Saturday, 23 October 2010

Next Baby Boutique Model Competition

We've all got beautiful babies but maybe you feel that your baby has true model potential. Do people often comment how beautiful your babies eyes are? Or how they are going to break lots of hearts when they grow up? This is your big chance for the world to see how gorgeous your baby is; and you also have the chance to win brilliant prizes. Winners will receive £500 of NEXT vouchers and a 12-month modelling contract with leading junior model agency, Urban Angels. They’ll also participate in a photo-shoot for NEXT and Prima Baby magazine. Wow! Impressive!

What do I have to do to enter?
To enter the competition you must have an infant aged between 0-36 months. The competition will be judged in two categories; birth up to 18 months and 19 months up to 36 months. Visit and upload a clear photograph of your child. Once your photo has been approved you can get your friends and family to vote to improve your chances of winning.

Good luck!!!

Monday, 18 October 2010

Review: Zingzillas - Play and Groove Panzee

It's still Zingzilla fever in our household. My 22 month old just can't get enough of them. I think it's the combination of the friendly faces, the bright colours and patterned clothes that they wear. Throw in the upbeat and enthralling music and it's no wonder they are loved by all toddlers. Quite a combination!

Every time Toddler Craftiness watches Zingzillas he has to get up and dance, and so I was curious to try out one of this Christmas's top toys on him - the 'Play and Groove Panzee.' As soon as the fluffy pink hair appeared from the top of the box, my toddler yanked her out with squeals of delight. He tried to poke her in the eyes a few times, as her eyes are not just sewn on flat eyes, they are three-dimensional hard eyes, and this seemed to be an attraction for him. Next, he tried to tug her tambourine, which seemed to frighten him for a second, because suddenly Panzee introduced herself to him. Panzee was busy informing him that she wanted to dance, but the trouble was that I hadn't even removed her out of the box yet. From that point on I got rather impatient yelps and looks from Toddler Craftiness.

Getting her out of the box, Toddler Craftiness was absolutely delighted. He was absolutely in awe when two of his favourite Zingzilla songs came on and she proceeded to dance. It took him a while to get up and dance because he was just so busy admiring her. From a toddlers point of view this must have been pretty amazing - a Zingzilla dancing in your living room. You can even choose what speed she goes by squeezing her hand. She can either dance energetically, really wiggling her hips or she can go on slow speed. Slow speed means that she gently rocks and sways.

This is a great way of getting your toddler dancing and burning off some of that boundless energy they all have!

For me, Play and Groove Panzee is more than just a dancing toy. I really was amazed by all the detail that had gone in to designing her to make her a multi-sensory toy. You have the visual delights of her brightly coloured and patterned clothes, her textured net skirt and fluffy hair and her cute smiley face. Not to mention the fact that Panzee encourages hand/eye co-ordination, imaginative play and sound recognition.

My son really can't get over the fact he has a Zingzilla in his house. Today has consisted of him pointing back and forth from the Zingzillas on TV to Panzee, repeating the word "Panzee".

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that any Zingzillas fan will absolutely LOVE this toy!

A big thumbs up! We certainly had a 'Boogie Woogie Bubbly Time' with Panzee.

Retails at around £29.99

For more info please visit

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Miners Autumn/Winter Nail Collection

Wow! Miners have just released an absolutely stunning array of colours for their Autumn/Winter Collection. I am in love with them. If there is one thing that will cheer me up it's beautiful colours. I have listed the colours in my order of preference:

Dorothy's Shoes- I'm not sure I even needed the name of this nail varnish as it instantly reminded me of Dorothy's ruby red slippers and the magical way that they glistened and glowed. Those slippers were very much in demand and I am sure that this nail varnish will be too.

Midnight Lavender is described as the colour of Lavender as it sparkles by moonlight; how beautiful a description is that?
LBD which obviously stands for Little Black Dress. Just like a Little Black Dress this is an essential item. Totally matte black, this is for girls who are going for the dramatically bold look.

Perfect to create a festive look. Molten is a liquid gold shade with added shimmering particles you will be dazzling your way to the dance floor in a flash!

Mulberry Shimmer is a rich mulled wine shade with gold shimmer particles that dazzle in the light - perfect for festive frolicking day or night.

Here's my review:

For more info please visit or

Review: Le Toy Van 'Shanghai Warrior Ship'

Review: Times Table CD

I'm always on the hunt for educational products that I feel could help my children and so I was very keen to test out whether a 'Times Table CD with songs and games' would prove to be useful. My eight year old son is now receiving weekly tests on his times tables so he needs to get up to scratch.

So what does this CD involve?

I was really impressed with this CD. The songs were really pleasant to listen to even if you weren't learning the times tables; but overall the CD has been of brilliant educational use.

It is really easy to memorise the tables because as you go along throughout the day you actually find yourself singing the songs. (Yes, even I am singing them!) Which is a big help in learning the tables, if you are subconsciously singing them all the time. The CD then tests the child in two ways; repeating the song with gaps left for the child to sing in the answers. The next test is where a man reads out the tables and just leaves a few seconds gap for the child to fill in the answer before he gives the answer, which again children love because they can't wait to beat the man to it.

To reiterate the tables the CD also comes with a handy booklet with the times tables in so the children can have a visual aid as they are singing along until they become completely familiar.

Here's my son enjoying the CD:

The CD costs £7.50 which I think is very reasonable. We have had great use from this CD and my son's tables test showed this last week when he got 35/35.

For more info please visit

Review: Kids Music Shop DVD

I was recently contacted to see if I would like to review a DVD from Kids Music Shop. The Kids Music Shop has just expanded their collection from just CD's to DVD's. This DVD in particular contains 16 popular songs that children will love.

Here's the track listing:
1. Down in the jungle 2. Ten Fat Sausages 3. Sing a rainbow 4. We all clap hands together 5. Four little ducks went swimming one day 6. Supercalifragilistic 7. Prehistoric Animal Brigade 8. One potato two potato 9. Knees up Mother Brown 10. Woodland Farm Ho Down 11. BINGO 12. Banyan Tree 13. Chick chick chick chick Chicken 14. Wiggly Woo 15. Looby Lou BONUS TRACK 16. Happy Birthday PLUS an additional special features section.

Most of the songs feature schoolchildren singing along exuberantly and very proudly performing the actions. The DVD has a slightly amateur feel to it, but I think in this case it is what keeps you watching. The fact that the children haven't been edited until every little thing is perfect and if you look closely enough you can see them give each other a quick smirk etc.

It was great to see a DVD with local accents and the trouble that they had gone to to set up the scenery for each particular song.

So what did my children think?

This DVD made a great alternative to having a children's music CD on because I could actually see my children noting the actions to the songs. Years ago, I remember I had this old book which listed the actions you needed to do for certain songs and I LOVED it. I felt really important and loved showing off with my dance moves and actions. Now, after observing my children watching this DVD I have noted the same behaviour. They keep showing different actions to the songs which is highly amusing.

Overall opinion: We liked this DVD because it was almost like taking a glimpse in to childhood to see how proud children get when performing. There's even a section on the DVD to see funny outtakes and how the children progressed from rehearsals to filming. This DVD costs £4.99 which is great value. My children loved the songs and dancing along and copying actions from the children on the TV.

For more information please visit

Review: Stinky the Garbage Truck by Matchbox

Introducing Stinky the Garbage Truck. The ULTIMATE best friend.
The ultimate in boys' buddies, Stinky the Garbage Truck is anything but rubbish! This rugged, large scale garbage truck has interactive sensors that bring him to life in unbelievable ways! With amazing articulation, Stinky interacts with his new best friend by talking, telling jokes ans singing - this garbage truck is like no other. He loves to exercise and dance along to music with his own unique personality.

