Luschka van Onselen

Disney Princess Night Dress £3.99 @ Argos

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 27 February, 2015 at 7:57 pm

Disney Princess Night Dress £3.99 @ ArgosLast summer, these Disney Princess dresses from Argos were huge. They'd fly out of stock as soon as they were reduced and they were so popular we wrote about them regularly. It's been ages since they were last reduced though, and now Argos has the Disney Princess Girls' Pink Nightdress down from £9.99 to £3.99.

I'm pretty confident that if I give this to my little girl it will soon end up in the fancy dress box rather than the pyjama box, and will become a favourite play thing, but at the price, who can argue!

These Disney Princess Girls' Pink Nightdresses are a must have for Disney fans - my girls have a few different Disney princess dresses and they love them.

These dresses are 100% Polyester and are obviously machine washable at 40C so whether they are used for play or sleep, they can be kept nice and clean and royal-like. They last really well too - my girls are still in the ones we bought them last year. They keep their shape and they wash well. 

Disney Mickey Mouse Sleep Bag £5 @ George

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 27 February, 2015 at 7:41 pm

Disney Mickey Mouse Sleep Bag £5 @ George Asda's George has a great bargain offer for parents of little ones right now - this Disney Mickey Mouse Sleeping Bag is reduced to £5 instead of £11, which is a £6 saving. There's free click and collect in store, or you can have it delivered for £2.95.

These baby sleeping bags are so convenient when you have a child who kicks the covers off at night! It's a great way to keep little ones warm during the night, and especially useful if you're planning any camping this year. They were a godsend for us camping with babies.

This is apparently a beautifully soft piece, so your little one will be cosy and snug. It's ideal for room temperatures between 10 - 20C they say. The main body is breathable cotton, 100%'s worth, and the wadding is 100% Polyester.

Tip: When you use a baby sleeping bag, test to see whether baby's head can pass through without it being unbuttoned. If it can, your baby is too small for the sleeping bag, and is not safe. 

PlayPennies Exclusive: Two Free Weekend Boxes

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 26 February, 2015 at 4:35 pm

PlayPennies Exclusive: Two Free Weekend BoxesWeekend Box has a great offer for PlayPennies readers - sign up using the link below, and you can get your first and your fifth Weekend Boxes for free. Of course that means you have to buy your second, third and fourth boxes, but then you get your fifth free again.

Now, I am a huge fan of these boxes. We have been getting them for about a year, and while we don't do them every weekend, especially in the summer time, we keep them to one side. Over the winter that has been amazing, because it's meant on tap, drop of a hat craft activities for my kids through the cold weather and packing house and moving and unpacking - times when I'd normally not have a lot of time for coming up with craft ideas or even knowing where to find they glue!

At the moment we're saving them up for the Easter break, because knowing that it's Easter weekend, it's bound to be raining, and who wants bored children when you have a house full of people!

Weekend Boxes are normally £15 a month for two deliveries, but you can stop and start as you like, pausing the boxes during term time for example, or whatever works for you!

PlayPennies Exclusive: Two Free Weekend Boxes

£200 Off A £500 Spend @ Thomas Cook

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 26 February, 2015 at 4:00 pm

£200 Off A £500 Spend @ Thomas Cook If you're planning on booking any Spring travels or Easter holiday break anytime soon, you need to look at this offer from Thomas Cook - but you can't hang about too long - it expires at midnight tonight.

Using this promotional code from Thomas Cook, you can take £200 off when you book a holiday valued at £500 or more, which is a fabulous saving, we think!

Click here for to find your holiday with Thomas Cook*

  • Discount: £200 off £500
  • Minimum Spend: £500
  • Expires: 26 February 2015
  • Discount Code: QUICK200

The holiday needs to be booked by midnight tonight, for travel in March & April this year.

To use the promotional code when booking to get £200 off selected Thomas Cook & Airtours package holidays, you need to enter the code at the checkout.  To qualify, the holiday must be for a minimum value of £500 per booking, must depart between 1st March 2015 and 30th April 2015, must be for a duration of 7-28 nights for a minimum of 2 adults.

For this and other promotional codes from Thomas Cook, have a look at our voucher page.

Why Wouldn't You #Brelfie?

