Sunday, 27 September 2015

Wicked Uncle Toy Review Programme

Earlier this year, In May I got invited to apply for my blog to become a toy reviewer  for an online toy company, Wicked Uncle.

It was quite a few months till we heard that they would like to give us a voucher to use on the website in exchange for a review, as there have been an over whelming response to their adveristment ( as one would expect ). It was quite near the girls birthdays ( the girls are 9 days apart with a 5 year gap ). So I thought it would be great idea to use the vouchers as gifts from one to the other.

My youngest was going to be 2 and my eldest 7.

Wicked Uncle  are not just an online toy company, They are essentially a present service for those special occasions like birthdays and Christmas. The aim of the website is to make that present buying easy for those shopping into gender and ages, as normally this is all you really know about buying a present for a friend or family members child. The website also shows you want is popular for the age and gender you are looking for as well. Easy.

There is a good selection of gift wrap and gift cards to chose from and can be sent straight to the recipient. There is also a pre-filled "thank you " postcard inside so that the recipient can send it back to you.

The website has had much improvements since we ordered the girls gifts. The old site looked dated and was not easy to navigate around and wasn't very eye catching or pulled you in, making the site look very cheap. The range of toys were definitely lacking in all ages and often crossed over.

The new site as I say is much improved. The site looks inviting and easy to navigate around. It looks more modern and with the times. I believe they even looked at different toys they stock too as the range seems bigger than I remember. They have also added a bit to say if the toy is in stock and how many so saves you getting to the checkout and finding it out of stock. It also has a drop down navigation bar at the top of the page, making it easier to go to another category or gender.

The Wicked Uncle site is definitely a website to visit if your looking for that "different" or "unusual" gift for a child. I personally love these kind of toys, possibly as it reminds me of my childhood days when kids actually played with toys, made things and had imagination instead of nowadays where kids are full of computer games.

The toy I chose at the time for my youngest was the 3 in 1 Fire Truck. My youngest loves books and enjoys imaginative play. She is quite advance in her ways too, so I thought this was ideal for her. We weren't disappointed either as LR was so excited when she opened this.  Unfortunately my LR is very camera aware and every time I try to video her in this she gets up and has to have her head looking down the camera. So unfortunately I haven't managed to get one yet.

I thought this book was a fab idea, especially as living in a flat we do not have a lot of space. The book easily stores away when not in use and my LR gets 3 toys in 1. She can read the wonderfully illustrated pages of the book telling about how a fire engine helps put out a fire, to using her own cars on the book as play mat, to even setting it up as a 3d fire engine for her to sit in.
Top of the dashboard

The only issue I have with this,is that it isn't very sturdy with the truck in 3d mode. unfortunately my little girl managed to take out one of the straps holding the windscreen in place.
 However, it can still be used and I would totally recommend this to any boy or girl who loves fire trucks and book. 9/10 for this. Price is £14.99 and well worth it too.

Right side with opening door
Left side with fixed side walls

For my eldest, at the time of the old website, I felt there wasn't a lot my eldest  would like ( please note, the website has been updated and there is a much more choice and range of toys now ). They also share a room, so have to be a little mindful as to what can be put in the room with out her little sister getting hold of it.

Izzy recently learnt about space at school and when I saw the Aurora Northern Light Projector on the website I knew she would love this. I thought as it was a gift from her younger sister it would make bedtime more enjoyable for them both.

The Northern and Southern Light Projector uses multi-colour LEDs in eight different colour modes to display moving aurora lights onto the walls and ceiling of a darkened room. It also comes with a fabulous colour booklet contains further information and images of the Aurora Borealis & Aurora Australis, a great learning tool. It has an auto-shut-off mechanism to save battery life and also great for not having to walk back in the room to turn it off!

I managed to get quite a good video of this whilst putting the girls to bed one night. Its pretty impressive and so relaxing to watch. I would also recommend this to any boy or girl ( or adult ) who enjoys science and would like to experience the "northern and southern lights " at home. This is £26.95 to buy.

What I also like about the Wicked Uncle site is the humour they have behind it. I loved reading there About Us page. Was so refreshing and so "Cool" just like Wicked Uncle.

I will certianly come back to Wicked Uncle to buy gifts again.

*disclaimer - We are no way afflliated to the company, nor were we paid for our reviews and opinions. We were given a complimetry voucher to use on the website and choose our own toys. The reviews and opinions expressed on this blog is purely from my own mouth and not influenced anyway from those at Wicked Uncle.

I feel like I have no "me" time anymore.

As you my know, my youngest daughter was born with a few minor issues. With suffering from a immature digestive system that gave her lactose intolerance but also Wryneck syndrome causing her to have a FHS.

I also had to go back to work when she was just 4 months old. My previous posts showed the improvements she had made so rapidly. However, I feel I need to apologise to my readers as  the lack of time I actually have to myself to even write these days is very hard and so my updates have got lost in time.

