Solve Your Winter Laundry Woes With An Air Dryer

This isn’t a sponsored post. It’s the kind of thing I’d tell my best friend. All my friends, actually, because it’s been a life saver for me. When you live in a sunny country you take the simple things for granted. Like the ability to dry laundry on the same day you hung it on the line, rather than four days later, having had it hung on every radiator around the house.So last year I took a leap and bought a Maxi Dryer to help with the drying of the masses and masses of clothes that two children seem to generate. It was one of the best purchases of the year, so I want to share it with you.

The Maxi Dryer, or one of its lookalikes, is basically a tube looking, circular dryer. You hang clothes up on hangers and put the cover over them. Set the dryer for up to three hours, and go about your day.

Now, there are two things an air dryer is not: 

An air dryer is not a tumble dryer

This is a good thing and a bad thing. An air dryer doesn’t heat up as much as a tumble dryer, and doesn’t dry things as quickly as a tumble dryer does. It also means that a 3-hour drying cycle costs* about 70p as compared to the give-or-take £5 a tumble dryer takes in that time.

An air dryer is not a football or a climbing frame. Nor is it art.

It doesn’t like being climbed on, kicked about or otherwise used as a toy. I’m about to replace mine because my youngest thought it would be cool to sit on, and broke one of the legs. It’s also not particularly pretty, and as it’s bright blue, it doesn’t exactly blend in.

But here are the things that an air dryer is…

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Schleich Horse Club Pick Up With Horse Box {Review}

Schleich have come a long way since I was a child with a drawer full of blue smurfs! We have a decent selection of farm animals from Schleich and a lot of plastic horses from Playmobil, so I was really excited to be sent the new Horse Club Pick Up With Horse Box to review because I knew my horse loving 7 year old would be thrilled with it.Schleich Horse Club Pick Up with Horse Box

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Disney Princess Ariel Bath Styling Head {Review}

I’ve never considered myself very girly, so where my daughters have developed a fascination and love of girly things is beyond me, but a love for girly things they have! We’ve been sent the Disney Princess Ariel Bath Styling Head from Just Play to review, and it’s one my girls are thrilled with. In fact, slipped in among a group of birthday presents, this one in play for the best part of an entire day, which is strong praise from one of my children!disney-princess-ariel-bath-styling-head-reviewRead more: Disney Princess Ariel Bath Styling Head {Review}

Snack Time With Bear Paws {Review}

It’s always a good day when we get a delivery of food – snack food especially. The kids love the unscheduled treats too. A few weeks ago – a good few weeks ago! – we received this delicious box of Bear Paws in the mail.

bear boxes

As you can imagine the kids were desperate to try at least one of each – we received a box each of Mango & Strawberry (Safari Paws), Raspberry & Blueberry (Arctic Paws), Apple & Blackcurrant (Jungle Paws) and Strawberry and Apple (Dino Paws), each with it’s own set of animals and fruity shapes in the ‘paw prints’ of animals from that set.Read more: Snack Time With Bear Paws {Review}

Princess Colouring T-Shirt

My kids, like most others I suppose, love to colour. And they grow like weeds. So when I was offered a Princess Colouring T-Shirt, it seemed like a no-brainer, really! What with holidays and hours to kill, this was a great way to spend an hour or so.

final shirt

The T-Shirt from Selfie Clothing Company comes in a cardboard tube which is a nice way to present it as a gift. There are three styles to choose from: princess, policeman and cowboy. We opted for the princess, which comes in size 4-6 (age). Along with the t-shirt (which I’m sure is the wrong name for it, as it has long sleeves, but I digress…) you also receive 6 branded UV ink pens, and waxy ironing paper.Read more: Princess Colouring T-Shirt

Num Noms Series 2 – Diner {Review}

A few weeks ago I shared a review of Num Noms from Series 1, which my little ones loved – so we were thrilled to be sent some of the characters from series 2.  If you don’t know about Num Noms, here’s a brief recap:

  • Num Noms are small, plastic collectibles.
  • They are quite large, making them suitable for younger collectors
  • There are Nums, and there are Noms. The Noms are motorised rodent looking things and the Nums are the ‘covers’ that you can put over them – and they are scented too. You can read more about Num Noms here.

Num Noms Series 2Read more: Num Noms Series 2 – Diner {Review}

Gemmies Design Studio – Make Crystal Creations

A few weeks ago we were sent a set of Gemmies Design Studio – Crystal Creations for review. I have since decided an extreme love/hate relationship with them! Gemmies Crystal Creations

Aimed at a 6+ age range, these are very fiddly and time consuming and I actually found it really hard to do. I set the kit up myself and did the first design – an ice cream – so that I could figure it out before trying to show my six year old. I’m glad I did because I realised quickly that it was going to be way too hard for her. Not least because it requires some serious attention to detail! You can follow instructions online (each ‘pattern’ sheet has a unique URL) which is very useful.

But, that said, once I’d muddled my way through the first design, and got the hang of it, and began to understand the cryptic pattern layouts, it did become a lot easier. Whereas the first ‘easy’ design took me a good hour to do, the subsequent ones went much faster. They were still too hard for the kids (6 & 4) to follow however, so I ended up spending an afternoon making designs for them to play with. We made the aforementioned ice cream, a fish and a dog, which they happily played with for the rest of the afternoon.

The box comes with the bead desk which has convenient storage for the beads, elastics, clips and connectors that make the Gemmies ‘work’. There’s also a bead tool, four ‘cups’ to keep beads in and a light up torch that you use to display your designs.

Gemmies Crystal CreationsRead more: Gemmies Design Studio – Make Crystal Creations

Invite The Fairies With Opening Fairy Doors {Review}

We moved house a few months ago, and the children’s room has been a bit of a mishmash since doing so, since it’s also their first room separate from mine. I took my time collecting bits for decorating their room so that I could keep the costs down, but when we were offered the Opening Fairy Door for review I knew I had to find a way to include it in their room, even though we already had a little fairy door up already.

Room redoRead more: Invite The Fairies With Opening Fairy Doors {Review}

Olive And Orange Orla Kiely Women’s Bicycles From Halfords {Review}

It’s summer folks. SUMMER! That little bit of promised land, an oasis of …. oh, no, wait. We’re in the UK. It’ll probably rain. But that’s okay. The plants will be happy.

If it’s not raining, however, one of those quintessential things about summer parenting is taking the kids cycling – but who wants to be running in two directions after two children on bikes?  Much better to cycle with them, steering them in a general direction!

So when Halfords got in touch and offered me one of their women’s bikes (we also have two kids bikes from them) I was really excited to give it a try.

I’ll admit that the Olive and Orange bike range from Orla Kiely is very girly for me. I don’t normally go for ‘girly’ things, and would probably have chosen a run of the  mill, standard men’s bike, so I’m glad that I had to choose from a specific range as it made me go for something very different from my norm.

Isn’t it pretty? I had to add the straw hat, because, come on. It just needs a straw hat!

bikeRead more: Olive And Orange Orla Kiely Women’s Bicycles From Halfords {Review}

Being Enterprising & Learning Entrepreneurship With Clever Tykes Books

I grew up in South Africa where we had little to no social welfare system. As a result we were known as a very entrepreneurial people. You’ve never seen anyone with a bag of maize, a giant pot and some polystyrene plates till you’ve a South African turning a profit on the side of the road!

Teaching children to be entrepreneurial and enterprising is equipping them with a skill that will stand them in good stead for their whole lives.Clever Tykes Read more: Being Enterprising & Learning Entrepreneurship With Clever Tykes Books