Luschka van Onselen

Heroes Of The City Games, Books, Apps And DVD Review

by Luschka van Onselen in Reviews on 10 April, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Heroes Of The City Games, Books, Apps And DVD ReviewLike most preschoolers, my daughter goes crazy for fire engines and ambulances, but for reasons beyond me, is really afraid of policemen. Somewhere down the line, someone has told her that they're going to take her away and that's stuck with her. I decided it was time to introduce emergency services to her as a helpful, required service. I rung up our local fire station and arranged a visit with some friends, and they were awesome with the kids. The police weren't that interested, but we'll work something out. In the meantime, however, I discovered Heroes of the City and introduced my children to them.

Heroes of the City is an animated DVD, with books based on the same stories, little characters - we have the police car and the fire engine - and the apps for the books and the movies.

Heroes of the City follows Fiona Firetruck and Pauli Police Car and Calamity Crow as they go about life in their small town. There's always someone needing emergency services - often thanks to Calamity - and Fiona and Pauli are on the job.

There are 'real life' scenarios, like always keeping fires attended - and if you don't, the mouse family could lose their house - and never making prank calls - that's from the same story. The barn burned down because Fiona and Pauli were out on prank calls. There's one for camping, and one about a car race and a few others.

Like many children's stories these days, the movies have been turned into books too, which are equally nicely illustrated and great quality. My girls love them, and the books can withstand my girls! Yay.

For on the go entertainment, these are also available as apps through Google Play and the App Store.

Oh, and if you're interested, there are four free downloadable, printable activity books too.

I got these for my 4 year old, who loves them, but my 2 year old adores them too, and will often ask for Heroes! Heroes! so it definitely has wide appeal, and our little boy friends like it as much as the girls and their little girl friends do too.

It's not the same as anything I've seen on BBC or Disney or anything else, but is quite unique and even the theme tune isn't annoying. An all round win, we love Heroes of the City, and the lessons learned from it.

Frozen @ VUE Cinemas And Cineworld

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 10 April, 2014 at 11:00 am

Frozen @ VUE Cinemas And Cineworld

If you've not joined the Frozen phenomenon yet, you can do so this week still, at the much more bargain cinema ticket price of... well, that depends where you are and what memberships you have, but lets just say it's a whole lot less than your regular cinema ticket.

I took my daughters to see a fairy movie a few weeks ago, and specifically chose a time that coincided with my youngest's nap time, so that she would sleep and my oldest and I could enjoy the movie in peace. When I got to the front of the queue however, they wanted to charge me over £9 and my daughters over £7 each. Amid tears and agonising pleas we left the cinema and went for icecream instead.

So as far as I'm concerned, whether you pay the 'full price' of £1.75 for tickets at the VUE, or you pay a reduced price of £1.35 with a MyCineworld membership card, it's a much better deal to wait for the Kids AM movies.

If you book online you do have to pay a booking fee, which some have said make your movie-for-two cost nearer £7, but quite frankly I'd still pay that rather than the full whack.

At my local cinema, Frozen is on today, Wednesday and Thursday, but check the listings to see when it's on for you!

Promo Code: 10 Personalised Eggs With Free Delivery £25 @ Thorntons

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 10 April, 2014 at 9:00 am

Promo Code: 10 Personalised Eggs With Free Delivery £25 @ Thorntons

Use this Thorntons.co.uk promo code to get 10 small Easter eggs for £25, and have them delivered to your home free of charge. You can have them personalised too.

Click here to use your Thorntons promo code*

  •     Discount: Free personalisation and delivery
  •     Promotional code: SMLH
  •     Expires: 18 April 2014

Personalised Easter Eggs make great gifts, and if you're having an Easter Egg hunt and don't want to give the kids more than one egg each, personalising them is a fabulous idea. If you find an egg that doesn't have your name on it, put it back. Not just that though - you could use them for name place settings at  your dinner table too. So many ideas for personalisation, I love it.

With this offer, you're getting the eggs for £2.50 each. You can pick up Thorntons eggs elsewhere for as little as £1, but they aren't personalised, or delivered to you.

You must type in the promo code, rather than copy and pasting it, or it may not work.

Check out our vouchers section for loads of other promo codes, as well as all the promo codes for Thorntons.

