Build-A-Bear Workshop Review Metro Centre

Give an experience!

I love the idea of sharing an experience for Christmas and when Publicasity contacted me to see whether Joss and I would like to try out the Build-A-Bear Workshop experience I was really excited to take my stuffed animal-loving toddler along. The experience didn’t disappoint and would make a great gift for a younger child.

We visited the Metro Centre store in Gateshead this week where we were greeted by Rebecca and Kelly; friendly and chatty they really made the experience special for us and the staff team and store had a really fun vibe about it.

Joss chose a brightly coloured bear from the selection of animals and bears, there was a huge choice and with prices starting from £10 for a bear and accessories around the £5 – £8 mark you can make the experience as expensive or as reasonable as you like. We moved onto the Workshop area and listened really carefully to all of the voices at the bear voice station, Joss selecting ‘I love you’ over and over so that was a clear winner for her! Kelly took us over to the bear stuffing machine and Joss listened carefully to her instructions, we chose a heart for our bear and Joss rubbed it on her cheek so it would be cheeky, on her heart to fill it with love and made a wish to pop inside her bear, after stuffing the bear it was on to the washing station and then ‘Rainbow’ as we chose to call her was ready to be dressed.

Build-A-Bear Workshop Review Metro Centre

Joss has always been one for bright colours and so of course Rainbow is dressed in a riot of colour too, neon no less! That’s the lovely thing about the experience though, I let it be child led and she made her own selections! There are a huge range of accessories and clothes on offer, from Frozen inspired dresses to little dressing gowns and PJs, there’s something for all tastes and budgets, and the little Christmas outfits and reindeers to stuff would make a great festive present. It also struck me that the clothes are a great addition to any little one’s dressing up box to be used with other bears and dolls that they might have at home.

The personal touch

I really liked the little special details that the Workshop add to the experience, for example each bear has a barcode inside so that if it gets lost the bear can taken back to the Workshop where it can be identified for its owner. We printed a birth certificate for Rainbow and the box that the bears are presented in is a lovely quality blank canvas that little ones can take home to decorate to make a little house for their bear with windows!

Charitable partnership

A nice way to give a gift that gives twice would be to explore the Build-A-Bear Workshop’s range in partnership with Children in Need. They have three great ways to donate, including buying a special purple heart to pop inside your stuffed toy for £1 which goes to Children in Need.

Build-A-Bear Workshop Review Metro Centre

If you’re looking for something to treat your children or grandchildren to this Christmas and want to choose a gift that is unique, personalised and offers a magical experience too we would recommend checking out your local Build-A-Bear Workshop, you won’t be disappointed!

Disclaimer: We visited the Workshop to experience building a bear and received a complimentary bear as part of that experience, all views are our own

Skip Hop Zoo-Let Review

We’ve blogged about US brand Skip Hop before, their changing bag has been a lifesaver with its many pockets and storage solutions. Now we’re moving into potty training we no longer need a huge bag anymore and Joss is becoming independent and wants to carry her own bits and bobs when we’re out and about.

Skip Hop Zoo-Let

The Skip Hop Zoo-Let is a mini backpack suitable for children aged 12 months+ and is the perfect step up from our changing bag now we’re carrying smaller items and no nappies.

I like to give gifts that are a bit different to the usual toys; something for outdoors is always appreciated by parents and tots alike. This backpack featured in our Christmas Gift Guide as a brilliant present for an outdoorsy, independent tot, the bee and owl designs are cute too, but this smiley ladybird is perfect for my little bug – judging by Joss’ delight at receiving this from Maguari (who distribute Skip Hop) as a review item the lucky Christmas recipient is sure to be impressed too!


It is perfect for her small frame, spacious and comes with detachable reins which we’re not needing to use at the moment but as we move away from hand holding it’s an option we are likely to opt for to keep her close by when we’re talking about road safety. I like that the reins tuck into the pocket of the bag when they’re not in use to keep them somewhere safe and out of the way!

