toys in place for a few days it was easy to see which of the posts both my cats preferred:
My 2 yr old checking it out immediately!
Just checking it works LOL!!
The kitten getting his turn!
So I have to admit that I have fully changed my mind. Lets face it if you have kids or pets and you want a happy time then you tend to go with the things that they like! I haven’t even had to use the extra bag of catnip to keep them interested.
My only concern is that the cardboard ones obviously are not going to last forever or even as long as the traditional style. The ones I have been sent have already taken a battering.
But on the plus side they are very portable, recyclable, small so do not become an obstruction and to be honest in my local pet store they are available for around £7 so really don’t break the bank!
Lets face it how much would you pay for your cats not to scratch up your curtains/ furniture or sofas?
******So pop over to the Petplan UK Facebook page for your chance to win one and see how your cats love it!******
DISCLAIMER: all views are my own and I did not receive payment for this review
Note: Petplan has provided me with these toys as part of their Pet Toy Test review programme. Visit the Petplan UK Facebook page for more information and a chance to win the winning toy!
When I was asked if my boys would like to review the new Light Strike range it was a total no brainer! Boys and their toys and all that.
Light Strike is a super-cool new interactive battle game from WowWee, makers of bestselling toys, Paper Jamz and Robosapien
Light Strike is the first interactive gaming system that brings video games into the real world, live and in colour. Fully customisable with built-in weapon choices and slots to attach accessories, players can make tactical decisions to add new features and functions on the go. Interactive light and sound effects put you in the middle of combat, creating exciting ever-changing battle scenarios!
We were sent 2 of the Light Strike Assault Strikers, 4 of the add-ons (enemy scanner, machine gun bi pod, refractor launch and scope) and a Light Strike ITS to try out.
They delved in straight away and unpacked everything. Then we sorted the batteries and in true boy fashion ( I don’t need the instructions……they were off). But then they decided to check out the instructions that I had thankfully kept hold of.
Anyway, they went full into action mode. Testing the noise, the aim, the strategy and ultimately who can win! They are boys after all, the alfa male gene kicked in.
So here’s the technical bit:
Light Strike brings video-game action into the real world—live and in color. Assault Strikers and Strikers are customizable with built-in weapon features and add-on attachments that give players a tactical advantage. Play one-on-one tournaments or create up to 4 teams of unlimited players for free-for-all or Capture the Flag battles. Action at the speed of light™
They range from £9.99 up to around £40 with the guns obviously costing the most.
The extras are just that- extras. But they certainly enhance the game between the players.
They have brilliant sound affects which the boys loved, especially the fingerprint analysis. But even better for us parents wanting a bit of quiet time they have the option of plugging in your headphones! GENIUS
My boys in truth don’t play very well together, but because of the nature of these toys they were perfect for my two. Although we were lucky enough to be sent a lot of the Light Strike range you wouldn’t necessarily need all of them to start with. Therefore, it would be something you could add to along the way, for birthdays etc.
They are available from their website and other good toy retailers