 My youngest, who is now 2 is still very clingy and suffers from anxiety separation from me when I am home. This makes bed time very hard as she won't leave me side. I feel its my fault that she is so clingy at times, because I am so protective of her and feel guilty I had to leave her with other people at such a young age.

It makes me sad, that I feel all these emotions and it can really wind me up. But for now, I should try and enjoy the time I do have with her when I am home from work (PS I work full time as counter/store manager).

I will write when I can and I hope you will understand, that I can't be a full time blogger, work full time and enjoy the time I do have with my kids. My mission when I started this blog of the backside of my beauty blog was to raise awareness to her conditions, and I wanted to share my journey of  my children, write reviews on their products and just purely write for the love. This is still my mission for this blog, I write for the love, not for rewards.

With Love

Rachel and Family x

Thursday, 20 August 2015

HSL Greatest Grandparents, Blogger Competition

Times have changed since our parents, and their own parents were children. Back then the children were looked after typically by their mother whilst the father was the "bread winner". 
I remember when I was a child, my dad looked after me for small period of time when he was out of work. We than moved down south to be with my dad's parents, dad got a new job and my parents had my sisters, mum stayed at home most of the time looking after us after than.

Now, with the increase of women working and returning to work, possibly due to the increase in living and the cost of childcare, the grandparents have taken a role in being a huge part of caring for our children of today. This is very true for us, both my other half who is a very skilled print finisher and myself who works in the perfume industry as a counter manager full time find the cost of childcare with an under 3 and a 7 year old quite high at times ( espeically in the summer holidays ).

So when I got approached by a PR company of behalf of HSL Chairs to celebrate the greatness of grandparents and all the wonderful things they do for their grandchildren for a blogger competition to raise awareness, I of course jumped at the chance to take part.

Our families, the girls grandparents do so much for them though out the year.  My other half's parents who are much older than my parents and retired now have been providing childcare part time since I went back to work 5 years now to help us with the cost of childcare. Without their support it would not warrant me to go back to work at all, especially as we don't get any help from tax credits. They have also provided my girls with their nappies and baby wipes. When we gone out on a day trip for the girls birthdays, they have always paid for us, even when we have said we would pay.

My family due to them living further a field, can not physically help with week to week childcare and so they have been helping out during the school holidays. Either my mum comes up for a week, one of my sisters has my eldest for a few days, my dad has my eldest for a few days and comes up for a week, and my other half's sister will have my eldest for a few days too.

Part of the blog was for my girls to say why our grandparents are the great to them. As my youngest is just 2, my eldest who is 7 has done a short video whilst staying at her grandads in Cinderford. Unfortunately the sound was missing from the first video my dad sent over and so we had to get them to do another. I have popped both verisons in a movie for their efforts.

 We have also included some picture of what they have been doing with grandparents.
Grandad with the girls at Swanage beach

Grandad paid for Isabel to have an art lesson this summer

It comes at no surprise that when HSL Chairs done research in to the role our grandparents play nowadays, that the average UK grandparents can put in more than 600 hours of hard work over the summer holidays looking after their grandchildren. In reality, if our grandparents got paid for their efforts, they would be on a salary of more than £22k!  A fun app has been created where you can discover how much your grandparents could be earning, based on how much time they spend doing each activity associated with being a grandparent. The app is available at HSL Chairs
An example of jobs the grandparents do and what they would earn in reality is below to give you an idea of how great grandparents are, and that they should be celebrated.
The average UK’s grandparent’s typical role includes:
·         Personal Chef (baking and preparing meals) £29.04 per hour*
·         Private Tutor (revision, homework, educating, reading) £23.18 per hour
·         House & Grounds Keeper (tidying and cleaning, gardening) £10.01 per hour
·         Chauffeur (taking to and from pay dates, activities) £18.64 per hour
·         Life Coach (listening to problems, breaking up arguments, keeping the peace) £102.13 per hour
·      Private Nurse (helping them wash and dress, giving medication, applying sun-cream etc.) £19.88 per hour
·         Event manager (organising and attending trips to theme parks, nature walks, historical sites etc.) £18.89 per hour
·         Sports coach (playing sports games, taking to lessons etc.) £27.97 per hour
·         Creative Director (crafting, styling, role play) £43.65 per hour
*all average salaries taken from

HSL chairs is the largest back-care chair specialists in the UK, supplying handmade, high-quality furniture for more than 40 years. The company was founded in 1968 in Yorkshire. Currently, HSL has 41 stores across the nation, serving more than 56,000 customers annually. HSL prides itself on being a family-run business which is dedicated to providing a caring service and excellent value for money, whilst providing comfortable back-care furniture which meets customers’ needs perfectly. For more information, visit: