Gel-A-Peel Sparkle Bead Station Review

Since discovering Gel-a-Peel last year, we’ve been having lots of fun with it, so when we were sent the Gel-a-Peel Sparkle Bead Station I knew it would be popular.

The first thing I’ll say about the Gel-a-Peel bead station is that despite the big box, it’s all quite small and compact, which is I think is great for storage and putting things away!

Gel a peel Sparkle Bead Station

The second thing is that like with many new tools it takes practice to get it right, or at least anywhere near what the beads on the box look like. But that’s part of the fun.

In the box you’ll receive the bead station, the beading rods, the gel, string and the fittings for jewellery and three sparkle gel colour tubes – enough to make around 100 beads.

Set up is very simple: my 7 year old had it set up by the time I finished reading the instructions. Simply place the beading rods into the bead station, and one at a time, use them to make your beads, then move them to the opened tray to dry.Gel a peel Sparkle Bead Station

There’s one rod that’s larger than the rest – you can use this one for creating pencil grips or larger beads.Gel a peel Sparkle Bead Station

The Gel-a-Peel gel is kind of like working with icing when doing a cake – it takes a little practice and the main thing is to make sure that it has plenty of other gel to attach to. Make it nice and thick and make sure it’s touching other gel on parts of the same bead so that it will stick together once dried. It’s important to leave the beads to dry long enough otherwise they just fall apart. I’d say leave them overnight.

Another tip is to not put the gel too close to the edge as you need to have a bit of room to click the rods out and that can be a bit tough.
Gel a peel Sparkle Bead Station

Left to dry over night, the beads can be carefully loosened and then sort of ‘rolled’ off the rods and used in jewellery and other decorative occasions where you’d use beads.

Another bonus of the Gel-a-Peel Sparkle Bead Station is that you can use other gels from other kits, as well as other accessories from other kits, so there’s lots of creative freedom.

The Gel-a-Peel Sparkle Bead Station is available on Amazon and other leading toy stores.

Lalaloopsy Mini Jewel Sparkles Review

Continuing on the theme of what’s turned out to be a crazy amount of dolls lately, we recently received a Mini Jewel Sparkles Lalaloopsy doll, and since we only received (and expected to receive) one, there were tears in the house!

Lalaloopsy dolls were once rag dolls who magically came to life when their very last stitch was sewn, taking on the personalities of the materials that were used to make them, so since Jewel Sparkles came to life on the 13th of March, she seemed a perfect fit for Aviya, who was born on the 13th of March.Jewel Sparkles

In January this year, Lalaloopsy launched a Netflix Original Series, an animated series featuring all-new original music that brings to life the popular Lalaloopsy line of dolls.Read more: Lalaloopsy Mini Jewel Sparkles Review

Super Simple Camping With An Urban Escape Quick Up Dome Tent

This week I took my girls camping. We’re not camping newbies, but we normally kick the camping year off with Feast in the Woods. This year we had some new kit to try out, however, so we grabbed a short midweek stay at Whitecliff Bay on the Isle of Wight.

The new kit in question was a four man tent made for people like me. It’s called the Urban Escape 4 Man Quick Up Dome Tent if you want to get all technical about it, and it pops up in under a minute. If you have a 7 and 5 year old hammering in the tent pegs it takes about 10 minutes from taking it out of the bag to moving your bedding in. Urban Escape

To set it up, you lay it out on the ground and unfold the corners. Grab the middle of the tent and pull it up – where the centre pole would have been – and it clicks up and into place.  There’s a cover square that you then lift over to make sure it’s all water proof, and then there are guy ropes and pegs to knock in around the tent to keep it in the ground.

It’s really that simple! (And if that doesn’t sound simple, don’t worry, there are pictorial instructions attached to the bag. )Read more: Super Simple Camping With An Urban Escape Quick Up Dome Tent

Chillfactor Pull Pops Review

I don’t know about where you are, but here in my little spot of the world, there  are definite signs of warmer weather in the air, and while I’d love to say about how I’m having dreams of ice creams and lollipops, that would be a lie, as we’ve been having them for almost a month already! I’ll be sitting wrapped in a blanket wearing long sleeved everything and an oversized scarf draped over my shoulders and still have to blow into my hands to unfreeze my fingers from time to time, and my girls will be begging for ice cream! Obviously they inherited this from the Celtic side of the family, not from my Southern Hemispherian self! But it did give us a good opportunity to test out the Chillfactor Pull Pops we were sent a few weeks ago.Chillfactor Pull Pops Read more: Chillfactor Pull Pops Review

Wissper & Peggy Starter Doll

It was Aviya’s birthday last week, and we accumulated quite a number of dolls as a result. Of all of them, I have a favourite: The Wissper & Peggy Starter Doll Set.

