Friday, 22 September 2017

Spider Catcher *Review*

I have a fear of spiders. I flipping hate them. I also hate people saying 'ohh they're more scared of you'. That may be the case but guess what, still not a fan! If there's one in the house it's either a case of shouting for my husband (although he hates them too) or trying to get rid of it some how, dare I admit that sometimes the hoover comes to my rescue. Usually my very gallant husband gets a glass and a bit of paper and chucks them that way, as much as he hates them he's braver than me. I hate the thought of having to get so close to them to trap them under a glass! I have no real reason to be fearful of spiders, it's just one of those irrational fears that I've had since I was very little. I'm always on the lookout for help with catching spiders and bugs but have yet to be successful. However, there may be a solution.......

I want to introduce you to the spider catcher by Brainstorm Toys (RRP £9.99), could this be the solution to all my spider catching problems? Is it going to help my house become spider free? Is it going to make me braver around spiders? Well, kind of. 

At 65cm long it enables you to approach a spider (or moth, butterfly or bug) at a safe length and catch it without harming the little critter. The bristles are soft and gentle closing the critter in safely so you can transport it as far away from the house as you desire! The catcher comes with a plastic cap to cover the bristles and a handy hook to hang it from the wall. It also comes with a rather realistic plastic spider to practice on, errghh! 

So how have we found the spider catcher?

Well, I've used it a couple of times on some fairly large spiders. I have to admit that it's taken me a while to get the guts to try and use it, even though it is fairly long I still feel I am way too close to the spider itself when trying to catch it! I'm also uber paranoid about the flipping thing running off while I'm trying to build up the courage to actually use the catcher! However, I have sort of overcome this and had a couple of successful catches and releases. It is handy to know that I can now use this rather than having to rely on my husband (or the cat) to try and get rid of the eight legged creatures. It's very easy to operate by using the trigger to open the bristles and then releasing it to close them again gently around the spider or bug. I have found it works better on the floor than in the corner of a room, I tried to capture one in the corner of the ceiling but I clearly need more practice at this....... perhaps I just haven't got the hang of it quite yet.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased we have this in our house. It's a great invention and if you're pretty wimpy around spiders (like me) then this could be the answer to your prayers! Although I feel it could be a bit longer in length, with more spider catching practice (although I don't want them to suddenly all reside in my house) I feel I'll be more confident using it and catching the 8 legged creepy crawlies. Available from many a retailer for the very reasonable sum of £9.99.

Have you got a spider catcher? What do you think of it?

* Please note we were kindly sent a spider catcher in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Bloggers' Best Linky!

Well hello!! A huge welcome to the new and improved Best and Worst linky. You may have noticed a bit of radio silence from myself and Sarah over the last few weeks. We took some time out over the summer and decided to put Best and Worst on a little vacay while we enjoyed our Summer hols, but it got us thinking about having a little revamp and injecting a little freshness into the linky. 

So Sarah from RunJumpScrap and I would like to introduce you to the Bloggers Best linky. A place for any post, whatever the post, the best post of your week or simply a post you are proud of and want to shout about it. This is the place to share it and we can't wait to read them. The linky will open at 05:30 on a Wednesday and remain open until Friday 23:55.

There isn't many rules because lets face it, rules are boring right? However, linkys only work if you share the love and support your fellow bloggers so what we do ask is.....

  • You comment on the host posts and at least a couple of others, of course if you want to comment on more  then please do!
We would also love if you could .....

  • Tweet us over on Twitter (I'm @helsy_1983) and Sarah is (@runjumpscrap) so we know you're joining in ( and please do use #bloggersbest) and we can give you a retweet

  • Join us over on Instagram with the hashtag #bloggersbest and tag us in, we both love a bit of Insta! You can find me here @helsy_1983) and Sarah is @runjumpscrap

  • Add the badge at the bottom of your post so we know which post you've added to the linky
But these are pretty much all the rules. Sarah and I will continue to have featured posts each week and will of course be retweeting your links when you link up. We're really looking forward to hosting a fresh and vibrant new linky and hope you'll enjoy linking up too! Spread the word, Bloggers Best is the place to be!

Run Jump Scrap


Top Tips when Buying Roof Windows

When making a decision about choosing to either install roof windows or upgrade you existing windows I can't tell you how important it is to do your research prior to purchasing. I love roof windows, they provide so much light into rooms and allow you to immerse yourself into the sky at times it can be particularly soothing. Choosing the right roof window will aid in creating some wonderful natural light and the element of space in a smaller room. So here are some tips when deciding to purchase roof windows.

VELUX® Top-Hung Roof Windows-White Painted Finish & Laminated Safety Glazing

  • Ensure you do your research! Where are the windows going? What sort of feel do you want to achieve, make a list of all the things you want to get from the roof windows and then try and envisage how they will look.