Kids Eat Free - NO PURCHASE NECESSARY @ Debenhams

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 9 April, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Kids Eat Free - NO PURCHASE NECESSARY @ Debenhams

Yep, you read that right. Apparently kids eat free at Debenhams this Easter half term - starting yesterday, actually, and until the 27th of April, and more importantly, there's no purchase necessary.

My kids are still in that rather 'painful' phase when it comes to eating out so we choose 'family friendly' restaurants now that before kids used to make me cringe. Now I'm grateful for them, and the Debenhams restaurant is one of them.

They're especially ingratiating themselves to parents at the moment, because after long days in this beautiful weather, who feels like cooking? So you can head over to  Debenhams, and grab a dinner for free - even if you don't have one yourself. I suppose, however, that that's the catch. They know most of us will at least have a little something.

The kids eat free all day every day between the 8th and 27th of April. No purchase necessary at all but children must be accompanied by an adult - no free childcare here, I'm afraid. There's one free kids’ meal per child - including the children’s drink, treat, free fruit portion and so on, as selected from the bluezoo food children’s menu.

Easter Inspirations

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 9 April, 2014 at 10:00 am

Easter InspirationsLooking for some crafty ideas to keep the little ones busy today? Why not get them ready for Easter with this list of Easter crafts and inspirations from The Organised Housewife.

Organic Stripe Baby Hats Just £2 With Free Delivery @ Jojo Maman Bebe

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 9 April, 2014 at 9:00 am

Organic Stripe Baby Hats Just £2 With Free Delivery @ Jojo Maman BebeIf you're expecting, or know someone who is expecting a baby this spring or summer, here's a fabulous bargain for you - but you should probably act quickly before they fly. Jojo Maman Bebe is selling their Organic Stripe Baby Hats for half price at £2 instead of £4.

If not in all of Britain, then at least in my little corner of it, there's a baby boom going on at the moment. There are so many pregnant people and new babies, it's quite something. If you don't know a pregnant person around here, or four or five, you probably don't have friends. It's going to be a fun time next year when the first birthday party invitations start rolling in. So, if you're looking for teeny, tiny, cute little baby hats for newborns - tiny or not - up to six months, look no further.

Jojo Maman Bebe  are selling gorgeous, fun, summery little itty bitty baby hats made from pure organic cotton to keep those newborn heads safe and warm. They also have tinier sizes for early babies. And if you want a little more than a blue, pink or purple stripey hat, there are matching sleep suits available too - just check the 'you may also like' feature to the right of your screen!

Offer Code: Free Delivery @ The Works

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 7 April, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Offer Code: Free Delivery @ The Works

The Works has a Free Delivery Offer Code for you, running this week only. Free delivery gives you a saving of £3.99, which let's face it, isn't the biggest amount in the world, but it makes a huge difference if you're buying something cheap. This offer code doesn't require a minimum spend, so if you're buying for just a couple of quid, it makes a huge difference. It also saves you making the trip into town yourself, which if you were caught in the rain today, you'll think of as a major blessing! I'm still shivering.

Bear in mind that if you are spending more £13.33, you are better off using the The Works offer code Heidi posted about a couple of days ago for 30% off as you can only use one code at a time - no stacking here.

Pop over to The Works for free delivery on orders under £13.33*

  • Discount: Free Delivery
  • Offer Code: FREEDEL4U

To use this code, go to the Shopping Basket page and enter it in the Offer Code box.

The Works sells everything from cheap books to arts and crafts supplies, and even games and toys.

You can find lots of promotional codes in our vouchers section, as well as all the voucher codes for The Works.

Men's And Women's Shoes Sale @ FitFlop

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 7 April, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Men's And Women's Shoes Sale @ FitFlop

FitFlop have a sale on at the moment with up to 50% off women's and men's shoes. Standard delivery is free and next day delivery is £3.95.

Actually, I've worn FitFlops for years, and I'm not particularly in shape, so don't buy them just for that reason. That said, of all my shoes, my FitFlops are without doubt my most comfortable, and whether back packing, shopping, on a flight or just out in the garden, they are my go to shoes for comfort.

FitFlop have a sale on shoes right now, with prices starting at £42. 50 for the Ballerina Leather Rougescoop cut with a rounded toe cap, it's flirty, feminine, can go formal or fun, works equally well with skinny jeans or a skirt, and is said to feel amazing underfoot.

For the boys there's the Sling Sandal For Men in Citrus Green, reduced to £27.50. With criss-crossing textile webbing front straps, a touch-and-go adjustable backstrap and triple-density ergonomic midsole to guarantee good vibrations when you walk, these are designed for a generous fit.

