Hot Wheels Roto Revolution Track Set

This week we have been lucky enough to review the latest toys from Hot Wheels which as a brand has had staggering success since 1968. The franchise is hotter than ever and now encompasses high-end collectibles, NASCAR, and Formula One models for adults, as well as high-performance cars, track and play sets for kids of all ages. To give you a little background, last Christmas my husband went slightly OTT with Hot Wheels purchases for Jay and since then both have been hooked and have collected a number of cars which Jay frequently plays with. Fortunately for us Mattel got in contact to see if we would like to review The Hot Wheels Roto Revolution Track Set and The Hot Wheels Track Stunt Bridge. The Stunt Bridge post will be up on the blog next week if you’d like to see that too.


Toy cars have been a favourite with Jay since he was a baby. He has his favourites of course but he usually asks if I can help him set up the Hot Wheels tracks we have previously purchased as he loves watching the cars launch.  I could tell he was eager to try this set the moment he saw the loop pictured on the box.  The aim of the game is to strategically launch a car at the right time into the rotating circle. There is a launcher on either side of the track and once both cars are released, they will then loop at speed around the track until one crashes out, the last car racing is the winner. This toy does require adult assembly and is suitable for ages 5+ as it requires hand and eye coordination. I was stunned by how incredibly fast the cars go once they are in the loop. There is an on/off switch should the cars stop and get stuck inside. The first time I operated the loop I hadn’t secured one of the track pieces and a car flew out which startled me but I realised my error.

Although I set up the toy relatively quickly which I was really  happy about I completely forgot that it takes 4xD size batteries and you’ll need a small cross head screw driver. Luckily I had both but they are needed to operate this toy and one other point I should mention is that I personally thought it was a little noisy once switched on.  Jay didn’t seem to mind the noise and once we started playing with the toy it’s easy to forget as the focus shifts to timing the launch of the cars.  He is able to place the cars ready for launch and does a far better job than me at getting them to whizz inside the loop! The two cars that come with the set are bright and well made.

The RRP for the Hot Wheels Roto Revolution is £49.99 and is available at all good toy stores. Jay enjoys playing with this track set and even Grandad and Grandma joined in as it has that competitive element to it. With only a few weeks left until Christmas this would make a great gift for any Hot Wheels fan.

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

 

*Disclosure: We were sent the above toy for the purpose of this review, however, all opinions are my own.

5 Outfit Hacks To Get Your Kids Out The Door On Time (Guest Post)

 

School is well underway for the school year but there is always room for improvement! Mornings can be stressful— getting ready for work, packing lunches, making breakfast, and don’t forget about signing those last-minute permission slips! The last thing we need to think about is how to get our kids dressed in a timely manner, am I right?

We’ve compiled a list of our top 5 outfit hacks that will help you get your kids dressed and out the door in a more timely fashion. No more missed school buses, tardy slips, or dirty looks for the teacher.

1. Stock up on the basics

This is something our mother has been telling us for years, “stick with the basics” but to tell you the truth, it actually works! By stocking up on basis solid colors like white, black, navy, and tan you can be sure to have something that goes with just about anything. Adding some solid colored t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, and even some basic dresses in these colors can minimize frustration over what to wear. We are loving these basics from La Bella Flora.

 

2. Mix and match with pops of colour

Have the basics? Check. Now it’s time to add some color, it’s easy to fall into a clothing rut, but it can be avoided by adding little pops of color. Your little darling would sparkle with a neutral colored shirt matched with some brightly colored leggings. This is a mom win any day of the week. Think outside the box, it doesn’t just have to be clothing items that add color, but accessories too! From the shoes to scarves you can help your little one insert some extra style into her wardrobe. Take this headband, for example, a super fast hack for adding some sparkle and taking care of the bed head that’s impossible to manage.