Featuring Skip Hop’s usual friendly faces this ladybird design is so cute! The handy name tag inside is great for identifying the bag as hers when she’s away from home, the handle on top is perfect for hanging this on the buggy when she needs a rest and the mesh drinks pocket is just the right size for her water bottle and saves us digging about inside for a drink!

I’m really impressed with the quality of this bag, it’s really robust and sturdy in a thick fabric that’s BPA and phtalate free; at £18.99 rrp it’s about what I’d expect to pay for a backpack with reins and is a really high quality item that will grow with Joss (it’s aged up to 4 years old). I only have a small comment on the sizing, all round it’s a great size for a tot, but when J is wearing her winter coat the straps on the front fastening could be a fraction longer to give her more wear out of it (this is said with a caveat as J’s coat is sooo chunky!)

Stocking fillers made easy

I love the idea of a Christmas stocking, little bits and bobs to keep the kids busy or little treats for adults; but it’s not easy choosing these tiny treasures without the price mounting up. I also like unusual stocking fillers and novelties but don’t have loads of time to get out and look for them in addition to the usual gift buying!

Enter with their huge range of stocking stuffers!


They do a brilliant range of deals on mix and match gifts so you can pick up ten items in a selection for £20 for example and there’s a huge selection of novelties under 3 quid too, a bargain!

I made a small selection for review purposes and this is the stash I was sent; perfect for keeping an inquisitive toddler busy!

I’m going to use the My Little Pony lunch tin for her Christmas Eve pajamas, I love the retro print and would quite like one for my own packed lunches! It’s the perfect size for sandwiches and fruit for days out and has a sturdy plastic and metal carry handle, essential for my rambunctious tot!

The rubber duck is a little thing I know she’ll love for bathtime as she was admiring one at our friend’s house, she wanted to take their duck home as she somehow doesn’t yet own her own little bathtime duckie – this is a colour changing one, surprise! The walking wind up hens are a sweet novelty too, something to keep her occupied during Christmas lunch perhaps!

I love the squirty crazy soap and was pleased to finally find a stockist for this; it’s mouldable and really fun to play with, we use it at toddler sensory group and all the kids get together and squish it into snowman shapes; she loves it, so it’s a good addition to our sensory box at home.

The pink pig is a Puffimal, it’s air filled and though it’s a 5+ toy we’ll play with this under supervision, it’s just so tactile and again it will be great for soothing her during fractious times!

And finally something for me, patterned tape to help with the wrapping process, this one is skull and crossbones for an edgier Christmas but there’s a huge choice of tapes on offer, you just need to buy more than one to get a choice, I guess I don’t mind not having a choice as the price is so good and the range is so versatile.

Finally, the postage offered by is great value at £2.50 for standard orders which is cheaper than my bus fare into town too! I’m really pleased with the huge range and diversity of stocking fillers on offer, if you’re looking for those final bits and bobs head over and treat your loved ones to some novelties!

Disclaimer: we were sent these products for review purposes, all views are my own

12 Days of Christmas with Funky Giraffe

12 Days of Christmas

Welcome to the 13th Day of Christmas! SURPRISE! We couldn’t say goodbye without a little treat to say thank you for joining us throughout the 12 Days of Christmas!

Our final (really this time!) giveaway prize comes from Funky Giraffe who have kindly offered us a £50 voucher for one lucky winner to choose £50 worth of Funky Giraffe products (stock dependent) which include fun and funky bibs, burp cloths and hats.

Funky Giraffe are great believers that practical and functional doesn’t have to rule out stylish and comfy and they have a wide range of designs for the coolest of kids. As well as their UK website they have European sites too, in France, Spain and Italy


For your chance to win this fabulous prize simply complete the Rafflecopter below. Good luck. The winner will be announced on 20th December.

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Disclosure: We have not been compensated in any way for running this giveaway.

12 Days of Christmas with Organic Babies

12 Days of Christmas

Welcome to the 12th Day of Christmas! our final day, and we’ve a fantastic prize bundle on offer!

Our final giveaway comes from Organic Babies from Green People who have kindly given us a brilliant bundle containing one of each of the products from their Organic Babies range, seven products worth over £65 to treat your little ones!

organic babies

We’re big fans of Organic Babies and have used their products for a long time, we reviewed them last year too. Chemical free, their organic formulations are pure and naturally kind to sensitive skin.

For your chance to win this fabulous prize simply complete the Rafflecopter below. Good luck. The winner will be announced on 19th December.
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Disclosure: We have not been compensated in any way for running this giveaway.

12 days of Christmas with Aromatherapy Associates

12 Days of Christmas

It’s Day 11 of the 12 Days of Christmas whereI have joined forces with two of my blogging friends Aby and Hannah to bring you a fantastic series of Christmas Giveaways. You will be able to enter each giveaway that we bring you via any of our blogs, so you won’t miss out. We have worked hard to source a selection of prizes that are perfect for Christmas presents. And here’s one for the ladies (we’d forgive you if you end up keeping this one for yourself!!).


Our eleventh giveaway comes from Aromatherapy Associates with not 1 but 2 of their fabulous Christmas Gift Sets, Radiant Rose Box and Bath Jewels, to giveaway!

These intense and luxurious beauty products are so popular amongst us that Hannah even included them in her Christmas Gift Guide for her ideas and we would definitely understand if you decided to treat yourself… You deserve it after all those sleepless night and other mama worries of 2014!

PicMonkey Collage2

For your chance to win this fabulous prize, simply complete the Rafflecopter below. Good luck! The winner will be announced on 18th December.
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Disclosure: We have not been compensated in any way for running this giveaway.

12 Days of Christmas with Konfidence

12 Days of Christmas

Welcome back to the 12 Days of Christmas! A giveaway series I am running with two of my blogging friends Hannah and Aby.


Our day 10 giveaway comes from Konfidence who are giving away a baby swim bundle worth £50 (to include a Baby Warma, Aqua Nappy, Neo Nappy and some other lovely goodies!). Konfidence offer a wide range of really fantastic swim products for babies and children.

Konfidence products

For your chance to win this fabulous prize, simply complete the Rafflecopter below. Good luck. The winner will be announced on 17th December.
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Disclosure: We have not been compensated in any way for running this giveaway.

12 Days of Christmas with Egmont UK

12 Days of Christmas

Welcome to the 9th Day of Christmas! we hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what we have to offer during our Christmas bonanza!

Today’s giveaway comes from Egmont UK who have kindly given us a brilliant bundle of Star Wars books and activities to give away, worth £50, to one lucky entrant! The bundle includes two Star Wars Rebels titles, the Star Wars Annual 2015, the Luke Skywalker Picture Book and the R2D2 Construction Book – everything your youngster might need for a Star Wars Christmas!


We’re big fans of Egmont UK, they publish great stories and we’ve reviewed some lovely festive books with them.

For your chance to win this fabulous prize simply complete the Rafflecopter below. Good luck. The winner will be announced on 16th December.

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Disclosure: We have not been compensated in any way for running this giveaway.

There and Back Again, A Mega Gift Guide!

I’ve been really looking forward to pulling my mega gift guide together for you lovely readers this year, it’s a jam packed mega edition this time, with something for parents and little people alike!

Reading material

First up I wanted to share some books that I’ve enjoyed this year, and you might like to gift one to a friend or fellow parent too!

PicMonkey Collage

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald is a book I’ve just started reading but it’s so unputdownable I had to add a reference to it here, a memoir about dealing with grief and depression it’s so poetically written that I’ve been caught up in her words.
This NCT Edinburgh for Under 5s guide has been helping me plan a trip in the new year, it’s a fantastic book which is a lifesaver for parents and carers of under 5s and contains all the information about playgroups, nurseries, and over 80 volunteers have reviewed coffee shops, cinemas, restaurants, soft play centres, where to buy organic or eco-friendly products, to bring the best of Edinburgh together in one book, so this is a local one, but a great one and I’d love to see them for other cities too!
Looking for something for a crafter? Look no further than Dottie Angel and Agnes and Ted’s Granny Chic, part treasure trove of ideas part granny chic bible I can’t stop dipping into this for ideas for my crafty endeavors!
I’ve also been reading something that will appeal to organic/natural fans; Charlotte Vohtz, Founder of Green People has written a book entitled Naturally Gorgeous. A treasure trove of tips this book was like a warm hug when I was going through a rough patch recently, I learned to take care of myself again and I really needed some support to think about my body and the impact stress was having on me. The recipes for making your own natural beauty products are a must read!
My love of Moran has been blogged before, if you know a teen to pass this onto then please do, or buy it for a friend as I have, her writing about motherhood is particularly raw and spot on.
Which takes me to A Life’s Work which is similarly honest and appeals to the researcher in me as it’s part social history part social research and a blindingly good account of why mother’s guilt serves no purpose.

Kid’s Books


These are a selection of books we’ve reviewed on the blog over the past year, all would make brilliant gifts for little ones, but Little Robin’s Christmas from Egmont by Jan Fearnley remains a firm fave; pop back soon as Egmont have given us a surprise to give away as part of our 12 Days of Christmas bonanza with Mumsdays and You Baby Me Mummy

Toys for indoors…


We’re sticking to educational and fun this year as Joss has more than enough toys to keep her going but needs a few extras to help with creative play which is a big interest of hers at the moment! This bus is a firm favourite with Joss and I thoroughly recommend wooden toys for eco friendliness and sustainability too, you can read our review of Traidcraft‘s Christmas toys here and find out more about its eco and fair trade credentials

This year I’m keeping J’s crafty habits going with a huge bundle of materials for her craft box, great for rainy days and for when the excitement of Christmas gets a bit much and she needs some quiet time!

I’ve also opted for dressing up things to get her creative play going, I love this flamingo outfit from Wilko, thrifty and fun!

And outdoors too!


We always try to get something outdoorsy for Joss as she loves walking and we’re soon to review these great Skip Hop zoolet backpacks which would make a great gift for a toddler that likes to carry their own bits and bobs on days out! I’ve also stocked up on sidewalk chalk as she loves playing in our yard and giant bubble mix makes a great stocking filler too!

Something for Mamas

I’ve gone with a luxe theme this year, I’m in need of a treat so this little lot is my personal wishlist!


Neom Organics candles, gloves from Joules, cashmere bed socks, these are White Company but good old John Lewis do some beauts too, Orly Keily mugs to add to my collection and finally some special crafty stocking fillers from Fabric Rehab

And Papa’s too


I’m loving Green People products at the moment, so their Organic Homme range would be a great buy for Dad, also thinking organic and homegrown these Seed Pantry gift sets are great for budding growers, Howies are always great for organic clothing and you can also warm his heart with fair trade Grumpy Mule coffee which we love in this house!

Something for everyone

And finally, some extras for one and all to enjoy, Montezuma‘s Organic chocolate, Greenfibres hammam towels that are all the rage and anyone could make use of them, the same for Neal’s Yard Unwind collection and some yummy cheeses from the brilliantly named Pong Cheese!


Disclaimer: These are products we like the look of, some we’ve reviewed others we just love, none of this content is sponsored


12 Days of Christmas with My 1st Years

12 Days of Christmas

Welcome back to the 12 Days of Christmas! A giveaway series I am running with two of my blogging friends Hannah and Aby.

My 1st Years

Our day 8 giveaway comes from My 1st Years who are giving away a £50 voucher to spend on any of their wonderful products:

“At the heart of the range remain the essentials, outfits for newborn babies and the products that built the brand, starting with categories – My 1st Shoe, My 1stOutfit, My 1st Bear & My 1st Accessory. My 1st Years now offers a range of products for all your loved ones from baby shower gifts for a mum-to-be and a range of engraved products for a child to give to a loved one. Nearly all of the products can be personalised online and sent straight to you or direct to that special someone. Every order will arrive beautifully gift wrapped inside our complimentary luxury gift boxes with a large white bow.”

My 1st Years

For your chance to win this fabulous prize, simply complete the Rafflecopter below. Good luck. The winner will be announced on 15th December.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: We have not been compensated in any way for running this giveaway.