Fun with the Sylvanian Families

For a long time Little Sis has been obsessed with Peppa Pig. Thankfully she’s recently become interested in other toys and has been building up a little collection of Sylvanian Families, or ‘Families’ as she calls them. I remember them from my own childhood so I’m pleased to see they’re still going strong. Created in Japan in 1985, Sylvanian Families is made up of woodland creatures, dolls houses and furniture sets.

The Bramble Hedgehog Family were recently introduced and Little Sis was sent a set to review.

With their soft bark-brown spines, wide eyes, and button noses, the Bramble Hedgehog Family are easy to spot! This prickle of hedgehogs come complete with their own combs and brushes to tame their furry quills.

The BRambles

Meet the Bramble Hedgehog Family:

The Bramble family are really active and they’re nifty climbers, determined burrowers, and they like to splash around in the lake too! That is, unless it’s winter time, in which case, you’ll find them nibbling berries and taking naps!

All Sylvanians enjoy being outdoors, and Father Mortimer Bramble is no exception! He likes nothing more than tending to his vegetable patch. Mother Eleanor Bramble has a smile for every situation, and she always has her comb to hand in case the little ones’ tresses get all tangled up. Their eldest Maxwell is as cute as the post-box red buttons sewn onto his dungarees. His sister Abigail is a stylish little hedgie.

This is a great addition to the range. They are lovely soft and I like the inclusion of the combs and brushes. Little Sis has been having lots of fun with them and I think she’ll be getting a few more Sylvanian Families for her upcoming birthday.

#SylvanianSummer competition

Ahead of its 30th anniversary next year, Sylvanian Families today launches a national photography competition aimed at British fans of this iconic toy brand, and is offering a top prize of Forest Holiday worth £1000 to the winner.

Running throughout July and August, the #SylvanianSummer competition encourages UK-based fans of all ages to use social media to upload eye-catching photos of their Sylvanian toys enjoying the summer (whether on holiday abroad or at home) using the hashtag #SylvanianSummer. There are over £1,400 of prizes to be won, including a £1,000 Forest Holiday in a log cabin or treehouse in the UK. Winners will be chosen by a panel of judges including the Guardian’s Life and Style Editor, and a toy photographer.

#SylvanianSummer competitionYou can enter multiple times – here’s one of our submissions!

Closing date for entries is midnight on 31st August 2014. (More information on how to enter and terms and conditions relating to the competition can be found on The competition winner and runners-up will be announced in September.


Filed under competition, playing, toy review

Win a bundle of Truly British fabrics from The Bead and Button Company

You know how much I love to sew. I’ve been making lots of doll quilts for my daughter as the size means I never get bored! I was recently sent an amazing fabric bundle of 6 Truly British Fat Quarters from The Bead and Button Company to craft with.

win a bundle of FQ - the gingerbread house

The Truly British fabric selection contained 6 different fabrics, each measuring 45cm x 55cm and 100% cotton. The selection was really good and I decided to use five of the pieces to make a maverick star doll quilt from my favourite craft book Doll Quilts.

Truly British fat quarters

It was surprisingly easy to put together, I cut the fabric and machine stitched them over one evening.

Truly British FQ

Last night I did the quilting and binding. I really enjoyed working with these fabrics. I was worried that they would clash a little as the prints were quite loud (for me!) but I think they work brilliantly. I was so happy I even made my own binding!

maverick star quilt - the gingerbread house

This was the first quilt which I pieced like this (I much prefer EPP and hand sewing), it was also the first time I machine quilted and made my own binding. I know it’s not perfect but I’m thinking a quick wash will make it super soft and wrinkly. What do you think?


I have one pack of 6 Truly British Fat Quarters to giveaway to a reader of the gingerbread house. This fabric bundle is perfect for crafting and quilting. I love the patriotic colours too, perfect for celebrating Prince George’s First birthday today! To get your hands on this lovely little bundle please complete the Rafflecopter widget below – you must leave me a comment and tell me what you would make if you won!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to check out The Bead and Button Company who are a specialist craft suppliers stocking an array of beads, buttons, jewellery making, knitting and sewing supplies.

Win competitions at


Filed under competition, crafts, Dolls quilts, handmade

Shopping with Morrisons online

The other week I was given the opportunity to try out shopping with Morrisons online. As a busy mum of two I have little time for food shopping, it is my least favourite chore, especially with two pre-schoolers in tow. Nothing beats sitting down when the children are in bed, making a shopping list and getting it delivered without leaving the front door!

I love meal planning so it was pretty easy to translate my shopping list to an online order. Morrison’s website is easy to use, it was quick to sign up to the online service, and there were plenty of available delivery slots. I opted for early Friday morning so we could get on with our day.

The driver was due between 7.30 and 8.30 and he arrived on the dot at 7.30am. I’d received a couple of texts beforehand to let me know the name of my driver and the registration number. I wasn’t dressed when he arrived so my husband answered the door and I could hear the driver explaining the products were in colour coded bags and there were no substitutions. As well as my shopping there was a handy receipt which listed everything by their use-by dates, a copy of Morrisons magazine and a delicious Morrisons biscuit which I enjoyed for my elevenses.


I was so happy to have a kitchen full of food, the fruit and vegetables were fresh and great quality. I’ve recently started Slimming World so it was brilliant to have everything I needed to help me prepare some delicious recipes.


Over the weekend I made a simple Beef Ragu for the family and I was really happy with the quality of the ingredients. I think the cost was competitive and I just love the fact I had all the ingredients. I was even able to select the number of vegetables I needed which means I haven’t been left with surplus to worry about.

As I’m following Slimming World I chose lots of lean meats but this wasn’t a problem. I was able to order lean beef mince, skinless chicken thighs and the exact cuts of meat I needed.

I will definitely be using Morrisons online again There is a little Morrisons on my high street for forgotten items but you can’t beat shopping online for a full range. Plus, shopping online saves me time so we can do more fun family things together, on happy full tummies, of course!

Disclosure – I was given a voucher in order to try shopping with #Morrisonsonline


Filed under food review