3. Plan ahead

Putting a little bit of time aside on Sunday night to pick out some outfits with your kids can be a huge help when it comes to morning time routines! If you have a few outfits picked out ahead of time it can be a cinch to allow your kids to choose one of them and move on to the next step in the morning, like eating breakfast or brushing teeth. Plus this can be an extra bonding time! Make it fun, try on different outfits, shoes, and accessories and make it part of your weekend routine. Not only will you feel good about getting the extra laughs in with your littles, but you can ease the morning stress of hearing them complain about having nothing to wear.

4. Add the accessories beforehand

Ok, you’ve got the basics, you’ve mixed and matched, planned ahead, but what about adding the accessories too? Don’t just focus on the clothing items, think about what shoes and clothing would look best with that particular outfit. Have you checked the weather for the week? Placing the entire outfit together on a hanger or even in a drawer can help kids on the younger end of the scale get dressed by themselves. This is a home run for mom and kid, boosting self-confidence and individuality while freeing mom up to attend to other items on the must-do list.

5. Labels are our friends

This last one might seem over the top, but labels can really help keep moms and kids organized. Label drawers and areas of the closet to help speed up picking out an outfit. Don’t have your little one waste time digging through drawer after drawer, by labeling them with pictures or words (depending on the age of your child) you can have them navigate their way through getting dressed in the morning. If you keep clothes for all seasons in your kids closet, label them or keep only.  Then sit back, enjoy your coffee, and pack those lunches all with a little time to spare. Once you add these 5 outfit hacks into your morning routine, outfit choices for the current season up front in plain view.  Have you planned some outfits ahead of time? Tie a little label around each hanger with the days of the week and finally free up some time in that morning routine.

Thanks for reading!

 

*This guest post is in collaboration with United States based LaBella Flora Childrens Boutique an exquisite boutique designed to provide beautiful clothing just for girls.

 

Thomas & Friends™ Super Station Review

As a blogger I have been lucky enough to work with lots of great brands and Mattel is no exception. I was recently asked if I would like to review the Thomas Super Station with my train obsessive son and of course the answer had to be a YES PLEASE!
Thomas has been a firm favourite at Along Came Jay HQ for quite some time and when we opened the box we were all taken back by the scale of this train set it really is epic! I went on to hear lots of “wows” and “look at this mummy” it’s fair to say Autumn is already beginning to feel very Chrismassy.

Taking all the items out of the box took about ten minutes.  I opened the instructions booklet and initially thought it looked a bit too complex for my eyes “How on earth am I going to put all of this together” came to mind. But to my relief it was incredibly easy as all the parts are marked by letters and numbers and then it’s simply a case of choosing your track of choice to construct. There are four outlined in the booklet but the playing options are of course endless as there are 10 metres of track!

This is one incredibly fun play set that really will keep toddlers and adults occupied. It comes with three trains Percy, Thomas, James and Harold the helicopter but it also compatible with Thomas & Friends engines, TrackMaster, Adventures, MINIS or wooden railway toys with room for storing over 100 engines.
Building it was a lot of fun plus Jay loved it as he was able to recognise the letters and numbers on the parts and pass them to me with ease. It is the sort of set that he would perhaps struggle to assemble all by himself but he was able to put some of it together with guidance and we built the dual race track pictured on the box first. Every day we build a different track and it’s definitely a toy he rushes to first thing. At 3 he is definitely very much into constructing things and this really suits him. Jay enjoyed operating Cranky’s crane lifting and moving engines I think that’s his favourite part. The set features locations such as Tidmouth sheds, Brendam docks, Knapford Station, the Sodor Steamworks, the Dieselworks, and Blue Mountain Quarr.

My only negative is that due to the many pieces of this set you need a large space to set up and then storage to keep the pieces together. I’ve bought a storage box for this purpose.  I would highly recommend the Super Station as it offers multiple configurations and can work with various Thomas toys.  We also used wooden train toys from other sets we own. This super station retails at £129.99 and is suitable from age 3 and upwards. If you have little train fans living with you then this is a nicely put together set. It’s been a perfect addition for the half term holiday and a real pleasure to review.

 Thank you for reading
Bella
~X~
 *I was sent the product in exchange for an honest review.

