Tuesday, 8 December 2015

It's Christmas in Sylvania

Christmas festivities are well underway in our house.  We managed to hold off until 1st December to get the Christmas tree up despite pestering from Miss R and Little Miss L.

Our house is festooned in pretty lights and lots of shiny tinsel and baubles.

We didn't want the Sylvanian Families to feel left out so it was time to get crafty!

Sylvanian Christmas Bunting

What you need:

Some fabric scraps (or you could even use some leftover Christmassy wrapping paper)
Pinking shears (to stop the fabric from fraying)
Bakers twine (or thin string)
Glue (normal gloopy white glue will be fine)

What to do:

  1. Fold your fabric in half and cut some small triangles from along the folded edge.  When these are opened up they will look like diamonds (in shape - we haven't performed magic and turned them into sparkly gems unfortunately!)
  2. Cut your bakers twine to the length required allowing extra at the ends to use for tying it on;
  3. Cover the reverse side of your fabric diamonds in glue and then place the bakers twine down the middle.
  4. Fold the diamonds over the twine to form triangles. Place one every centimetre or so down your length of twine;
  5. Wait to dry!

This is perfect to do with kids - it doesn't matter if you get too much glue on the fabric - it will dry clear anyway.

Also, my girls decided that the glue sticks were for wimps and went with poking their fingers into the glue to then wipe onto the fabric...it was more precise *apparently*.

Get decorating!

The girls decided to string up the bunting and add some battery operated fairy lights to the top floor of the Grand Hotel.  With a Lego Christmas tree in the 'drawing room' the Sylvanian guests are now all ready for the Christmas party season!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, 16 November 2015

Sylvanian Families Seaside Camping Set

As far as my children are concerned I have just taken on the most amazing job in the world...Queen of the World if you will.

It has given me amazing cred with them (does anyone say cred anymore?).

What is this fabulousness that has entered our lives?

I am a new blogger for Friends of Sylvanian Families!

My sproglets LOVE Sylvanian Families - I kid you not... we have tons of the stuff. Literally.  This is no exaggeration.

Sylvanian Families has recently celebrated its 30th Birthday and so I am (just) old enough to remember them from my school days.  I vividly remember one girl when I was around 6-7 years of age who collected them and she used to sneek them in to school but it was never something I was in to or collected.

In an attempt to wind back the clock and relive the toys of my youth when Miss R turned 4 I decided that I would start collecting them for her and so it began.  That Christmas Santa brought her Lakeside Lodge and a family from us and we asked other rellies to buy her bits of furniture etc for the house.  4 years later and we now have houses, hotels, restaurants, cars, boats and campers along with various families and the odd waif and stray - so you can see why they would be excited!

Seaside Camping Set

I have been sent the Seaside Camping Set to review.

When the sun is shining bright and work and school is on hold for the holidays, the Sylvanian occupants love nothing more than camping outdoors in the wilderness.
This charming set features a stylish floral tent and sleeping bag, cutlery and crockery, and a toasty log fueled fire to rustle up a delicious snack with the nutritious food provided. Tiffany, also included, cannot wait to embark on her next camping adventure.
1 Silk Cat girl; 1 grill; 1 oven; 1 tent; 2 grilled fish; 1 firewood; 1 cutting board; 1 knife; 1 tong; 4 plate; 4 fork; 2 onion: 2 corn; 2 pumpkin; 2 potato; 1 sleeping bag.

Despite the image on the front the set only comes with one character but when I asked my girls how many characters came with the set from looking at the box they said 1 - so all was fine there!

Sylvanian Families have recently changed their packaging away from the blue to this more vintage look.  I like it a lot but the children thought it looked 'old'.  Perhaps that's why I like it!

Reverse view of box so you can see whats included.

I waited for the girls to get home from school so they could open it up.  I wanted to see what they thought of it AND how easy it is for little hands to open and put together.

Easy enough to open without tearing the box

And this is what's inside

The packaging wasn't excessively large for the size of what's inside.