  • Choose a reputable retailer such as roof windows thus ensuring professional advice, fitting and customer service

  • How much light in the room do you want to achieve? This would be a good indicator of window you may want or the position in the room

  • Budget? What is your budget, this is always something to bear in mind when deciding to purchase roof windows. 

  • Roof windows are ideal for loft conversions!

  • Before proceeding ensure that no planning permission is required. This can be sought by contacting your local council. 
So, in summary it pays to go with a reputable company and do your research beforehand. Take your time and don't rush your decision, made sure you are happy with where you are positioning the windows and the light will be well distributed. Most of all, when it comes to roof windows just enjoy all that lovely natural light. 

* Collaborative Content.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Kitty Surprise! *Review*

I have a little girl that absolutely loves cats! We have 2 (of the live variety, Winston and Louie) and Elarna just adores them. She loves to stroke them, talk to them and feed them.....only issue is they're not so keen at times. Imagine how delighted she was to receive this utterly gorgeous Kitty Surprise (RRP £27.99), her own little kitty to cuddle, nurture and stroke to her hearts content.

We were sent the ever so cute Jilly. I cannot describe how excited Elarna was when we received her. Jilly is a white and lilac kitty with a hidden surprise. Tucked away inside her pouch are little baby kitties and there could be 3, 4 or 5 within that pouch. Also included is one little kitty that meows and purrs, very cute but remember to move it from the floor otherwise if you stand on it in the night you run the risk of having a slight heartattack and will worry that you may have murdered a small cat......I found this out the hard way and thought I'd stood on one of my actual cats, oops. Miaow!

As you can see from the pictures below Elarna was pretty happy about receiving Jilly. She's a really caring little girl so as soon as kitty was out of the packaging she was hugging her and stroking her and she continues to do this on a daily basis!

What do we love about Kitty Surprise?

  • She's so cute and fluffy, ideal to encourage nurturing and caring behaviour
  • You don't know how  many kittens are going to be in the pouch so this is an added surprise
  • The kitty itself is a lovely size and perfect to be hugged and cuddled
  • A reasonable price of £27.99, it would make a fab Christmas gift
  • There is a variety of coloured kittens available, if these don't appeal there are puppy surprise and safari surprise to choose from 
What don't we like?
  • We like it all! There is nothing that I can find to be negative about this toy, it's been a real hit in our house

I also want to mention that not only has it been a hit with Elarna (who is 2 years 5 months) but Alfie (5 years 4 months) has also been loving Kitty Surprise, in fact there have been several arguments over who looks after Jilly (hmmm story of my life!). So not only does it appeal to girls but also boys, and if you have a boy that likes the look of these but doesn't want a kitten remember there is the choice of Puppy Surprise or Safari Surprise also. 

Inside out Kitty Surprise we had 2 little kittens, a boy and a girl! All the kittens were similar to mum with white and lilac colouring. They all come with a little coloured collar to determine if they are male or female, they are very, very cute. The one that miaows and purrs has to be my personal favourite though, she's so soft and the noises she makes is so sweet. Mummy cat also has a beautiful sparkly collar and a brushable tail and hair. 

I love that Kitty Surprise encourages children to be caring and nurture animals. It also teaches an element of being responsible and starting this kind of responsibility early on can only be a good thing in my opinion. The 3 little kittys can also be stored within the pouch hopefully limiting the chance of them going missing! This is the kind of toy that I would buy Elarna and it surpassed my expectations. I'm not going to write anymore about it so instead I'm going to leave you with a selection of pictures of Elarna enjoying Kitty Surprise.

As you can see Kitty Surprise is very cute and appealing. I think she would make an ideal gift for any child that likes animals and to care and nurture things. Available from leading retailers in a variety of different colours and animals. 

* Please note we were kindly sent Kitty Surprise free of charge in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are that of my own. 

Run Jump Scrap

Monday, 11 September 2017

Valley Mill Candles *Review and Giveaway*

Ohhh I love a candle I do. Much to my husbands dismay as he really isn't a fan but when it comes to home accessories I most definitely have the final say! I like a variety of scents but there is one particular that stands above the rest and that is violets. I have become a firm fan of a particular brand that sells a parma violet scent and I've never found anything similar until I discovered Valley Mill Candles. I was kindly offered the opportunity to review one of their lovely soy candles and immediately I knew that I had to have the 'cwtch' candle in violet fragrance. 

Valley Mill produce many items from soy wax candles, natural soaps as well as welsh slate products. All products are handmade in Wales to highest possible standard and using products sourced from Wales itself. I adore the rustic, yet modern packaging and appearance of the candle. There is something about things being packaged in simple cardboard with black writing, it kind of lets the product speak for itself, I also love that the Valley Mill candles are in a rather robust glass tumbler topped with a welsh slate lid which doubles up as a coaster, it's a really nice touch. 

