Mellow Mummy : Taking life as it comes...

Friday, 24 October 2014

Barbie Malibu House Review

As a child, the Barbie Malibu House would have been the thing of my dreams.  The ultimate Barbie playset.  My girls were very kindly offered the chance to test out the latest Barbie mansion - the Barbie Malibu House for it's family-friendliness and gift suitability this Christmas.

Barbie : Life in the Dreamhouse is the inspiration for the Barbie Malibu House - a relaxed, glamorous escape for Barbie and her friends.  Lara likes to bring along all of her dolls including Barbie of all shapes and sizes as well as princesses and mermaids.  Lara places them all on the semi-circle couch in front of the TV for their chill-out time!

The Barbie Malibu house comes with plenty of furniture - a dressing table with two chairs, a TV chair, toilet, bed, dining table and lots more.  There are also lots of tiny accessories including cute little details such as Barbie's own tablet (!), toothbrushes, cosmetics and plenty of cutlery, crockery and food for the kitchen.  Admittedly, this means lots and lots of tiny pieces so this toy isn't really suitable for a family with tiny members (I think Holly is just about old enough to be trusted with them) but the great thing is that all of the pieces of furniture in the house come with little push-in holes into which you place the accessories so that they stay in place and don't rattle around all over the place.

The Malibu house comes in four parts which either fold together to form a closed house, or open up to make a wide playset.  The house is over two floors with an open-plan space downstairs and more targeted rooms upstairs.  It really is a great way to let little imaginations run riot and both Holly and Lara enjoy playing alone, or together for quite some time, in their own little fantasy world.

At one end of the Malibu house there is a spiral staircase with a "lift" mechanism in which Barbie can stand while you winch her up or down the stairs.  Gosh, it's a hard life for Barbie!  Although this part of the house, with it's floor-to-ceiling aquarium looks very glam, actually I find that this is the one area of weakness in the toy - the clasp for the lift that holds Barbie in place has already broken and Lara finds it almost impossible to winch the thread up and down without help.

One of Lara's favourite parts of the Barbie Malibu house is the bedroom which comes with lots of space for Barbie's massive shoe collection and coat hangers for her to hang her dresses.  Next door is a shower cubicle and the whole piece of furniture flips down to form a bed with pillows and a sheet.

In the TV room next door there is space for a big-screen TV (aka your iphone).  I can't believe the luxuries that Barbie gets these days.

The Barbie Malibu house has been a big hit with both of my girls.  It seems to take up a large amount of space in my living room but at least we can fold it up to make it more compact during the evenings.

The Barbie Malibu mansion costs around £99.99 and would be the Christmas present of many little girl's dreams! If you do plan to buy it for Christmas, I recommend constructing it before the big day as it took Mr. B. quite some time to fit all the pieces together around two over-excited little girls. There are also several stickers which need to be applied throughout the house.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Win a Cath Kidston baby bundle courtesy of Ashton and Parsons Infants’ Teething Powders

To celebrate Ashton and Parsons Infants’ Teething Powders being back in stock across the country we’re giving one lucky winner a Cath Kidston baby bundle including a newborn hat, bib, teddy and Cath Kidston mini suitcase!

Ashtons & Parsons Infants' Powders have been used to soothe the symptoms of teething pain for over 100 years. Originally developed during the reign of King George V, the powders soon became popular with mums and dads across the UK. Today Ashton & Parsons is still relied upon by families as a gentle, natural remedy to help babies feel better from the symptoms of teething.

Until very recently there was limited availability of Ashton & Parsons; however the parents’ favourite is now back on the shelves and available at the Co-operative pharmacy, Asda pharmacy, Boots,, and many other high street and online pharmacies.

Ashton & Parsons has been helping to soothe the discomforts of teething for generations. The company’s dedicated experts have picked up plenty of teething tips and are on hand to offer advice to parents at Ashton & Parsons has a blog which regularly offers advice from a variety of guest bloggers, and helpful interactive communities at its social media channels on Facebook and twitter.

Ashton & Parsons Infants’ Powders contain Tincture of Matricaria, which is extracted from German Chamomile flower heads. Tincture of Matricaria has been used traditionally to relieve the symptoms of mild stomach upsets, diarrhoea and nervous irritability in children. In the Mellow household, we are VERY excited to hear about the return of Ashton & Parsons as they were one of out teething essentials when Lara was a baby but when Holly started teething, we couldn't find Ashton & Parsons Infant's Powders anywhere and we never found anything else that came close.

For your chance to win this Cath Kidston Baby Bundle simply leave me a comment below to let me know which baby essential you would place is a baby's mini suitcase like this when travelling?  The competition closes on the 6th November.

  1. There is no cash alternative.
  2. The competition is open to UK and Ireland residents only.
  3. Only one comment entry per person. Multiple, automated or bulk entries will result in immediate disqualification
  4. The winners will be contacted by email.
  5. Entries will only be deemed valid if a valid email address is provided when commenting - people who just log into intensedebate with their facebook account will not qualify for entry because it is too difficult for me to contact the winners
  6. The winners will be selected at random from all valid comments received by 11:59pm on 6th November 2014.
  7. The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into
  8. The winner's names will be published on this site

Monday, 20 October 2014

Lovably Me Wooden Jigsaw Review

Earlier this month I was introduced to the beautiful online children's gift boutique, Lovably Me who asked for our Mellow Mummy feedback on their gift ideas for kids. Lovably Me stock some gorgeous kids wall stickers, room decor and nursery decorations but my girls were most taken with the range of toys and games for children from birth to 8 years and upwards.

One of the brands of toys that really stood out to me when browsing Lovably Me was Vilac.  Vilac make traditional wooden toys such as role play food, dominoes, musical instruments and games.  We tried out this traditional wooden Vilac Pirate Puzzle which is suitable for children from about 4-7 years old.

Lara and Holly are both jigsaw addicts.  I haven't counted recently but I suspect the number of puzzles we own is approaching the three-figure mark and they all get regular use.  This Pirate Puzzle is one of the most advanced we own and I'm glad we've found a jigsaw puzzle that can challenge Lara but which is still fun.  The pieces on this Vilac jigsaw are quite small and the picture features several subtly different ships which Lara had to put quite some thought into in order to get it right.

Despite the challenge of the puzzle, Lara has already been back to it again so at least I know she doesn't feel defeated.

The Vilac Pirate Puzzle costs £15 from Lovably Me and comes in a fun, pirate-shaped presentation box which can be used for storing the puzzle pieces.  I think it would make a perfect gift for any pirate-mad (or puzzle-mad) child.

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