Based on the Milkshake TV show, Wissper is a 7-year old girl with the ability to talk to animals. The animals always go to Wissper for help, and by the simple expedient of saying “Sssshhhh…” she can magically transport herself to anywhere there is an animal in danger.

Along with Peggy the penguin, the Wissper and Peggy starter set comes with the panpipe she uses to enter a new world and the binoculars used to find the cheeky monkeys in the forest. Read more: Wissper & Peggy Starter Doll

LOL Surprise Dolls Review

To my eternal chagrin, my little Aviya is a collector. She loves collecting things – it used to be rocks, then it became Shopkins, then NumNoms, and now, LOL Surprise Dolls. It’s a good thing we have a big house with plenty of room for little things.

The other thing about this particular little girl is that she loves pass the parcel. It’s her favourite party game – she loves it so much, for Christmas I wrapped 50 little collectables in a big ball for her Christmas present. She loved it.

So, LOL Surprise Dolls are totally her cup of tea!

LOL Surprise is a big ball, wrapped in seven layers, with each layer revealing a ‘surprise’. 
Read more: LOL Surprise Dolls Review

STEM/STEAM Wild Science Perfume Factory

I don’t know if it’s just because Ameli is of a particular STEM/STEAM age, or if it’s that there’s been a huge push in that direction lately, but involving girls in science, and kids in science generally, seems to be everywhere at the moment. We were recently sent a Wild Science Perfume Factory set to review and it’s been a huge hit here.

Ameli is quite science-keen anyway, with Project MC2 ranking high on her favourites list, so the Wild Science Perfume Factory is right up her street. You know how some toys are a the thing of the moment for five minutes, then they aren’t a thing at all five minutes later? This isn’t one of them. On the first go, Ameli spent over an hour mixing and matching – an hour’s a long time for something to hold her attention! Since then, she’s taken to applying her perfume daily and creating top ups from time to time too.

The kit includes a stand, a scoop, five vials, a perfume bottle, tweezers, stirring sticks, mixing pot, red liquid pigment, special base perfumes, sticky labels, Sodium Polyacrylate Crystals, a measuring cup, a graduated pump and cotton ball filters.

The base perfumes are Eucalyptus, Jasmine, Peppermint and Rose essential oils.

Read more: STEM/STEAM Wild Science Perfume Factory

Mother’s Day Crafts With Gel-A-Peel Pearly Pastels

Following our first experience with Glow in the Dark Gel-a-Peel a few months ago, we were keen to try the Gel-a-Peel Pearly Pastels in time for Mothering Sunday. Of course this sees me overseeing the decoration of my own gifts, but hey ho, these are the sacrifices we must make.  I absolutely loved the ‘frames’ that came with the kit, so decided to make them, but rather than cutting the pictures to size to fit inside, just used them as overlays. I love it!

Read more: Mother’s Day Crafts With Gel-A-Peel Pearly Pastels

#NumNomsFoodie Pancake Day Invitation To Play

Happy Pancake Day! It’s Shrove Tuesday today, and while we don’t tend to do much for lent, we’re always happy for an excuse to enjoy pancakes! Today we have an added incentive: NumNoms sent us a series 3 Lunch Box and encouraged us to take inspiration from the selection of Nums and Noms for our own pancake fillings. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

It did to us and as you’ll see, the kids loved it!

The NumNoms lunch box comes in two different styles (with different Nums and Noms in them) and the one we received contained 9 Nums – corn, blue raspberry, cherry, grape, banana, wildberry, orange, candycane, maple syrup – two orange erasers (which come as two halves that slot into each other to make one Num), a peach stampit (with fuzzy fur) and a mystery tub, which held a pumpkin – Paula Pumpkin.

I went on a little shopping trip, where I picked up orange, raspberry, blackberry, lemon, banana, mint leaves, maple syrup and some squirty cream. Use this recipe to make your own pancake mixture.

After giving the children the Lunch Box to explore…


… I took it away again, then returned a little later with a picnic lunch decorated with the Lunch Box NumNoms.
NumNomsRead more: #NumNomsFoodie Pancake Day Invitation To Play

Vintage Travel Guides Ravensburger Puzzle {Review}

I don’t know about the rest of you, but taking time to do things just for me don’t happen too often. And when it does, it might stretch to a cup of coffee in an actual cafe with real people around. Doing something just for me that lasts for a couple of evenings in a row? Very, very rare!

The moment I saw this puzzle, however, I knew I had to make time for it, because I simply love the vintage collection of travel books. Would I have a shelf of books on my bookshelf? No – because, dust trap! but I loved the puzzle so much because it has the feel of a bookshelf without the clutter. Ravensburger PuzzleRead more: Vintage Travel Guides Ravensburger Puzzle {Review}