The candles are made from natural soy wax with a wooden wick to ensure a better scent throw (I've never heard it called this before but totally get what they mean as when the candle is burning the scent it lush).   The wooden wick also ensures an increased burn time and an even surface area melt. Unfortunately when my candle arrived there was a crack in the glass, fortunately I was very kindly sent a replacement out which arrived in perfect condition - however I'd already taken the photos and was pretty pleased how they'd come out so have decided to stick with the original images, to be honest you can only see the crack a little and I can assure you that the company really were so quick to send out a new one so no concerns there. 

I can honestly say that this scent is just as nice as my usual violet candle (if not nicer!). I find the scent lingers around the house for a while which is so nice and I've used it several times and the wax hasn't really gone down much at all. There is of course lots more lovely fragrances to choose from, I love the sound of the passion fruit, coconut and the mixed berry scent but the for the moment I'm just very much enjoying my cwtch candle. If you love parma violets then this candle is most definitely for you, it's such a sweet scent but not too overpowering. If you go and buy a pack of parma violets and give it a sniff that's pretty much what this candle smells like, delicious!

So these fab candles retail for £16.99 and one of my lovely readers is in the chance to win one! If you love candles as much as I do this is a giveaway you will want to enter. Uk entries only I'm afraid and entry is via the Rafflecopter below. You will be able to choose your own fragrance from the candles available at the time of winning. Please ensure you leave a valid email and twitter name if you have one so I can contact you if you win! 

All that remains to say is good luck and thanks for stopping by!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Run Jump Scrap

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Mokuru the NEW Fidget Spinner? *Review and Giveaway*

I'm sure you're all well aware of the fidget spinner craze. Those 3 sided crazy spinny things that are doing the rounds, all the kids seem to have them (apart from mine because Alfie hasn't asked for one, ha!), if you haven't seen them where on earth have you been? Anyway, there's a new fidget toy on block, step forward Mokuru. Perhaps aimed more at adults and marketed as a desk toy Mokuru is the interactive wooden toy to flip, roll and do tricks with. 

Crafted from beech wood these simple toys have endless possibilities. Once you start flipping and pushing these little wooden toys you realise that they are quite addictive. To get Mokuru to move you simply tip it and it will flip, although saying that it's not as easy as it sounds. I have spent alot of time trying to do more than just the basics and not advanced much, ha! However my husband is a bit more a dab hand at it, but then he loves things like this. 

Luckily, there are several videos over on the website with lots of demonstrations on how to use Mokuru and how to advance from the basic level to the more complicated tricks. If you go and have a look at the website you'll see that some of the videos show using more than one Mokuru, crazy hard.....I suggest you start of mastering how to use just one before using two or more Mokuru!

So if you like the look and sound of Mokuru then you'll be pleased to read that I have 2 to giveway! Entry is via the Rafflecopter below, UK entries only please. Sadly I can't give you a specification in what colour you'll receive but I promise they are all lovely! Please leave valid contact details and emails/twitter accounts that are used regularly as I'll be contacting the winner via these means. All that remains to be said is lots of good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 4 September 2017

Elarna's Dream Horse with Petplan.

Conversations with 2 year olds are amusing aren't they? I had quite the conversation with Elarna a couple of months ago about designing her own soft toy cuddly horse. 'Pony Mummy' she said, 'not horse'. 

Oh Ok. That told me then.

What colour should it be I asked? 'Pink Mummy'...... 'Purple Mummy'....... 'Green'. Ok, sorted. The only issue is she can't draw so I had to do the drawing, my artwork leaves something to be desired I think you'll agree! She did manage to do some rather lovely colouring in though as you can see! After being so specific with her colour choices I was certain we were in for an interesting species of cuddly toy.

I know you're probably wondering why we've been designing this crazy, rather 80's inspired horse. Well, the lovely folk over at Petplan asked us to be involved in their equine insurance campaign. We don't own horses or ponies, at the moment Elarna isn't really fussed about horses and Alfie is pretty much terrified of the four legged creatures (he prefers the slithery variety of animals, go figure) but if we did keep horses then we would most certainly be getting a comprehensive insurance cover such as the Petplan equine horse insurance, after you never can know what's around the corner. 

So does Elarna like her psychedelic, brightly coloured pony/horse? Of course she does, she hasn't put it down and she adores carrying it around and cuddling it. It's beautifully soft and snuggly, I'm not surprised she likes to cuddle it all the time. 

A little bit more info on Petplan........

Since 1976 Petplan have been striving to get the nation's horses healthy and owners happy. Petplan strives to provide horse owners with specific insurance cover to give peace of mind and genuine lifetime policies. Designed to suit all needs Petplan aims to provide comprehensive and reputable cover to horse owners. 

