A Review of the Latest Mixels and Minifigs from LEGO

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As you can probably imagine, my youngest two sons who are 9 and 6 absolutely adore building and playing with Lego, so it is always a lovely treat and surprise when the kind team at Lego send us some products for the boys to try out.

Just recently, we were sent a new set of Lego Mixels from Series 4.  These are such funny little characters, they’re all monsters, but pretty friendly looking ones, and there’s just enough of a challenge required to put them together, without it taking too long, so they can be played with soon enough.  As the name suggests, they also lend themselves to some mixing and matching fun, so the boys will quite often build them as they are intended, carefully following the instructions, but then after a little while adapt them, adding different Lego pieces to give the Mixels some new features such as hover boards and futuristic weapons.  I do love the way these creatures stimulate their imaginations and I think they would be just great as easter treats, not only to keep the children happily entertained for a while, but they make a good alternative to all those chocoate easter eggs!

mixels4

Favourites were Rokit, the ‘unhinged trooper from the intrepid Orbitons tribe’ and fire-breathing Burnard, who is a ‘giggling fool from the magma wastelands’ and laughs at everything.  And ‘Globert’ really does glow in the dark, which was pretty cool to discover!

The boys were also lucky to receive some of those perennial favourites, the Lego mini figures.  They have adored the recent collections of Minifig characters because they have a great new interactive element.  The packs come with unique codes which allow children to unlock those same characters to play with online in the very enjoyable LEGO Minifigures Online game.

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The current series of Minifigs is number 13 and as always there is a great variety of little people, this time consisting of an Alien Trooper, Carpenter, Classic King, Disco Diva, Egyptian Warrior, Evil Wizard, Fencer, Galaxy Trooper, Goblin, Hot Dog Man, Lady Cyclops, Paleontologist, Samurai, Sheriff, Snake Charmer and Unicorn Girl.  These are some of the boys’ current favourites:

minifigs

Again, these little individual packs, like the Mixels, would make great easter egg basket treats or party bag fillers for any get-togethers with children over the holidays. It is always great fun ripping open the packs and discovering which person you have inside – and if my boys happen to double up, they just swap them with each other or with friends.

We also took delivery of some fantastic new Bionicle toys from Lego which we will cover next time – very exciting!

Thank you to Lego for gifting us these items for review purposes.

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Most Imaginative Ways to Use Tiles in the Home

tiled sink

If you feel your home needs a fresh design feature, or you are a keen home improvement enthusiast seeking a challenge to take on, why not consider introducing some beautiful tiles in an unexpected, unconventional way?  Whether you prefer an earthy, natural tile like terracotta or a shimmery luxe mosaic-type, the choice of colours, style and designs is virtually limitless, as is where you can place them.  They don’t have to be used just in the bathroom or kitchen.  I absolutely adore the way tiles have been used in the living and dining area below, cleverly combined with wood to make such a stunning feature of the floor.  They are perfect for this area too as they are so durable and easy to keep clean:

tile and wood 2

tile and wood

Because the UK is a cool climate, we don’t tend to embrace tiled floors as much as, say, the hotter Mediterranean countries do, but that doesn’t mean we have to miss out on the joy of colourful, stylish tiles – we can use them instead in smaller focal areas such as on the risers of our stairs, inside a fireplace or as a tiled hearth.

yellow fireplace

You can understand why tiles are popular in kitchens, due to their hardwearing, practical nature and ‘easy clean’ properties.  A favourite option is to have a tiled splashback in a kitchen, but don’t necessarily choose a straightforward plain tile, think about something that will make a statement – not to mention you smile – at the same time.  I think the intricate design and colours of these tiles set off the plain wooden cupboards beautifully…

patterned tile splashback

And this is another great kitchen where tile colour and design are used to stunning effect:

tile floor and wall

Even adding a simple contrasting stripe can make a really appealing effect:

Tile Flair

In the bathroom, with all that water, steam, heat and necessity to clean, tiles make perfect sense.  But once again, don’t just play it safe.  Be imaginative and bold…

tile shower

tileflair.co.uk

tile splashback2

tile subway

Lots of us would like to have a go at a tiling project but feel a little daunted.  But there are plenty of handy tools and tips you can find to make the job easier, for example making sure tiles are clean and dry when you place them and waiting 24 hours for the adhesive to dry before grouting your tiles.  Personally, I think the best way to learn how to tile is to watch a tutorial and Tile Flair have some really helpful videos and advice on their site, alongside a fantastically wide range of tile styles, sizes, colours and designs.

For more tile inspiration, make sure you head over to my ‘Oh Tiles’ Pinterest Board:

Follow Antonia tidyawaytoday.co.uk’s board OH TILES on Pinterest.

I have to admit, although I’ve watched my dad tackle some tiling projects in the past, I’ve never attempted it myself.  But I do feel inspired by all the great ideas I’ve seen lately, so it may be something I will try in a small area of our home.  How about you?

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Love Chic Living and Love Your Home

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#ComingHome – Hive’s Heartwarming Home Coming Moments

ComingHome

As hard as it can be to say goodbye to friends and family when they embark on a long journey, it makes their welcome home all the more heart-warming and special.  Which is why Hive, the creators of the gadget that lets people control heating and hot water from their phones, have launched a campaign to celebrate the blissful moment of #ComingHome.

Hive understand the magical feeling we all get when we step through that door and have captured those special coming home moments in their new two part film series, the first of which has just aired and you can see it below:

Because Hive are all about coming back to a warm and inviting home, they want to celebrate that feeling with the launch of a great new Competition.  Hive are asking you to share your home coming moments or wishes, or to nominate someone who you think deserves a special #ComingHome moment.