Marie Curie #FeelSuper Event with Frankie Bridge



As a blogger and vlogger I am always grateful when I am invited to fun events and it’s been a real honour to be involved in the Marie Curie #FeelSuper campaign which is now its third consecutive year with Superdrug. This is a really special charity supporting the UK’s terminally ill. Death is something we don’t often talk about but it is inevitable and in a recent survey, Marie Curie found that nearly a fifth (19%) of people who have lost someone, feel that better end of life care could have helped them preserve memories of happier times.

Campaigns like #FeelSuper  rely on the continued support of UK shoppers and have helped to raise over £432,000. This equates to Marie Curie  providing over 2 million hours of care.  Frankie Bridge is working as an ambassador with the charity and together with P&G and Superdrug are committed to reaching the £500,000 mark this year, by simply asking the public to stock up on the little things that make them #FeelSuper. Every purchase of  P&G products at Superdrug, including Oral B, Olay, Pantene and Gillette, triggers a donation to Marie Curie.

 One product = One donation.

I headed to London to an afternoon tea and pamper held at the beautiful Rosewood hotel which was held to thank those involved in the campaign to date. It was lovely listening to Frankie talking about why working with Marie Curie means so much to her and I was genuinely moved to tears listening to the words of one of the  nurses describing what she does and why her role means so much to her and to others.  I think it takes immense strength to helping people with a terminal illness spend their final days in their own homes with their families. I spoke to one of the nurses at the event and she said her job was very emotional, very uplifting not depressing but an absolute privilege.

Like me Frankie is a busy mum and I had a chat with her after about motherhood and general life. She’s a beautiful young woman and very sweet. She was a Strictly Come Dancing Finalist if you recall and took the time to speak to so many people.

It would be lovely see more shoppers get behind #FeelSuper and each and every contribution no matter how big or small will make a real difference.

Marie Curie  double Nobel Prize winner and a pioneering woman scientist, commenting on life and science.

“Have no fear of perfection; you’ll never reach it.

Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.”

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

Finding Love Later in Life



I recently celebrated 7 years of marriage to the man I’ve known for nearly 9 years. I often get asked how Mr M and I met. Well towards the end of 2008 I went on what seemed like my millionth date and thankfully it was to be my last one. The rest as they say is history.  I would have never have thought that a profile uploaded online would lead me to my now husband whom I met on a very popular dating website when I was 32 years old.  Millions of people in the UK are registered for online dating and one in five relationships now start online. It’s the third most popular way to meet someone after pubs and through friends.  But dating isn’t the sole preserve of the young and the restless as many people find themselves back in the game later in life. So how late is too late to start dating in the modern World?

Going on a first date can be daunting. That doesn’t change just because you get older. Just like real world dating, the rules of online dating are rarely set in stone.  I do have friends in their 50s who are currently on dating websites but are not keen to make this known as they feel there is still a  stigma attached to e-dating.  I personally don’t think this is the case as there are more and more specialist sites around like the following for example.

Dating can be a fun, exhilarating and ultimately a life-changing experience.  Simply take each experience for what it actually is which is meeting a new person.  Maybe you’ll learn something about your date, or even yourself, that might help you in life. A few pointers which I  felt were important when I began my journey into e-dating were things like a smiling profile photo which were always more noticeable and welcoming. Honesty is key in creating profiles as there are people who may wish to embellish certain aspects of their lives to seem more attractive to others. The truth does come out so always best to be upfront!  The element of mystery is good (within reason) and not everything needs to be disclosed on the first date.  While it may sound like a cliché, you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else.  Finding a partner will not create happiness.  You first need to believe in your own happiness and confidence.

I personally think it is neither foolish nor undignified to be in love at any age. Love actually helps us live longer! It brings us out of our shell. The part of us that wants to connect with someone else is always alive within us. It doesn’t burn out or fade away. The more we develop as individuals and discover new aspects of ourselves, the better able we are to be close to someone else. Because of this, I truly believe it’s never too late to fall in love.

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

 *This post is a collaboration with WeLoveDates.com