They were keen to open everything up.  Little Miss L just likes to get the figure and get playing but Miss R does like to put everything together.

She found the tent a little stiff to click in tightly but it was easy for her to assemble and get playing.
As will all Sylvanian Families products the attention to detail is amazing. The teeny tiny food and knife are so detailed (AND easy to lose!).

The girls were quick to get the other Sylvanian Families tent they have from Ingrid's Camping Set and the home made tent from a straw/wire combo and set up camp!  

Miss R pointed out that this tent doesn't have the ties to be able to tie open the front of the tent.  I actually don't think this is a bad thing as they are so fiddly to tie anyway that nothing is lost by not having the.  This tent is also missing the 'window' from the side.
The ditsy floral fabric print is really cute and perfectly proportioned for the size of the tent and the sleeping bag.

The food items my girls thought were water melon, jacket potatoes and biscuits rather than pumpkin, onion, potatoes and corn - perhaps that's because in the UK we tend to associate pumpkins purely with carving for halloween and not a campfire food.  

How long until we have lost some of those tiny food items or they have been eaten by the cat!

A campsite emerges in the lounge!

And that was the girls lost for the next hour, happily ensconced in playing with their new set.

What would I change?

For me the set itself is lovely - its the packaging I would change.  I hate to see items in those plastic trays and wonder if they wouldn't be better inside a cardboard tray in like an egg box cardboard.  I'm sure it comes down to price but I would hope that that is something the manufacturers would look into in the future.

Even if this is your first Sylvanian Families set there is enough to get playing straight away with the inclusion of the Silk Cat Girl (by the way what is her name?! We need to know. I want her back story - her life story! Why has she gone to the seaside alone?!)

When asked if they felt anything was 'missing' from the set Miss R felt it should come with a bucket and spade (since its a Seaside Camping Set) and Little Miss L thought it should come with a fishing rod (I assume she has some gnome genes in her somewhere!) otherwise it was totally a thumbs up from the Holiday girls!

Have you got this set? Let me know what you think of it in the comments.

NB/ All opinions are my own. I have not been paid for this review although the product was supplied to me for review purposes.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Time for some elbow grease

Occasionally I get the opportunity to review some new and/or existing products that are on the market.

I've reviewed items from onesies to gloves to tissue to cat milk.  Right now I'm testing out Flash Liquid-Gel.

First thoughts

My first thoughts on this product was that I had no idea it can be used all around the house and on lots of different surfaces - I have had a large bottle of flash for several years that I only use on my floors (and I don't do that that often as I prefer a steam cleaner).

This bottle is much diddier and easy to open - and not as easy to spill! (good thing!)

I was sent the lemon scented one.  Honestly - not a fan. It smells a bit too 'chemically' for me.  I don't really like products with a pong (I don't like those wall plug in smelly things either - they give me a headache).  Equally I don't necessarily want every room in the house to smell of lemons or the oven and BBQ!

Lets get cleaning

Anyway - smell aside I left my oven door to get really quite disgusting (who am I kidding - its always like that!).  Usually I clean with bicarb of soda - but I thought I'd put the flash to the test....

My oven door - pre clean. Pretty grim

.... after just one wipe with Flash Liquid Gel....

Not bad. Quite a lot came off and after a bit of elbow grease it came up quite nicely.  It did leave behind some of the more stuck on grease though. I felt that it needed a slightly abrasive element to get that off (as you get with bicarb).

BBQs too

Mr H used it to clean up the BBQ and he was quite impressed with it (although forgot to take photos).  Put it this way - we had to throw the cloth away afterwards so it obviously cut through quite a lot of grease!

In the sink

We have a stainless steel sink which seems to constantly be tea stained from people tipping their dregs down the sink and not rinsing!

I wasn't impressed with the results I'm afraid.  It really didn't get the staining off. I definitely need the likes of Astonish or bicarb to get it really sparkling.


I'm still testing the product out in other areas of the house - shower next.  Cuppa first you say? Oh go on then!

NB/ All opinions are my own. I have not been paid for this.