ASDA Wooden Toys up for review

I absolutely love wooden toys for my children. Before my son was even born, I bought lots of wooden toys simply because they would look amazing in his nursery. Of course time and experience taught me that not only do wooden toys look beautiful, but they also stand the test of time. Some of those very first toys are still being played with today almost seventeen years later. Amazing. So when ASDA Direct got in touch asking if we would like to review some toys from their new wooden range, I jumped at the chance.

First of all I have to say that in all honesty, ASDA probably wouldn’t be the first place that I would think of when it came to wooden toys. But how wrong was I. They have a great range to choose from starting with small items like classic bricks to huge play kitchens. And it is all amazing – and I mean amazing – value for money.

The Farm Set we were sent was a huge hit with my little ones. The house has two floors with a little ladder and the door lifts out to become part of the scene with a pond and vegetable patch. It comes complete with 13 accessories including a farmer, tractor with trailer, fences, animals, hay, milk and even a wooden spade! The pieces are all lovely and chunky and perfect for little hands. Everything packs away into the base and there is even a handle for take away play. Priced at just £20 I think that it is exceptional value for the number of wooden accessories included and it is just such a lovely little set.

ASDA Direct wooden toys up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

ASDA Direct wooden toys up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

The 2-in-1 Hob and BBQ Grill comes complete with 11 pieces including wooden utensils and play food. I love that this offers twice the fun with two ways to play, you can cook up a storm on the hob or sizzle on the BBQ simply by turning the base over and switching the back panel. You can also use the base to store away the food and accessories at the end of play. This would be a great compliment to any big play kitchen set but is of course also great fun on its own especially given that the set includes so many wooden accessories. This is priced at just £15 and again I think this is outstanding value.

ASDA Direct wooden toys up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

ASDA Direct wooden toys up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Now last but by no means least we have wooden Dolly Pram. This is absolutely beautiful as you can see. It is pink with polkadots and a pretty flower motif with a little love heart window and sturdy wooden wheels. It’s actually a really good size toy pram and fits even the biggest of our baby dolls. And also fat ginger cats. But obviously that is not recommended. Ahem. My poor cats are the most patient animals on earth I swear! It is suitable for ages 2+ years and is about 46cm high to give you an idea of the size but this is a toy that you will get years and years of play out of without a doubt. Priced at just £25 which given the amazing quality is astonishingly good value. I have seen very similar prams that cost more than four times that price.

ASDA Direct wooden toys up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

ASDA Direct wooden toys up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

All of the wooden toys that we were sent had to be assembled using a screwdriver but do not let that put you off. The instructions couldn’t be clearer and all the necessary screws and pieces are clearly labelled. They were all put together in no time at all and without a single hitch. It is good sturdy wood and clearly very well designed. The toys have taken quite a hammering already as you might expect but show absolutely no signs of wear. Not a loose screw in sight. These toys are put together to stay together.

My girls are heavy handed to say the least so they make shall we say very thorough reviewers when it comes to toys. I was seriously impressed with the quality. Great classic toys that are so sturdy and practical plus they look absolutely beautiful too. A good addition for any toy box I am sure. I honestly can’t recommend them enough!

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 Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review I was very kindly sent the wooden toys shown but all words and opinions are my own. As are the heavy handed girls who got to put the toys through their paces. 
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AmiGami up for review

My daughter thinks that I have the best ‘job’ in the world when we get to try out new toys before anybody else. It is pretty cool to be fair, isn’t it? We were lucky enough to be chosen to be one of the very first people to have a play with the brand new AmiGami figures and we had so much fun!

AmiGami is great for using your imagination and creative flare. You get to make your very own one of a kind creation. The kit comes with an animal figure, we were sent the bird but there are others to collect too, plus everything you need to customize your AmiGami. There are paper parts, stickers, pins and a curling tool.

AmiGami up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

To get started you first need to punch out the paper parts and strips. They punch out with ease and are actually really strong so can be reused again and again.

AmiGami up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

You can use the curling tool on the strips either before of after you have put them on the figure. You use the little pins to attach the paper parts on to the plastic figure. You can fit on as many (or as few) as you like and they simply clip on to the pin then pop into the holes in the figure. It’s really easy to use and the pins clip together with ease.