It's also worth mentioning that Petplan works with more animal rehoming charities than any other pet insurance provider and are committed to supporting these amazing charities and the amazing work that they do. 

So as you can see that Elarna absolutely loves her pony/horse. Perhaps one day she'll be happy to ride a horse....who knows!! In the meantime if you are a horse owner make sure you've got your insurance up to date. What do you guys think of Elarna's crazy pony/horse?

* This post has been possible thanks to Petplan Equine, all thoughts and opinions are that of my own. 

I Love You But....

I love you but........

  • You're exhausting
  • You're demanding
  • You are crazy
  • Can I have some of what you guys run on......... please?

The end of Summer holidays is nigh, how did that happen? I'm not going to lie I've found it tough having 2 monsters darlings to entertain on my days off. Individually they are great, together they are a force to be reckoned with. Sibling bickering fighting has well and truly started and the house is just noisy and hectic. When Alfie is at school my little routine with Elarna works, I get jobs done, we play together and I get errands run and then we pick Alfie up and have family time, it's a good balance. It's nice to have one on one time with Elarna but I have to be honest I do miss not having that time with just Alfie every now and again. Both of them individually are so very different.

They're great kids, I like to think we're bringing them up well, we try very hard to make sure they're polite, respectful and happy children but as I'm finding more and more on a daily basis Alfie is as Alfie does and Elarna tends to follow and even she's starting to develop her own naughty ways.

The thing is with Alf he likes routine, it does him good. For him to suddenly not be at school for 6 weeks I feel things have slipped with his behaviour somewhat. He's clearly like his Mama, I love routine! I find we end in a vicious circle of not listening, me losing my shit patience and then us all getting stressed. We cuddle and then it starts again. Mix Elarna into this and we have a potent mixture. 

I find Alfie gets the rough end of the deal sometimes. He tends to get the blame for alot of things, I don't mean to do it but I guess I assume he's being the naughty one and I shouldn't do that as I'm finding that more often than not it's Elarna testing the boundaries and full on winding Alfie up. Although, Alfie isn't perfect, he can be a sneaky little so and so and can be quite mean to his little sister at times. I have to have eyes in the back of my head, they are a cheeky pair and often found causing trouble together. 

We're at this stage with them both at the moment where that sibling rivalry and disagreement is in full force. Being an only child I'm not accustomed to this, my husband is one of 3 and is well aware of sibling troubles. We're getting alot of 'I'm older than you', 'I've got more toys than you', 'I'm taller than you' from Alfie and although Elarna doesn't really get it at the moment we do have to remind Alfie that she's his little sister and younger than him so to be nice. 

So my darlings. I love you both so very much but I'll be glad to get back to the routine we had......perhaps I'll be able to get some jobs done and my stress levels will be back to how they were!

Anyone else know where I'm coming from?

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Brainstorm Toys Inflatable Mega Globe *Review*

I think it's always a bonus when something educational appeals to children by making it more fun and playful. I remember learning geography when I was younger and it can be a a bit of a dry subject ..... although I do wish I'd paid slightly more attention, my geography really isn't that great (but I won't dwell on that!). I'm pleased to say that Alfie especially is wanting to more about the world we live in and other countries so any way to encourage his learning is a bonus. 

We were recently sent this fab inflatable globe to use from Brainstorm Toys and review, I was hoping it was going to arrive before we went on holiday but sadly arrived while we were away otherwise it would have been a great toy to use in the swimming pool. It comes neatly packed in a small box so fab to pop in your suitcase and use while away. I needn't have worried though as it has been played with tons while we've been at home come rain or shine. 

It's been fun showing Alfie various places we've visited over the years and also pointing out places he has been to and would like to visit in the future. He's also been asking where a variety of animals reside (well mainly reptiles) so it's been great to be able to show him on the globe where the anacondas and pythons live! What I like about this globe is that it's easy to read and is super bright and colourful. Included in the box are ideas for a handful of games that can be played to increase the educational aspect of the globe but at the same time keeping it fun.

It takes a few puffs to blow it up, I can't lie it took me a while and then when I had blown it up the nozzle didn't want to stay closed so I ended up having to tape it down which is a little annoying but for a RRP of £9.99 I can't really quibble. It's a great globe and I would say we've already got our moneys worth, we've all enjoyed using it!

We will continue to enjoy using the globe, it really is a great introduction to showing younger children the world and countries in it. It's light when blown up and easy to catch and throw about. If you're looking for a nice little holiday toy to play with in the pool then this would be a great choice. Available from leading retailers and with a reasonable price you can't really go wrong.

* Please note we were kindly sent the inflatable globe free of charge in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.