There are 60 shoes to choose from in both departments, so there should be something to get you foot - ready for summer.

Easy Easter Bonnet Crafts

by Luschka van Onselen in Misc on 7 April, 2014 at 10:00 am

Easy Easter Bonnet CraftsThe Organised Housewife has loads of different ideas for DIY Easter Bonnet ideas if you want to get crafty with your children this half term holiday. There are ideas for all sorts of Easter, Egg and Bunny ideas both for keeping little ones busy, and getting them dressed up for Easter too.

 

Homemade £9.99 @ The Hobby Warehouse

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 7 April, 2014 at 9:00 am

Homemade £9.99 @ The Hobby Warehouse

The Hobby Warehouse has a handful of baking and other goodies in their clearance section, and one of those is the book Homemade - learn to make your own everyday items, reduced from £14.99 to £9.99 - it's currently £13.49 at Amazon.

There's a definite sense of pride and joy that comes with making something yourself, from scratch. Just yesterday friends came over for dinner and along with a home made curry I served home made chapati, and everyone commented  by first asking if I made them myself, then on how fab they were. Definitely a bit of pride  there!

With the help of Homemade, a fantastic onestop source of recipes and instructions for making more natural and less expensive alternatives to many of your favourite brand-name products, you can avoid chemicals, additives and other junk.

"Homemade includes over 700 recipes for food, beauty and health items and pet and garden products, as well as household cleaning solutions, polishes and compounds. You can save money by making your own, and you will produce less waste by recyling containers and bypassing over-packaged supermarket products. As a final bonus, you ll know exactly what has gone into your homemade product - no additives or mysterious E numbers, just good natural ingredients."

Sounds good to me!

Kitchen Goods Up To 70% Off @ ProCook

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 6 April, 2014 at 10:00 am

Kitchen Goods Up To 70% Off @ ProCookProCook has up to 70% off in the items in their final clearance range, with lots of new and fun kitchen items to choose from. All orders placed before 4pm are shipped for next day delivery. Express Delivery is charged at £4.95 or free on all orders above £100.

I love the feeling of new kitchen goodies, and find it totally inspirational for getting into the kitchen and spending time having fun with cooking and food making.

This sale from ProCook has so much stuff that's quite brilliant and makes me wish I had a much bigger kitchen.

For one example, I can totally imagine using the Cheese or Cake Dome, reduced from £68 to £34 for a gorgeous Easter table centre piece.

Or use the ProCook Covered Casserole Dish to make a leftover casserole for Easter Monday, so you can sit back and relax. This only £19.99 reduced from £44.

For lazy Spring evenings out in the garden, there's a 1l Carafe for easy pouring of your favourite wine, reduced to just £8.

There are special knives, baking trays, equipment and all sorts...  not bad at all.

Men's Clothing Sale @ Roulette Clothing

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 6 April, 2014 at 9:00 am

Men's Clothing Sale @ Roulette ClothingRoulette Clothing has a sale on men's clothing at the moment, with as far as I can tell, up to 50% off on men's clothing. It's not just winter clothing either, so maybe it's last years stock too - either way, they're great prices. Roulette Clothing offers free shipping on all orders to the UK, via Royal Mail Recorded Service and will typically take 1-3 working days.

I was surprised today when a friend told me her husband only buys branded clothings. She's opposite, almost a little hippie, and he only wears 'label' clothing. Clearly the fact that I've never noticed means I'm more in her camp than his, but still... I think I should point him in the direction of this sale, so she can save a few pennies!

Based on the Island of Jersey, Roulette Clothing is now online, meaning their mix of designer fashion is accessible to fashion devotees everywhere.

There are 147 items in the sale, so plenty to get you started.

You'll find everything from shirts to wallets, scarves to shoes, cufflinks to coats. There's casual to smart wear, as well as spring to summer and winter.

Tiny Tabs: Cutie Pie Looks for the Easter Bunny £3.74 @ Amazon

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 5 April, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Tiny Tabs: Cutie Pie Looks for the Easter Bunny £3.74 @ AmazonAmazon have reduced the Tiny Tabs: Cutie Pie Looks for the Easter Bunny book from £4.99 to £3.74 - great if you're buying something else, or want a top up to make it to £10, since a) you're spending almost the same as shipping but getting something Easter themed with it, and b) getting something Easter themed for playing, gifting or simply entertaining smalls this half term.