AmiGami up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

There are also sheets of stickers with all sorts of things like eyes and moustaches, flowers and musical notes that you can use to customise your design. Again, like the paper parts they can also be reused.

AmiGami up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

With 30 paper parts, 55 reusable stickers, a curling tool and 6 pins and caps, we loved that there are limitless ways to customise your AmiGami figure. And of course the reusable parts mean that you can change your design again and again. It’s so simple to use too we have had so much fun playing with this, it really is a great little toy. This gets a huge thumbs up from my craft mad little girl she absolutely loves it!

AmiGami up for review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

To find out more about AmiGami you can follow them over on Instagram or check out their demo videos over on YouTube.

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Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review we were very kindly sent the AmiGami figure set shown to trial 
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The one with the organised chaos

Having so many children means always feeling like I’ve forgotten something. Usually because I have. I can’t quite believe how fast that October half term came around and already I feel like we’re hurtling towards the Christmas chaos. Four children in four different places means I have a lot to remember. And also an awful lot of paperwork. And emails. And text reminders. Often in duplicate.

I’m sure the school think that these little reminders are helpful but actually I find myself drowning in emails and texts over the silliest of things which just makes me feel even more stressed. For example, Parents’ Evening usually means an email asking you to make an appointment using the schools online system. (Which you do straight away or else you will forget.) But your child then comes home with a letter telling you the exact same thing. (Even though you’ve already had an email confirming your appointment time.) Then over the coming week you get at least a text message a day reminding you to make an appointment. (When you already have.) Oh and then you get the friendly don’t forget that it’s Parents Evening tomorrow email. This stuff drives me insane. It’s just so unnecessary. It makes me feel like I’ve forgotten something even when I absolutely have not.

Organised chaos (Mostly) Yummy Mummy BlogAnd then of course on the rare occasion that you think that everything is in hand, some last minute thing will always come along to throw a spanner in the works. You need a Roman emperor costume for tomorrow morning? I swear school think these things up to keep us on our toes. You might not have forgotten to bring in those egg boxes last week but this will catch you out. Bwahaha!

I’ve tried all sorts of diary systems in the past but for me, nothing comes close to a pen and paper. Despite spending my life online I just don’t trust it to organise my diary. Reminders fail. Things that you swore you added can vanish. No sorry for me, only the old fashioned way will do. I guess my system would be called a bullet journal these days except I do it without the washi tape and doodling. Well, the occasional doodling but definitely no washi tape. Who has time to make their diary look that pretty? I am rather partial to a pretty notebook though. I am only human.

I use a combination of a traditional day to day diary of events, to do lists (separate lists for the immediate must-do-this-morning and the bigger must-do-one-of-these-days kind of jobs) and notes for anything and everything. And I mean everything. Blog ideas, meal planning, thoughts and musings. I think sometimes just having things written down makes me feel much more organised. I have a memory like a sieve and I swear if I don’t write something down that minute, I will forget it. To anybody else, I am sure that my notebook looks like the scribblings of a mad woman. No way would it make sense to anybody else. But to me, it is organised chaos.

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The one with the awesome teenagers

The time is here yet again for us to be doing the rounds of sixth form opening evenings. It only feels like two minutes ago that we were doing this for my son, I can’t believe that it is time for my eldest daughter already. To be fair though, it was only last year. I didn’t think the small age gap thing through when it came to the teenage stresses ahead, clearly. Next year will see one of them sitting AS Level exams and the other GCSEs. And the year after will be AS Levels and A Levels. So that will be nice *cries* To be fair though, does anyone think that far ahead? You think all of that stuff is so far in the future, don’t you?

It’s hard to see past the nappy years when they are all so encompassing at the time. But trust me, the newborn and toddler years are such a teeny tiny part of childhood. Like minute. And also by far the easiest so enjoy them while you can. Those teenage years creep up on you sooner that you might think. Or sooner that I was ready for that’s for sure. But actually, we will grit our teeth and get on with it as we always do because we don’t have much choice to do otherwise. There has to be some advantage to getting it all out of the way in one go, doesn’t there? Well, until we do it all again in a few years with our youngest two anyway. And breathe.

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A Smartie cake for the smartypants

Last year, my son really wasn’t interested in what he would do when it came to sixth form. In fact he wasn’t all that interested in school full stop. To say that those last few months of dragging him kicking and screaming through his GCSEs were challenging would be an understatement. I swear I aged by at least ten years. But we’re at the other side now and the boy did good so it’s all forgotten.