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 26 February, 2015 at 1:25 pm

Why Wouldn't You #Brelfie?
Heidi wrote this morning about #Brelfies, the apparently new 'thing' which is to post breastfeeding selfies online and while Heidi asks "why would you?" I'm more inclined to ask "why wouldn't you?"

If you Google #Brelfie you'll get a lot more of what's in the image above - a huge variety in what breastfeeding mums consider okay to send out into the web'sphere. Some are happy to expose a whole breast while others you wouldn't even know were breastfeeding if they didn't tell you.

I think those pictures are representative of the whole point of the argument that's been raging online about this #Brelfie movement: different people are comfortable with different things. 

Some people share the colour of their bras on their Facebook pages which lets every person they personally know think about their breasts for a split second, and what colour is covering it. That's okay though, because it's for Breast Cancer Awareness. Despite the fact that it actually does absolutely nothing for breast cancer prevention. But as soon as we start sharing pictures of breastfeeding - which actually helps lower the chance of breast cancer, by the way - it's suddenly something everyone gets in a tizz over. It makes no sense.

Click here to

Pre-Order New Elsa & Anna Dresses For £8.99 @ Sports Direct

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 26 February, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Pre-Order New Elsa & Anna Dresses For £8.99 @ Sports DirectSports Direct have these two new Elsa & Anna dress styles available for pre-order. They're currently £8.99, but will apparently be £16.99 once they're physically on the shelves. We'll have to see about that, but that's what they're saying right now.  Delivery is £3.99 too.

The Anna dress is expected on the 23rd of March,  but the Elsa dress is expected on the 20th of April only, so there is a bit of a wait on them.

Should you order anything else along with the pre-order dresses, your whole order will be held, so just be aware of that.

Apart from the Anna & Elsa dresses there are also a few other princesses in the mix. These dresses are billed as "play dresses" and have short sleeves and frilly skirts.

When you're ordering, remember to remove the sports magazine and mug from your basket, otherwise you'll be charged the extra £1 for that if you wanted it or not.

So who needs another version of the Anna and Elsa dress? Well, many a little girl, I'm sure!

Thanks to Lisa from Facebook 

Freebie: Lunch Box Printables

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 26 February, 2015 at 10:48 am

Freebie: Lunch Box PrintablesThese little lunch box printables are so very cute, I can just imagine opening a lunch box to find them there. They're also free to download and print, and they're sure to make someone's morning.

My mum passed away from cancer on Boxing Day a couple of years ago, two days after flooding caused major havoc around the country. We were flooded on Christmas eve, but managed to pull a load of stuff upstairs to safety before it was ruined. In the weeks after my mum's death, I started going through those boxes and in them I found a small box of letters I'd packed away as a teenager, and forgotten about. One was a letter from my mum on my 16th birthday, and a few more were just little notes I remember finding on my bed when I came home from school from time to time. Obviously they were precious enough then to keep them, but since losing her... well, they are beyond valuation.

If I were to put these in my children's lunch boxes, I wouldn't do it every day so that it became boring, but from time to time, with a personalised message on the back, and maybe one day they'll find them stashed away in a box too, and remember how very much I loved them.

Guess How Much I Love You Pendent & Necklace £4.99 DELIVERED @ Amazon

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 25 February, 2015 at 7:58 pm

Guess How Much I Love You Pendent & Necklace £4.99 DELIVERED @ AmazonWe shared these pendents with you just before Christmas, when they were just over £8, and you loved them, so now in the run up to Mother's Day, at £4.99 delivered, I think they'll fly. Additionally, there are a variety of colour options to choose from at the moment too, all for £4.99 - just amazing and they're beautiful.

We all know the classic love story between a bunny and his mother (or is it father?) - I guess Big Nut Brown Hare could be either? - and this pendant is a throwback to that. You can find that classic story here too*

The pendant is silver-plated, engraved with the message,  'I love you to the moon and back,' and the necklace itself is 70 cm in length. The pendant itself is 3.3 cm and weighs 14 grams. Amazon's colour choices are silver and gold, and there's an additional 'I love you', 'Daughter' or 'Grandma' tag you can choose from too.

It's a lovely little gift, full of meaning and evoking beautiful emotions.

Solar Eclipse Coming Soon!

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 24 February, 2015 at 9:36 pm

Solar Eclipse Coming Soon!On the 20th of March the UK will experience a full solar eclipse for the first time since 1999. I'm so excited by this, since as compared to a lunar eclipse, or planets aligned one way or another, even cloud cover won't stand in the way of us experiencing this one, whether we can see the sun or not.

