Slideshow shadow

Orchard Toys – Two by Two Game

March 2, 2011 in Baby and Toddler, Kids

Orchard Toys are a fantastic company with a great range of puzzles, games and activities for children (starting at 18 months). I have been a huge fan of them for some time now and their products are one of the first I look for when it comes to buying presents for children.
We were lucky enough to be sent one of their two by two memory games to try (for ages 3-6). It is a Noah’s ark memory game with a 3D ark and 42 animal cards. The cards are split into two piles, with one of each animal in each pile. One of the piles is spread out face down in the centre of the playing surface while the other pile is dealt between the players. Players take it in turns to pick up a card from the centre to see if it matches any of their cards. If it does they post the pair of cards into the ark. The winner is the first to post all of their animals as well as a rain cloud so that the ark can “sail away”.
I think this is a fantastic concept for a game, but it’s also a game that can be easily adapted for younger players too. I sent the game over to Liz and Jonny so they could have a go. Here’s what Liz had to say..

“We love this game! When I saw the box contained a ‘3-D posting ark’ I thought it was a great idea but was expecting a flimsy structure and thought it would require me to get my scissors and glue out. So, to my absolute delight, everything was ready to go and the ark itself withstood Jonny sitting on it a few times. What I really like about Orchard Toys is the quality of the product, especially the thickness of the cards, as we have found through experience that most things are certainly destructable but Orchard Toys have stood up to the challenge. The animal cards are really cute and extremely well illustrated, and I was surprised by how many there were. Usually I would expect maybe eight to ten different pairs but this game contains twenty-one different pairs so you can make it quite challenging as the children get older.

Although the age range is three to six I’ve used it with younger children and left the cards facing up. They loved finding pairs of animals and posting them in the ark. Also, the range of animals is really good so it teaches them new animals whilst compounding ones they already know. With older children they really have to focus on what they are doing so using a small number of cards for children with a short attention span and gradually adding more in can be used as a great educational tool. This, in addition to the fact it teaches ‘taking turns’, sharing, patience, and all those other attributes we strive for our children to possess!

I would whole-heartedly recommend this game. The design, illustrations and 3-D ark are brilliant and we have had hours of fun playing all sorts of games with it.”

Two by two is available to purchase directly from Orchard Toys for £11.50.

A sample was received for consideration. No other reward, financial or otherwise, was received in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are entirely our own.

Never Forget Giveaway Winner

March 1, 2011 in Giveaway Winner

Well it’s the first of March already and that can only mean one thing………..time to draw the two lucky winners of the Never Forget giveaway!

The giveaway had a fantastic response with possibly the most entries to date in a Rhoda Reviews giveaway. A huge thank you to Never Forget for running this lovely giveaway.

So it’s time to choose two winners of a Never Forget baby comforter, the winners can choose from the four comforters below and whether they want to personalise them or not.

 The winners (as selected by random.org) are…….
Alice Hindley
Suzanne Sendell
CONGRATULATIONS!!
I will be in touch soon to organise your prizes.
For more information about Never Forget and to view their full range of products visit their website. Why not keep up with all of their news and offers by following them on twitter (@neverforgetcouk), Facebook and on their blog?
Thank you to Never Forget for providing the prizes for this giveaway.

Heavenly Gluten Free Cakes

February 28, 2011 in Food and Drink, Gluten Free

Earlier this month Mum reviewed some gluten free cookies, today she’s trying some gluten free cakes from Heavenly Cakes.

“Just like mum used to make” is the catchphrase used by Heavenly Cakes – and how true! I was delighted to try out these very tasty cakes in such a variety of flavours and they certainly made me think back to cakes my Mum used to make as well as to cakes I used to make and eat until I had to start following a gluten-free diet. For a long time I just made do without cakes or biscuits but now that people such as Heavenly Cakes are making such a wide range of gluten-free goodies, there’s no need to do without any more.

Tiffin

I started by trying out Tiffin – a traditional favourite and this one was definitely like Mum used to make; it was great to get my teeth into something so familiar and particularly into biscuit!! This was a great start to my tasting session!

Millionaires Shortbread

Then there was the Millionaires Shortbread! I was never very good at making this myself but my Mum certainly had it perfected. This one was tasty too – the shortbread was perhaps a bit soft, almost more like a sponge, but tasty nevertheless.

Marathon Flapjack

I didn’t know what to expect from Marathon Flapjack – wow! This was the best yet! Full of (gluten-free) oats, it was chewy and full of flavour. I was trying to just taste a slice or two of each cake but it was very tempting to devour all of this one.

Chilli Brownie

Then on to Chilli Brownie. I know that chilli and chocolate go together and the first taste of this too was very appealing – I just love the chance to eat a chocolate brownie nowadays. However I got a bit of a shock shortly after – this has a bit too hot an aftertaste for my tastes – I don’t think I could eat the whole thing without my mouth burning but if you’re happy to eat ‘hot’ food then you’ll enjoy this one.

Lemon Meringue with White Chocolate

Last, but certainly not least, Lemon Meringue with White Chocolate – what a lovely fresh lemon flavour, yet I still got my chocolate hit from the chunks of white chocolate scattered over this cake! I’m glad I kept this one till last – very refreshing and a most unusual cake based on the traditional Lemon Meringue Pie but with chocolate added.

So I’d certainly recommend these to anyone following a gluten-free diet – one will keep you going for a while as they’re quite a substantial size – but scrumptious!”

A selection of gluten-free Heavenly Cakes were received for consideration. No other reward, financial or otherwise was received in return for this post. All opinions expressed are entirely our own.

Never Forget Review and *Giveaway*

February 16, 2011 in Baby and Toddler, Closed Giveaways, Company Crush, Gifts

I don’t know if it’s just me, but there seems to be new babies everywhere at the moment. If not new born then announcements of pregnancies. So for the past few months I’ve been trying to stock up on gifts so that when all the babies arrive we wont be totally skint!

I always like to buy gifts that are either going to be useful or are going to have some kind of meaning behind them, and even better if I can combine the two.

I recently discovered a fantastic website called Never Forget.  They have an impressive range of personalised gifts for all the family no matter what the occasion. I was therefore delighted to be sent a gorgeous Blue Hippo Striped baby comforter with my chosen personalisation of “Cuddle Me” to review.

The hippo (which I’ve named Harry) is absolutely gorgeous! He is incredibly soft and cuddly and very well made. He has a lovely long tail with five ribbon taggies – a fantastic way to help promote hand-eye coordination in the lucky recipient. As you’d expect being a product for young children he is also machine washable in preparation for any minor mishaps!

As with a lot of the products on Never Forget I was given the opportunity to personalise the comforter with whatever I wanted and in a choice of threads and fonts. I chose the phrase “Cuddle Me” but you could easily pick a child’s name, date of birth, anything you want really that fits into the space (up to a maximum of 90 characters). The result is a high quality, truly unique gift that hasn’t cost you the earth (personalisation of the comforters is £2.50).

Personalised Face Cloth – £3.00
It’s not just baby products either, there is a huge range of potential gifts available on the website, from personalised hand towels to personalised suit covers and bunting to personalised t-shirts. One of the most impressive things about this site for me is that their minimum order number is one, so if you have been looking for a personalised t-shirt then you don’t need to buy in bulk you just pay the price of the t-shirt plus £2.50 for personalisation! Oh and delivery in the UK is absolutely free (launched today) – another huge bonus I think you will agree.
I’m really impressed with this website and the quality of the comforter I received. The personalised comforter makes for a great new baby gift, adding a unique edge that I think shows you really care.
The lovely people at Never Forget have offered two of my readers the chance to win a gorgeous baby comforter from a choice of the following – Blue Elephant, Blue Teddy, Cute Frog and Pink Bunny.

There are six entries available, one prize will be given to a Rhoda Reviews fan (by completing any of the steps 1-3 below) and one prize to a Never Forget Fan (by completing any of the steps 4-6 below).
Here’s how to enter –
  1. Follow my blog (see right hand side).
  2. Become a fan of the Rhoda Reviews Facebook page
  3. Tweet the following “I’ve entered @justforcomps’ blog giveaway to win a comforter from @neverforgetcouk you can too http://goo.gl/v5GwA
  4. Become a fan of the Never Forget Facebook page
  5. Follow @neverforgetcouk on twitter
  6. Follow the Never Forget blog

To make entering the competition as easy as possible just fill in the form below! Remember if you are entering via a Facebook or Twitter route to leave the appropriate ID.

There are a total of six entries available. Your email address will only be used to contact you if you are a winner. There are two comforters available to two lucky winners. If I have not heard back from the winners within one week I reserve the right to select a new winner. The competition is open to the UK only and will close at midnight on Monday 28th February 2011.
For more information about Never Forget and to view their full range of products visit their website.
A sample was received for consideration. Thank you to Never Forget for providing the prizes for this giveaway. No other rewards, financial or otherwise were received in return for this post. All opinions expressed in this blogpost are entirely my own.

Batiste Tones

February 15, 2011 in Health & Beauty

Regular readers of my blog will know that I am a big fan of Batiste Dry Shampoo. It saves me so much time and energy that it is one of my “must have” beauty products.

Batiste Tones is the new dry shampoo that adds a hint of colour to your hair while freshening it up. It’s available in light & blonde hair, medium & brunette hair and dark & deep brown hair varieties. I’ve been trying the medium & brunette hair version for over a week now and really like it.

There have been occasions in the past where I applied dry shampoo to my hair without brushing it out properly and have left some dusty residue in my hair – entirely my own fault as I’ve just been in a rush. The new Batiste Tones means that there’s no chance of that as it just blends in with your hair colour.

Like all the other Batiste products it’s very easy to apply and really does freshen up slightly greasy hair, or adds volume to newly washed hair. Unlike previous varieties of Batiste, the Tones doesn’t particularly have a scent, it more a kind of fresh smell. If I’m honest I’m not entirely sure about this, I like the scents of all the other versions, and it’s great when you haven’t managed to wash your hair to have some kind of fresh smell. I do like this scent, but I think I prefer the Blush or Brit varieties.

Clearly the biggest difference between this product and previous Batiste Dry Shampoos is the addition of the colour. I found that it complemented my hair well, however there is scope to have some residue on your scalp (it does remove quite easily though). My other slight concern is getting the spray on clothes or furniture, having said this it hasn’t happened yet so I can’t tell you how easy it is to remove, but clearly it isn’t too much of an issue if you apply it as per the instructions.

All in all I really like the idea of Batiste Tones and it does freshen up the hair very well. I can imagine that when my stray grey hairs become a bit more prominent it might be good to just cover them up a bit, however at the moment I think I will stick to my Batiste Brit and Blush, if only because I prefer the scent.

Batiste Tones is available from Boots, Superdrug and all good retailers for £3.05.

A sample was provided for consideration.  No other reward, financial or otherwise, was received in return for this post. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.