 

The Competition

If watching the film made you feel inspired to surprise a loved one with a home coming to remember, simply tell Hive who in your life deserves an amazing home coming moment worth £1,500 (check out the Terms and Conditions here).

 

And there’s a Coming Home £50 Hamper up for grabs too!

To celebrate the launch of the main competition, Hive have partnered with Tidy Away Today on a mini-competition to offer one lucky person the chance to win a lovely ‘Coming Home’ hamper of goodies worth £50 including Oliver Bonas candles, deluxe hot chocolate and even more gorgeous treats. To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me a bit about your favourite home coming moment.  This mini-comp will close at noon on 1st April 2015 and we will select a favourite comment soon after.

The #ComingHome campaign has really got me thinking about those special touches that can make a home coming even more warm and welcoming.  How nice it would be to return not only to a warm house, but a delicious home-cooked meal, such as a comforting casserole simmering away in the oven, a fridge stocked with all essentials such as milk, butter and bread so you wouldn’t need to dash out to the shops.  Maybe some cosy slippers too and luxuriously scented bubble bath for a bit of pampering!

I wanted to put together a mood board of ideas for some lovely homeware items that would certainly give a warm welcome to anyone who has just returned home from a long journey or perhaps a stay in hospital.  The sight of some familiar flowers and a glass of bubbly I’m sure would be very welcome!  And not only are pineapples very fashionable right now, they are historically a traditional sign of welcome.

 

#ComingHome

 

I hope that has inspired you a little to think about how you can make someone’s home coming happy and memorable.  And don’t forget to nominate someone you think deserves their own special #ComingHome moment from Hive.  I’ll be following this campaign with interest!

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Review of the Kärcher Window Vac WV2

karcher window vac
Kärcher is one of the largest maufacturers of cleaning equipment and their distinctive yellow products are widely known.  So I am delighted to have been invited to review a number of Kärcher products over the coming months.

The first item I received is the Kärcher Window Vac WV2.  To be frank, this is a product that hasn’t been on my radar up until now and I wasn’t entirely sure what it could do.  So I’ve been really surprised and impressed by this unassuming little device!

Cleaning windows is one of those chores I really loathe.  It seems like you can put a whole lot of effort in, getting really aching arms (especially where our two sets of patio doors are concerned) only to end up with a streak-fest of horrors when the sun shines through the glass.  (Yes it does sometimes you know, even in Manchester!)  I know people often swear by vinegar and newspaper, but I just can’t bring myself to scrunch up wads of inky newspaper and attack my windows with it while I get high on vinegar fumes.  So the Kärcher window vac totally impressed me.  It is neat in size, so you can easily handle it – it is not at all heavy or cumbersome – and also find a shelf to store it on.  The only assembly that is required is slotting the end with the rubber blade into the unit.  It comes with:

  • A suction nozzle 280mm wide
  • Lithium ion battery
  • Battery charger

I charged it up and once that’s done, the WV2 will have 25 minutes of running time.  I soaped up the window quite generously with water and detergent to see the device’s capabilities.  Once you switch the unit on, it sounds a little like a hairdryer.  Starting at the top you pull the rubber blade downwards, ‘squeeging’ the soapy water as you go and the clever window vac sucks it all up (the water tank can collect 100ml before you need to empty it)  leaving dry, streak-free glass.

karcher2

This is what my windows and glass doors have been crying out for!  Seriously, it turns a horrible task into quite a satisfying one – and I never thought I’d say that about cleaning my windows!  Take a little look:

And of course this gadget isn’t just for windows, you can get quick, impressive results on mirrors, shower screens, tiles – even your car’s bodywork – with the compact and innovative device taking up dirty water and suds before it drips, leaving a smooth and dry, streak-free finish.  It can even be used to suck up spills which is handy when you have children.  I genuinely believe this won’t be one of those products you tend to buy and then consign to a cupboard; I know this is something I will be using regularly in our home from now on.

If you are interested in taking a look at the Kärcher window vac, there are other models in addition to the WV2, some that include a spray bottle, micro fibre head, cleaning concentrate and even spare wiper blades and micro fibre heads, so check out the different Window Vac options here.

Good job, Kärcher!  I’m looking forward to seeing what the next gadget can do.
Post in collaboration with Kärcher, opinions are genuine and my own.
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Stylish Children’s Bedrooms & an Alarm Clock Giveaway

kids desk
‘Room To Grow’ provide a range of cleverly designed beds, furniture and accessories for children that are fun, functional and fabulous!

They have a lovely website, packed full of great products and inspiration, so if you are looking to create a dream bedroom for a child, make it one of your first stops because Room To Grow are specialists in real solutions for both parents and children. As a one-stop shop they can help you deliver an environment for play and study through ingenious designs and clever space saving features.  Offering a wide choice of high quality bedroom furniture, they are proud stockists of such well known brands as Stompa, Thuka and Julien Bowen to name just a few.

What’s nice is that Room To Grow also offer some lovely finishing touches with accessories that really complete the look of a stylish bedroom.

And today they are offering one reader of Tidy Away Today the chance to win a cuter than cute vintage style metal alarm clock in a choice of fashionable grey or heather.

clocks

Called the Pembridge Double Bell Alarm Clock, aren’t they beauties?  They are quite dinky and therefore perfect for a child’s bedroom.  They have a light and the traditional bell ringer can be easily turned off on the top when your child awakes.

For your chance to win one, simply enter via the rafflecopter widget below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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