Apparently parts of Scotland will have up to 94% darkness.

The blackout will begin in the UK at 8.45am and the maximum eclipse, when the moon is nearest the middle of the sun, will be at 9.31am. The blackout will come to an end at 10.41am.

I remember seeing a Southern Hemisphere solar eclipse as a child, and my mum made us a solar eclipse viewer to help protect our eyes - you can see how to make one here.

Solar Eclipse Coming Soon!

You'll have to check with your own school, but some of my friends have mentioned that they're being allowed to bring the kids in to school late on the day too, which sounds like a fun and exciting morning to me!

You can find out more about the eclipse at the website dedicated to itand you can even buy solar eclipse glassesfrom Amazon.


Design Your Own Trunki

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 24 February, 2015 at 8:06 pm

Design Your Own TrunkiDid you know that you can design your own Trunki? I think that's pretty cool, and will certainly prevent any confusions or mix ups at the airport when you next go on holiday.

If you don't know the Trunki, it's a simply awesome bit of luggage for toddlers. It's a suitcase on wheels, that kids can actually use as a ride-on (with caution) - we've had a few accidents racing to the check-in desk, but at least it's not far to fall, so it's never been a problem.

Space wise there's plenty room for everything a child needs on a long-haul flight, (we've done Western Australia twice in two years) and more than enough for a local weekend break, or just a day trip to Nan's.

  • To design your own Trunki, click here to go to the website* and select start designing now

You'll have 10 options for colours to choose from for each part of the Trunki, and can make it as colourful or as simple as you like. Your Trunki will be made specially for you, to the same safety standards and specifications as regular Trunki's and will be sent out in 7 - 10 days.

Designing your own Trunki is £39.99 with free delivery, so the price isn't even that much more than buying a regular Trunki off the shelf.

Have fun getting creative on your personalised Trunki!


Movie Cheats For World Book Day @ Amazon

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 24 February, 2015 at 7:37 pm

Movie Cheats For World Book Day @ AmazonIf your child needs a recap on some of the classic movies before World Book Day, you may be able to motivate them with a movie - I've found sometimes when a book is a little advanced for my daughter, watching the movie can be a good way to get her excited about the book itself. We recently had this with The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. My daughter is five, and she thought the book looked boring, owing to the fact that there are no pictures, but the movie happened to be on TV a few days later, and she was enthralled. Soon after, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe became a favourite bed time story.

Some of these include The BFG Digitally Restored Editionwhich is currently £3.50, and the The GruffaloDVD is £4.50, as is The Gruffalo's Child*. 

And speaking of The Chronicles Of Narnia - The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobeit's £4.01 - it seems to be over £9 everywhere else.

Of course the book is (almost) always going to be better than the movie, but it's a great way to get children to understand what's happening in the books, sometimes - and if you don't have the time or inclination to read a story that they may need for World Book Day, it's always nice to have a cheat up your sleeve as a parent!

YouTube Kids App Coming Soon

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 22 February, 2015 at 12:54 pm

YouTube Kids App Coming SoonWell, it's finally happened. YouTube are releasing a kids app specially for younger viewers. I know so many parents who use YouTube instead of kids TV programs - even families who don't have a TV at all, and I'm sure this will be great news for them, because a current problem with using YouTube is that kids can click on any image and play the video, whether it's child appropriate or not.

The new YouTube Kids app, however, will have loads of functionality that will appeal to parents:

There's a TV icon which when clicked will display child-friendly shows, while the radio icon will let users play music videos for popular kids songs. The light bulb icon is for educational programs and the binoculars icon indicates an “explore” feature, which contains the top featured videos. Finally, the magnifying glass icon lets you search for all of the videos in YouTube Kids.

Children will be able to search a wide range of topics, and if the child writes (or there's a speech recognition function for those who can't read) something inappropriate, they'll be told to 'Try something else'.

Much like the Kindle Free Time* app, parents will be able to limit the screen time and control the settings with a password, which will be required to continue watching after the timer has run out.

What this doesn't have, which is something I really want for my children - I hope you're listening, YouTube! - is the ability to 'ban' certain programs, because even in the genre of 'kids TV' there's stuff that's appropriate for small kids, and stuff that's not.