He has settled into sixth form really well and we had a glowing first report sent home last week. The choices he ended up making took him in a slightly different direction than maybe we expected him to but the most important thing was that they were his choices. He’s knuckling down and it’s great that he’s starting to see beyond the end of his own nose at last.

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I have at least 1000 more of these on my photostream

My children couldn’t be more different from each other though. This time around with my daughter, she wants to look at every sixth form within a ten mile radius and is researching every A Level syllabus under the sun. She’s even looking ahead to what she wants to study at university and where she would like to go. I feel like I should be scared of her moving so fast she’s my baby but actually I couldn’t be prouder of her wanting to spread her wings.

She is so determined and it is that determination that will see her sail through her GCSEs and go on to enjoy sixth form. All that determination and excitement is also really rather infectious to be around. It can’t help but rub off on you. Stressful years they may well be but they have their moments that’s for sure.

For all the scary bits that the teenage years bring (SEX! ALCOHOL! PORN! PARTIES! DRUGS! SEX! DID I SAY SEX?) these bits where you get a glimpse of the awesome person that you have had a hand in creating really are, well, very lovely. The huge lows are rewarded by even bigger highs. Honestly. I’m not sure how I ended up with such awesome teenagers but they are both really great kids. I’m a big believer in telling my children just how proud I am of them (little and big) and I’ll never apologise for that spilling over into my blog. I think all too often we only get to hear the bad bits about parenting especially in the teenage years and it seems so unfair. It can be all kinds of awesome too. Promise.

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What I Wore Wednesday

It’s Wednesday..

..so it’s what I wore

What I Wore Wednesday (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Black lace dress – La Redoute, black opaques – Marks and Spencer, bracelets – Links of London, cocktail ring – Marks and Spencer, nails – Soigné in Cerise, black Jalouse Spiral boots – Ash 

As if my silly mirror selfies weren’t bad enough, here I am trying to photograph a completely black outfit. Apologies. It was never going to be the best of photos but it is one of my very favourite outfits. This black lace dress from La Redoute was actually my Christmas Day dress last year. Is it too soon to be thinking about this years Christmas Day dress? I suspect it might be but I’m reaching that point in November where my shopping is well underway. I’m trying my hardest to fight the Christmas spirit just yet as I should really hold off until at least December but but BUT once Bonfire Night is out of the way, I can’t help myself I love Christmas time! Plus when the shops are so chock-a-block full of Christmas cheer it’s hard to not let it rub off on you, isn’t it? Anyway, back to the dress. I was always put off lace in the past finding it too itchy but this is anything but. It’s fully lined anyway but the lace itself actually has some stretch and is super duper soft. I absolutely love it. Plus it’s not too dressy that I can’t wear it every day. A must when you don’t get out much like me! Ha!

The Ash Jalouse Spiral boots are out again and I still love them just as much as I did last winter. Without doubt the best ankle boots in the world ever. Ridiculously comfy which I know makes me sound about a hundred and two but seriously, they are like wearing slippers comfy. It’s not very often that boots that look that good are so comfy to wear. Fact.

So that was me, what have you been wearing this week? Have you started to think about Christmas yet?

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The one with too many nail varnishes

A few weeks ago I went on a mad decluttering spree. Nothing was safe. I just felt like I was drowning in stuff and it was time to get ruthless. The toy cupboard of doom, the never-ending kitchen cupboard that I put everything that doesn’t have a home, the man drawer of wires and crap, years and years of paperwork shredded, all of our wardrobes sorted and winterfied, DVDs and CDs put back in alphabetical order (that was a days job in itself but oh so satisfying), bookcases sorted with boxes and boxes being taken to the charity shop and last but by no means least, I attacked my nail varnish collection. I know. Serious decluttering time.

I whittled my nail varnishes down to a much more respectable number of twenty one. I wanted to get them down to a nice round twenty but I just couldn’t do it. But that twenty one does include two top coats and two glitter polishes so technically I do have less than twenty nail varnishes. Sort of. I’m an excellent declutterer but a minimalist I will never be. I got rid of more than double than I kept which is really quite something though. I binned all the old gloopy ones (why did I ever keep them? Madness.) And many more I gave to my teenage daughter. So yes, technically they are still in my house but not in my drawer any more. That totally counts as decluttering.