I actively and continually aim to inspire and encourage my children into a love of books. Not only for all the scholarly reasons that a love of reading is good, but also because in books they can go anywhere and do anything, their imaginations can change their worlds, and I find that an exciting prospect. Added to which, children who spend their summers with their noses in books, keep them out of trouble! I know, since I was one of those kids! My lucky mum! ;)

The Tiny Tabs book is a 10-page book and aimed at the very small.

Cutie Pie is searching for the Easter Bunny. Along the way she meets lots of friends who all have delicious chocolate eggs, but she just cannot find the Easter Bunny. Wherever can he be? Little readers will love joining in with Cutie Pie's Springtime search.

A great lead in to your own Easter Egg hunt, methinks.

Chad Valley Fire Engine Pool £4.99 @ Argos

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 5 April, 2014 at 11:00 am

Chad Valley Fire Engine Pool £4.99 @ ArgosArgos have this really sweet Chad Valley Fire Engine Pool on sale for £4.99. It's normal price is £9.99 and while it's available for that price on eBay, I can't see an overly similar thing elsewhere. Anyway, £4.99 for something that can keep smalls busy for hours is a total bonus. These are available for free click and collect, or you can have them home delivered for £3.95 so you're still getting it for under £10. 

What is it about a ball pit that makes it so appealing? I have no idea, but whether it's just to spend time throwing balls out of a pit, or to 'swim' through them, or simply to sit and explore the sensory sensations of a ball pool, they certainly love it. We went to a 1st birthday party a while ago where the only entertainment was the ball pit and children from ages 1 through to 5 had a ball. No pun intended.

This Fire Engine Pool can clearly be either a pool or a ball pit.

Reviews for it are great, people love it, and it takes less than 5 minutes to inflate and you're away.

Thanks to Poppyj1 at HUKD

Orchard Toys Giant Road Jigsaw £5.58 @ Amazon

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 5 April, 2014 at 9:00 am

Orchard Toys Giant Road Jigsaw £5.58 @ AmazonAmazon have a great offer on Orchard Toys Giant Road Jigsaws, reduced from £13.95 to £5.58. Obviously you're under the £10 limit for free shipping, but as one of our HUKD'ers mentioned, you can buy two puzzles for an extended play mat/puzzle area, and the grand sum total of £11.16. Sure beats paying £8.88 with shipping. 

My girls love their car mat. They can create a whole village life out of it, which is just great for imaginative play. The thing is a pain though, because we don't have a space for it, so it goes from under the sofa to behind the door to under the table to wherever else is out the way of where we are right now.  At least with this set, you can pack it up in a puzzle box and put it away in the toy box or wherever. I love that idea!

The pieces of this puzzle are interchangeable, so you can change the layout of the roadway every time. That's quite fun and different. And obviously you can use whatever vehicles you already have with it.

It looks like a great little multi-purpose puzzle to me.

Wasgij Puzzle Review

by Luschka van Onselen in Reviews on 4 April, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Wasgij Puzzle ReviewPart of what has made jigsaw puzzles a family favourite for generations is the simplicity of the basic concept. A three-year-old finishing a 16-piece puzzle has essentially mastered all the skills they'll need to do a full-size puzzle such as the 1,000-piece Wasgij Spring Has Sprung* puzzle as an adult – patience and bloody mindedness notwithstanding, that is.

Maybe that's why puzzles offering a variation on the basic jigsaw formula have never managed to eclipse the popularity of the original.

Click here to read more...

Newborn Crew Neck Long Sleeve Bodysuits £5.90 @ Uniqlo

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 4 April, 2014 at 9:00 am

Newborn Crew Neck Long Sleeve Bodysuits £5.90 @ Uniqlo

Uniqlo have three sets of newborn crew neck long sleeve bodysuits on sale down from £7.90 to £5.90. Each set comes with a plain baby grow and a patterned one.

There are three different sets available here, and they are available in three different sizes and it seems, styles. Also, within the three sets there are colour choices you can make. These 100% cotton onesies are gentle on baby's skin, and the snap fastener makes changing nappies easy. Size 60 features a side opening and size 70-90 has an easy-open envelope neck.

The first set is pretty standards 'stripes'. They have them in pink and blue, but they are nice enough that girls could use either.

The dog set is also quite sweet, and these are in purple and yellow, which makes them nicely unisex.