I was first introduced to Stinky the Garbage Truck through Milkshake on Channel Five. Stinky appears behind the 'Five' logo after every ad break and my children were immediately drawn to him. My 2 year old son wildly pointing at him trying to get my attention to the screen and my eight year old already well-versed in the name of the creature replying "Yes, Stinky!" Stinky really looked the bees knees on the advert showing off his robotic skills and his humorous personality, but I was unconvinced. Things often look so much better on TV and when you get them home they sound very robotised and the movements are unrealistic and jerky. Not the case with Stinky.......

Stinky the Garbage Truck came to our home on a Thursday afternoon and my son couldn't wait for me to get him out of the box. There were lots of wires to deal with in the packaging and this seemed to pose a problem for my two year old son as he jutted out his bottom lip in frustration at me because I was not removing Stinky from his packaging quickly enough for him. Wires removed, he snatched the toy off me with delight and sat playing with him for around 20 minutes on the floor (impressive for a toddler). My 8 year old then got stuck in to the playing; putting his toys in to Stinky's mouth so that they would fall out of Stinky's garbage truck etc.
It was what you could call quite a hectic day as my husband had managed to drive in to a pothole and damage both wheels so in all the rush we failed to realise that the toy had batteries in for a demo mode. It was only the next day when my son realised that you had to pull the plastic tab out did Stinky come to life.....

Stinky coming to life after being an inanimate toy seemed to prove a huge problem for my nearly two year old as he froze in terror and pushed it away. He must have wondered what on earth was happening with Stinky suddenly "coming to life.'

The 8 year old absolutely loved Stinky's crazy movements and I must admit I was VERY impressed. This was every bit as good as it had appeared on the TV and I have included a video I got off YouTube to illustrate how good he is in real life.

Besides the fantastic robotics what I really loved about Stinky was the element of humour instilled in him! He had us all laughing. Particularly when he continuously passes wind and apologises by repeatedly saying "Excuse me!" It's also great fun putting toy cars in to his garbage truck as he laughs and says that it tickles him and then demands that you give him more.

It was also hilarious when he got up on to his back two wheels and sung and dance. The gruff voice he beholds also adds to how funny he is.

Around £65 for this amount of interaction, humour and robotic technology is great value and I will certainly be recommending Stinky to others.

And if you think that is good then Stinky even comes with a 20 minute DVD of him and his other friends having fun! I think this is great for children as it provides more of a background to Stinky and fuels their imagination when playing with him.

A few hours of watching us all laugh and gasp in awe at Stinky and my two year old came round to him again; suddenly becoming very possessive with him. The result is that I now have a war on my hands, as my two children rival to get to play with Stinky first.

Our conclusion: Simply AWESOME! We couldn't be any more impressed. In fact we think Stinky is even better in real life than he appears on TV. WE LOVE STINKY!!

Available from Argos
For more info on stockists please telephone: 01628 500303

Review: Vtech Storio

Vtech STORIO is an interactive animated story teller aimed at 3-7 year olds, which encourages kids to read along with their favourite characters whilst developing their understanding of letters, vowels and phonics. There's even parent friendly extras to help monitor their development.

We were sent the Vtech Storio to review and so here's our honest opinion:

We were first drawn to the Storio because of our love for 'Toy Story.' The book that comes in the Storio package is 'Toy Story 3' and so we couldn't wait to test it out. We pressed the 'on' button and immediately we were simply amazed by the quality of the film accompanying the story. It was like having a little TV in our hands. I love reading gadgets, I'm the proud owner of a Sony Reader; but I could say in some ways the Storio impressed me even more. Not only a story book but a running cartoon too!

To add to the delight of the above, we could even personalise the Storio with my sons name and play reading games. My two sons are nearly 2 and 8 and it was a constant fight between them who could use it first. At the moment my youngest son can only listen and watch but I am sure this will ease him in to the world of reading and really encourage him to want to read.