Chanel Le Vernis Rouge Noir (Mostly) Yummy Mummy BlogI don’t know how many nail varnishes could be classed as too many nail varnishes but I think I had gone way beyond that point. More colours than there are weeks in the year? When I only paint my nails once a week? Nobody needs that many nail varnishes. Not that there is anything wrong with having too many nail varnishes of course. I can certainly think of worse habits to have.

But actually it got me thinking that maybe a signature nail colour would be the way to go? Like we have a signature scent I mean. For me that’s Marc Jacobs Daisy in case you were wondering. But despite having all the colours under the rainbow (and quite possibly every possible shade of red and pink) and aside from the fact that I spend far too long deciding what colour to paint my nails every Sunday night, choosing just one signature colour would be really easy for me. Well okay then not that easy as I would have to choose two colours.

For me you just can’t beat a classic red nail. Even Mr Mostly loves red nails. My absolute favourite red after extensive research is Chanel Le Vernis in Pirate. What a name for starters but it really is my perfect red. But and it’s a big but, it just wouldn’t be winter without Chanel Le Vernis in Rouge Noir. Again, an absolute classic and the reason why I could never choose just one colour. Others may copy this shade but I’m sorry, they will never quite come close to the real deal for me.

So fresh from my decluttering madness when I still feel all fresh and liberated, is this where I promise never to buy another nail varnish while ever I still have a drawer full of perfectly good ones in every colour that I could possibly ever want? Or at least promise only to replace my two desert island nail varnishes if the need should arise? Quite possibly.

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Barbie Malibu House up for review

We were sent the new Barbie Malibu House to review here on the blog and oh my goodness, where do I start? It is amazing! Now I hate to mention the ‘C’ word already but there is no denying that this would make the ultimate Christmas present. Hours and hours of fun to be had even after the tinsel has long gone.

Barbie Malibu House review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Welcome to Barbie’s Malibu House!

First up I have to say that at two storeys high, this Malibu House is huge! When the box first arrived I thought it would take hours to build but actually I was very pleasantly surprised. The instructions are really straight forward and the house actually slots together in large sections. There are some stickers to apply too but its all fairly self explanatory. So in less than half an hour, Barbie had moved in and we were ready to play!

Barbie Malibu House review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Barbie Malibu House review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

There are six rooms full of fabulous details and the furniture is also included so you really do get a lot of house for your pennies. From big furniture for each room like tables and chairs down to a fully stocked fridge, there really is everything you could possibly need. Also the little accessories are designed so that they stay in place which is quite frankly genius. Everything can be pressed into place so no more setting the table only to knock it and see everything flying. Everything stays put. We absolutely loved this plug and play feature not only when playing but also when it came to tidying away.

Barbie Malibu House review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Barbie Malibu House review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Downstairs there is a grand entrance hall with opening doors, a kitchen, dining room and living room. The spiral staircase that leads upstairs has an amazing aquarium column running through the middle and you slide the switch and up Barbie glides!

Barbie Malibu House review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

Barbie Malibu House review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

There is a family room upstairs which also has a holder for your smartphone so you can use it as a ‘real’ tv to watch which is a lovely feature. The bedroom comes complete with a bed and bedding but it can be lifted up to be converted into a shower and wardrobe making it a dressing room. Barbie really is a very lucky girl! Then last but by no means least we have a bathroom which has a toilet. This amused us probably more than it should and is probably the most played in room! Ha!

Barbie Malibu House review (Mostly) Yummy Mummy Blog

At the end of play, the house can be folded away neatly and securely to be stored away. The rooms fold in on each other and hook together. There is even a place for all the little accessories and furniture to be stored away inside which is so handy and of course means no missing pieces.

I think it goes without saying that the Barbie Malibu House gets a huge thumbs up from us. Priced at £99.99 I know it is pricey but I do think that it is exceptional value given the size of the house plus the fact that it includes all of the furniture and accessories that you could possibly ever need. It truly is an amazing toy and one that I would definitely recommend!

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Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review I was very kindly provided with this Barbie Malibu House but all words and opinions (and Barbie dolls) are our own 
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