My absolute favourite set, however, are the rocking horses, pictured. They are so cute I wish I can have another baby, just for that! These are in grey and pink, and just.so.cute. I love it!

Delivery from Uniqlo is £3.95, which isn't bad at all. Deliveries will be made within 3 - 5 working days after you place your order excluding weekends. There is the option of a next day delivery, for £5.95 and finally, there is also a Click & Collect option for £2.95 or free for orders over £19.90.

Dino Supersaurus Doodle And Sticker Books Review

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 3 April, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Dino Supersaurus Doodle And Sticker Books ReviewI took my children to the Natural History Museum a little while ago, and they absolutely loved it. What I didn't love was the harrassment to buy one of every type of dinosaur item in the gift shop on our way out. Fortunately I had two dinosaur books squirrelled away in the cupboard at home, perfect for fixing the dinosaur frenzy. 

The Dino Supersaurus books we have are the 2000 Stickers book* and the Doodlesauraus Book*, which also comes with 1000 stickers.

Doodlesaurus Book comes fully packed with a gazillion things to do. Children can sketch, doodle, scribble and scrawl their favourite Dino Supersaurs. and there's so much inspiration for stretching their imaginations. Something they do really well in this book is to create a 'half' a picture and then kids have to fill in the rest. In one of the first tasks they show you the 'bad' dinosaur and his gadgets. Then there are three 'good' dinosaurs where the child can create gadgets for them. My daughter gave them multi-directional eyes, built in roller-blade feet, web hands (she's never seen spiderman!) and so on. An older child would definitely be able to come up with some amazingly imaginative ideas with the suggestions and cues from the Doodlesaurus Book.

The DoodleSaurus Sticker Book is a hybrid mix of  a cartoon book and a sticker activity book. The - what I will loosely term a story - follows the good dinosaurs as they face a battle against the bad dinosaurs.

The pages have places for stickers, of which there are around 2000. There are 'missing pieces' to fill, spot the difference games, colouring in and all sorts. Well, this is a brilliant idea. It pretty much involves the child actively in the story as it unfolds. Very nicely done. 

That said, I'd say it's a little old for my four year old but I can't see an age guide anywhere. I'd imagine 6+.

I think both of these are great for train journeys, car journeys, rainy days and more.

Hatley Cotton Pyjamas £9.60 @ Sierratradingpost.com

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 3 April, 2014 at 11:00 am

Hatley Cotton Pyjamas £9.60 @ Sierratradingpost.comSierra Trading Post have a sale on Hatley Cotton Pyjamas, reducing them from £12 to £9.60. Amazon lists them between £20 and £24 a pair, so this strikes me as a fantastically good deal, with shipping for £3.58 in 3 - 6 business days. 

We may be heading into the warmer months now, but the evenings are still cold and if you're heading out anywhere in the UK in a tent, even in the summer, chances are your little ones will need long sleeved pyjamas, so don't write these off just because they're long sleeved. A cold child on a camping trip can totally ruin it for everyone - trust me, we once had to abandon a trip in the middle of the night, drive home, sleep in warm beds, and drive back the next day to get our gear! Nightmare.  Since then I always make sure there are a lot of layers!

These pyjamas from Hatley are gorgeous, 100% cotton. They are two-piece sets, with cuffs for the arms and legs to keep the warmth inside.  They are machine washable, and reviewers love them, especially all the different styles to choose from.

Phase Two Dirt Complete Scooter V2 £149 @ Skate Hut

by Luschka van Onselen in Deals on 3 April, 2014 at 9:00 am

Phase Two Dirt Complete Scooter V2 £149 @ Skate Hut

Skate Hut has a sale on right now with loads of discounts in time for summer outdoor fun.

Head over to Skate Hut to get yourself and the children ready for summer fun, exercise and entertainment with safety gear, sports equipment and simple fun times from this retailer.

One of the offers that looks pretty great to me is the Phase Two Dirt Complete Scooter V2 reduced from £274.95 to £149. It's got to be some scooter at that price - definitely not one for leaving at the school gate.

The Phase Two Dirt Complete Scooter has a 5/5 rating from shoppers on the site, and comes with a free bonus pack with about £10 worth of add-ons like stickers, temporary tattoo and a magazine. This is an upgraded version from the V1, obviously, with wheels that look like what they are - aluminium - and thicker rims with necessary reinforcements to protect valve stem and strengthen the threaded holes for the bolts.

The delivery on this is free since it's over the £75 free delivery threshold.