The touch screen was brilliant to use and you could either use it with your fingers or with the stylus pen that comes with the Storio. The fact that each word was being highlighted as it was read out made it great for my children not only to learn the words and see how they were pronounced but also to learn the tone of voice that is used when something exciting is happening. A skill that can often be ignored. Another brilliant factor was that if there was a difficult word, then they could just tap on it and up would pop the 'story dictionary' explaining what the word meant. They also really seemed to like the facility of being able to virtually turn over the page.

The reading games were a big hit with the children too and are a great tool for finding out how well your child comprehends the story.

I'm also surprised at the fact that we have had the Storio for around six weeks and still haven't had to change the battery! Putting the Storio on a dimmer light setting certainly seems to conserve the battery life and prevents the Storio from devouring batteries.

Our overall opinion:

Brilliant! The Storio really does manage to bring reading to life in a variety of interesting ways. With the ever expanding library of Storio such as Shrek, Dora the Explorer, Scooby Doo and Disney Fairies we are never going to get bored of this toy.

For more information please visit

Monday, 11 October 2010

Sweet Craftiness: Outfit of the Month

There's nothing we love more here at the world of Sweet Craftiness than an outfit that is comfortable and yet stylish. In these crisp Autumn days it can be very hard deciding on what to wear, but browsing through the latest La Redoute catalogue we were actually at a loss at what we should prioritise to buy. Luckily for my readers I have teamed up with La Redoute to review some of the latest fashion must-haves to see if they live up to how good they look in the catalogue.

Feast your eyes on this month's outfit of the week: (dress pictured above). Short-Sleeved Dress. I LOVE it; it's bang on trend and team it up with a lovely long cardigan and you will be stylish and cosy. It's a really figure flattering dress as it flows over the stomach gently and yet allows easy movement because it is not too long. It's a great length and with some black tights and the black biker boots you are ready to go. If you want to be extra warm you could even wear leggings with it. On warmer days this dress will also look great with a simple denim jacket.

If you want to go for a more fitted look and really want to accentuate your petite waist then a belt is a great option. A particularly nice belt to suit this dress is the 'Plaited Leather belt with studs' (pictured below) item no 8252530.

This is a gorgeous plaited leather belt with metal studs, available in brown or black. You could either go with brown belt and brown biker boots or black belt and black biker boots. This belt is probably one of La Redoute's bestsellers as the belt is actually featured in their TV adverts. It costs £35 but is versatile enough to go with many different outfits and the outstanding quality means that it will last some time.

The biker boots below are brilliant value! They are short biker boots which is the 'in-trend' this season! They are easy to get on and off quickly too as they simply slip on. These are part of their 'Mini-Price' range and so at £29.00 are very affordable. More importantly they are VERY comfortable and I have used them for dashing about on the school run several times. They really kept my feet nice and warm too. One thing I did notice about them is because of the 2.5cm heel they are quite noisy to walk about on but that is my only minor quibble.

Hope you have enjoyed this month's 'Outfit of the Month' and keep your eyes peeled for next month's treat for the eyes!

For more info please visit

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Review: Zingzillas: The Album

If the children in your household watch Cbeebies, you will undoubtedly have seen or heard Zingzillas. The show makes a refreshing change to traditional children's TV shows however as it brings a unique musical element along with it. Bringing new and old kinds of music to children's attention and maybe will even cause children to take up playing an instrument.

I was highly amused when my 22 month old watched Zingzillas as his little face lit up and he started boogying along in his pushchair, so much so that I had to let him out to have a little dance.

As much as we love Zingzillas, there are times when you want to shut off the TV and engage children in other activities and that's why I was ever so pleased when I heard there was a Zingzilla's album being released as I envisioned getting my son up dancing and burning off some of that everlasting energy he seems to behold.

Here's a bit more info on the CD:

The hit pre-school show ZingZillas follows band-mates Zak, Tang, Panzee and Drum through their music adventures on their tropical island paradise. This band of primate friends live to play fantastic music. With the help of their mentor, music guru DJ Loose, they create their unique ZingZilla sounds just in time for their daily performance, The Big Zing.