Some of the shows you can expect to see  on YouTube kids are Sesame Street, TuTiTuTV, Reading Rainbow, Thomas The Tank Engine, Yo Gabba Gabba, Talking Tom, National Geographic Kids, Jim Henson TV, Pocoyo and Dreamworks TV. And apparently YouTube Kids will join the 'made for us' trend too, with shows only available to viewers on that platform.

YouTube Kids launches in the US tomorrow, and there's no definite date for a UK launch yet, but we're told it'll be later.

What do you think? Something you'll download for the kids? Join the discussion on our Facebook page. 

Childcare Vouchers Vs Tax Free Childcare: What's The Difference?

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 19 February, 2015 at 9:00 pm

Childcare Vouchers Vs Tax Free Childcare: What's The Difference?The news isn't something that makes me laugh very often, but I will admit to being slightly amused at the headlining news bulletin when I switched the radio on this morning: "For many families, it doesn't actually pay to go to work due to the cost of childcare", the newscaster said. I was waiting for the rest of the sentence, because in 5 years as a parent, this has come up again and again, and I can hardly imagine that it comes as news to anyone!

It seems the only way that a lot of my friends go to work every day, is by having family members that look after their children for at least one or two days of the week. Another friend goes to work in London every day, and her childcare on a 4 and 1 year old is so much, she pays more on childcare, what with extra hours to cover her commute and all that, than I was earning working full time in a pretty decent job!

Right now, Childcare Vouchers are available from employers to enable you to sacrifice part of your salary (up to £243 per month) in exchange for Childcare Vouchers which are used to pay your childcare provider. As they are taken directly from your wages, you do not pay any tax and National Insurance on the amount you have deducted, providing you with savings of up to £933 per year. Both parents can join their employer’s Childcare Voucher scheme, potentially saving over £1,800 for your family. However, in the autumn, the Government is introducing a new Tax-free Childcare scheme, which will enable working parents to have 20% of their childcare costs subsidised. This can provide savings of up to £2,000 per child, each year.

After Tax-free Childcare is implemented, Childcare Vouchers will only be available to those already using them; no new joiners will be accepted to use the scheme. However, due to the eligibility criteria for Tax-free Childcare, many parents will actually be better off using Childcare Vouchers - which surely leaves those families right back at the point of childcare costs making going to work rather futile.

So what are the actual differences? 

Click here to

Chinese New Year Activities For Kids

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 17 February, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Follow PlayPennies's board Activities - Chinese New Year on Pinterest.

Pop on over to Pinterest for great ideas for Chinese New Year, from dragon crafts for dragon dancing to goat activities, there's something for the crafty and the not so crafty. Even if you just want to download printables, you can do that too! 

My children love doing crafts and activities around special days and events - or maybe they just love the time with me, but either way, it makes for harmony around the home, which is good news for me!

Pinterest is a veritable goldmine for all things creative, and you can know there's been someone before you that's made it easier if coming up with the ideas isn't your thing!

20% Off Kids Fancy Dress For World Book Day @ Tesco F&F

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 16 February, 2015 at 6:16 pm

20% Off Kids Fancy Dress For World Book Day @ Tesco F&FWorld Book Day is coming up soon, and Tesco F&F have a 20% off offer right now. As far as we can tell, this is only an online sale, starting today and ending on Sunday at midnight. There's no code but the discount will be applied at the checkout.

The Tesco range of fancy dress contains just under 40 items, (if you don't count the Halloween themed head pieces as World Book Day themed). Prices start at £10 for the Where's Wally Dress-Up Costumereduced to £8 at checkout.

Tinkerbell lovers can choose from Fawn, Silvermist or Rosetta for £10, while more classical characters like Belle, Rapunzel, Cinderella and so on are £10 too.

Boys aren't left out this time, with Darth Vader, Optimus Prime and Batman, and there's even Pooh Bear and Mickey Mouse and so on for babies, though they're a little more expensive at £18 - but still dead cute.  Be mindful that not everything has 20% off, so you need to make sure before you buy.

A lot of these aren't originally books, I'm pretty sure, but hey ho, if it gets the kids excited, then why not.

15% Off Everything @ Homebase (Ends Today)

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 16 February, 2015 at 5:34 pm

15% Off Everything @ Homebase (Ends Today)Homebase has a 15% off sale at the moment, ending today, so if you want to do anything from spring cleaning, getting ready for planting or doing a bit of decluttering with added storage, pop over to Homebase for 15% off everything. This offer ended in store yesterday, but ends online tonight.