As well as these regular island dwellers, the island is visited in every episode by a different musical guest. The ZingZillas always discover their musical guest in a lush jungle glade which pulsates with music. They take inspiration from the guests and incorporate them and their sounds into The Big Zing.

With musical influences from rock to soul, jazz to samba and big band to orchestra, the ZingZillas have got pint sized viewers (and their mums and dads) jumping and jiving to a brand new beat.

The 4th October sees the release of ZingZilllas: The album, which will be available on CD and digital download. The album includes the band’s first single, Do you Didgeridoo? As well as an extended version of the infectiously catchy ZingZillas theme tune.

Serving up listeners with a host of world music from over 20 counties, the album features 26 tracks including hits such as Bhangra Beat, The Great ZingZilla Band and Let’s Hear You Scat.

We were sent this CD to review so what did we honestly think?

There is huge diversity in music on this CD and so listening to the album is never boring (which can often be the case when it comes to children's CD's.) You have the BBC orchestra, bagpipe players, rock bands, pianists, drummers, saxophonists, jazz bands and much more. It's amazing!

Initially my toddler seemed more interested in looking at the CD case and pointing in amazement at the brightly coloured characters gracing the front cover, and even more so when he discovered his reflection in the back of the CD. But after taking the CD off him before he caused any damage, he quickly cheered up when I placed the CD in the CD player and he proceeded to happily dance away.

It was great to hear such feelgood music playing with such appealing lyrics for children. If songs like these can drum home the importance of recycling and making friends at a young age then that can only be a good thing. For now though my little boy just seems to enjoy dancing along to the music.

The fact that the album contains 26 songs means that this CD has a very long shelf-life or rather a very long life in my CD player. We probably listen to about 4 or 5 songs at a time, meaning that each time we put the CD back on we can listen to some relatively new songs again. Our favourites being 'Welcome to the Island' and 'Litter, Litter, Litter.'

And in the words of one of the songs 'Do you want to have fun?' - if so, then get your hands on one of these albums.

It's sure to go down a treat with your kids if they are Zingzilla fans.

Certain to get fans singing, grooving and dancing just like their favourite primate friends, Zingzillas: The Album will be available through all good retailers.

CD Product Information:

Cat. Number: LTDMG021

Release Date: 4th October 2010

RRP: £9.99

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Review: Lakeland Santa's Advent Workshop Calendar

I ADORE Christmas and actually when it comes to Christmas products I am like a big kid. Anything that can make the build-up to Christmas more magical is good in my book. So I had to share with you this AMAZING advent calendar from Lakeland. If you remember last year I showed you this beautiful Bethlehem Advent Stable from Lakeland. I thought Lakeland would have a hard time surpassing the beauty of the calendar this year; but yet again they have managed to create a magnificent piece.

It holds all the same qualities of last year's piece:

Future heirloom: because the item is so well made it can be passed down to future generations.

I have taken close-up shots of the calendar to emphasise how extremely well made the item is and the fantastic amount of detail that has gone in to it. Every angle of the calendar beholds something for the eyes to feast on.
You have carved wood, delicate figurines and wintery painted scenes. To me this calendar is the ultimate Christmas treasure. It is the perfect alternative to the traditional Christmas chocolate advent calendars; much healthier, lasts longer and quite simply a centrepiece for any room.

Taking a look inside the small room you can almost be forgiven for thinking you have been taken to the far away land of the North Pole. So breathtaking is the beauty of this calendar.....

Further to that the base rotates 360 degrees so that you have easy access to place each day's piece.

As we get closer and closer to Christmas this scene is going to become more breathtakingly beautiful!

The whole scene looks like someone has waved a magic wand over a real life scenario, to create this miniature version. That's how realistic the calendar is. The intricate detail of the painted background holds all the magical characteristics you would expect if you stepped in to Santa's workshop. You can almost smell the smell of candy canes, see the snow fall and hear the elves at work as the whole scene is so atmospheric.

This gets 5/5 from Sweet Craftiness.

For more info please visit