You don't need codes or anything, just select your items, add them to your basket and your 15% will be removed at the checkout.

Kids lights start from £2.50, and storage starts from £10.93 and there are loads of furniture options too.

Of course it's not just about the kids. Homebase sells everything from garden furniture to bedroom decor and everything in between. Fresh paint can do wonders for  a room, or adding a splash of colour with new cushions too. There's plenty to choose from, and the discount counts on sale items too, so you really can pick up a bargain.

£1 Clearance Sale @ Half Price Perfumes

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 16 February, 2015 at 3:13 pm

£1 Clearance Sale @ Half Price PerfumesHalf Price Perfumes have a great offer on at the moment as they're clearing out their virtual shelves. They have a range of items going for just £1. If it's your first order you may be able to use the code NEW15 to take 15% off too - although it may not work on some clearance lines.

One of my favourite items in the clearance is the Greetings Card & Lip Gloss Compact which is £1, obviously.  I think buying a bunch of these could be great for the plethora of 5 year old birthday parties we're due for this year.  It's a pretty unique birthday card idea, and I'm sure a lot of (let's face it, Annas & Elsas) will be pleased with it too!

There's also Little Me Organics Body Cream shh sleepy head 150ml, which is a good price for an organic body cream for babies (and mums). And speaking of mums, there's a lot there including waxing, mirrors, scented body lotions and more.

15% Off All Orders Over £50 @ GLTC

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 16 February, 2015 at 2:56 pm

15% Off All Orders Over £50 @ GLTCGreat Little Trading Company has a number of sales on at the moment, including up to 20% off play kitchens and 50% off in the clearance section. As well as that they also have 15% off everything when you use the code below.

Click here to visit the Great Little Trading Company*

  • Discount: 15%
  • Valid on: Everything, including clearance, when you spend £50
  • Discount Code: AQUA

I'm not sure about where you are, but here in my corner of the world, the rain is pelting down, which makes this the most accurate discount code I could wish for today! Aqua being water and all. My kids are happily playing away at their play kitchen, so while it lasts, we're enjoying relative peace. I'm sure someone will be using the one (out of 100) items of playfood the other wants soon enough!

What a great sale can give you, is more than enough for your little ones to play with. What it can't do is promote harmony among siblings. Alas.

Either way, 15% off a £50 spend is useful if you're in the market for toys, especially play kitchens and storage and other items out of the clearance section as it's a bonus discount then.

Chad Valley Fairyland Playset £4.99 @ Argos

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 15 February, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Chad Valley Fairyland Playset £4.99 @ ArgosThe Chad Valley Fairyland Playset is currently £4.99 at Argos, which seems like great value. It's normally £19.99 which seems a bit much, but again, there's a lot for a fiver here!

Our Fairyland Playset is perfect for active imaginations.

The Fairyland Play set includes 3 colourful castles for each set of characters to live in. It also comes with all three castles, and two people, mermaids and two ponies, as well a the internal bits for the houses. Judging by the image there are 18 accessories for the three palaces.

Overall it seems to be exceptionally good value for money, really, and will make a perfect present for a birthday party we have coming up soon!

Thanks to sparkleyskull at HUKD

Olaf 'Let It Go' Toilet Sticker £2.98 Delivered @ eBay

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 15 February, 2015 at 1:34 pm

Olaf 'Let It Go' Toilet Sticker £2.98 Delivered @ eBay

Is this really cute or totally tacky? Whatever I think, my 2 year old thinks its awesome, and she wants one to turn our toilet into an Olaf toilet. I'm not sure what Olaf would think about that, either! These Olaf 'Let it go' stickers are £2.98 at eBay, or there's an Olaf image only option for £2.95, also delivered.

Okay, I'm sure you won't find these stickers in the bathroom of your top hotels, but it's pretty cute if it encourages little ones to enjoy going to the toilet. Let's face it, most of us will take any help we can get it when it comes to potty training!

These 20cm stickers will stick to a clean toilet seat, and can be wiped over when you're cleaning your toilet too.

And for under £3 delivered, it's a bit of fun for the kids anyway. I can just imagine my daughter's face if she lifted the toilet seat to see Olaf there!