Could Your Child Be An Ikea Toy Designer? Enter The New 2018 Sagoskatt Competition Now & Buy Last Year’s Winners’ Plushies In Store Now to Help Support Barnardos.

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The limited-edition SAGOSKATT soft toy collection is back, and it’s packed full of colourful characters ready to join playtime. Ikea’s annual, soft toy drawing competition attracted 87,000 entries from children around the world, and they’ve made a handful of them into real-life toys.

 

I’ve blogged about this a few years now, and I always love to see the winners. It’s so cool seeing a child’s drawing brought to life, from the sketch to the completed toy on the shelves. 

 

This year’s IKEA soft toy drawing competition is open now – so it’s time for your kids to get creative. They can sketch own soft toy for the chance to see their invention made into a real toy next year. The competition is open to all IKEA FAMILY members’ children aged up to 12, until November 13. So you need to be quick and visit today or tomorrow and pop your sketch in the box which is in the kids’ section of the store. If you aren’t a Family Member, just ask to sign up with a member of staff, it’s just like having a Tesco Clubcard or Boots Advantage Card, so it’s very simple.

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The most unique creations will be turned into real soft toys to be sold in every IKEA store and to inspire kids’ play across the world.

If you are reading this after the 13th of November, don’t despair, the cute toys will still be on sale. They all cost £4.75 each and Ikea donates the VAT to Barnardos. You can read all about the Sagoskatt competition and more on the Ikea website.

Mr Frosty Choc Ice Maker Review - Is It One For Santa’s List?

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Mr Frosty is certainly a throwback. In fact he was on my own Santa list in the 80’s, and my poor parents’ arms would despair having to crank the handle on the back of him, in his older incarnation, to dispense some slivers of ice into a cup for me, those were the days! 

I’m pleased to report the Mr Frosty of 2018 is much more hassle-free, and the Mr Frosty Choc Ice Maker is one product that parents won’t be dreading seeing on the Santa list this Christmas. It costs £12.99 and you can buy it from Asda or Smyths.

 

We were sent one to try out this week, so we gave it a whirl. The kit contains lolly moulds to freeze yoghurt lollies, and a lovely little igloo which you then use to melt chocolate to coat your frozen lollies. It’s very cute and a fun idea to make with your kids over the Christmas break too.

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This blog is a bit of a “how to”  also in case you are thinking of buying the Choc Ice Maker, hopefully I can give you some tips and tricks.

I found a great hack was to buy Frubes, the yoghurt that comes in straw like tubes for packed lunches. Not only are they freezable, but they are perfect to snip off the corner and pipe into the snowman mould, rather than try to spoon regular yoghurt in there. A whole box of Frubes is never more than £2.

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The lolly mould is like an ice cube tray, but it’s a flexible silicon one, which has good points and bad points. The good point is that once your lollies are set they are very easy to pop out, whether they be yoghurt, like we made, or solid chocolate, or anything you freeze. The downside is that the mould once filled with yoghurt is still quite floppy, so when I tried to carry it over to to freezer some of the liquid spilled. I would suggest putting the mould on a flat tray and putting the whole thing into the freezer like that. Also don’t underestimate the size the mould takes up with the lolly sticks protruding out, you need quite a bit of space in the freezer for it. Measure it out before you start so you don’t get caught out with a armful of yoghurt lollies and nowhere to put them like me!

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The yoghurt freezes quite quickly, and is very easy to pop out of the moulds, and the roof of the igloo doubles up as a stand for your lollipops, which is so handy. You then melt your chocolate coating in the main igloo part in the microwave, and coat your lollipops. 

 

We found this part tricky, there must be a knack to it, but the shape of the snowman disappeared completely for us! It still tasted delicious anyway. We added some sprinkles and decorations, and you could add fresh fruit or any other decorations to make the pops a healthy snack. 

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The clean up is very simple, I just put everything in the sink with hot water.  

We definitely want to try out some other recipes. Smix wants to try some solid chocolate lollipops. I want to try some other flavours of yoghurt in there, maybe add chopped up mini mallows or Nutella.

Would I recommend it? Yes, if you enjoy kitchen crafts it’s a fun one that you will do more than once, it’s easy, not much clean up required, doesn’t take up much storage either. Would make a nice gift too. Add it to the Santa list

Treat Yourself To A Spooky Poke! Mauds’ Limited Edition Zombie Brains Halloween Ice Cream

Resurrected from the flavour graveyard, Mauds ice creams has brought back their Halloween Special Zombie Brains ice cream with lovely chewy bits of mallow and juicy strawberry.

I had two zombies* arrive at my house yesterday delivering a delicious tub of Zombie Brains to try out myself (*they were stylishly dressed zombies, so I think they may have been from  Team Mauds’ rather than the graveyard).

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True to Carrick-based Mauds’ brand, this vanilla and strawberry ice cream doesn’t just have the strawberry flavouring through it, there are actual berry chunks through the creamy dessert, as well as chewy mini-mallows. It’s an absolute dream.

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It also looks fairly zombie-brain-like. If you wanted to serve it up with some extra strawberry or raspberry sauce on top, you could get it looking a bit gruesome if you wanted that way. Equally, you could pair it with some broken meringue nests and make a quicky Eton Mess like a dessert-making pro with just those two ingredients. 

The Zombie Brains Mauds Ice Cream is a Halloween limited edition. Check the Mauds website for Mauds Cafe locations and Mauds Stockists.  

And Happy Halloween from The World of Kitsch! 

Want The Most Majestic Pumpkin On The Block? Huge Pumpkin Beanbag From FieldCandy

FieldCandy are an English brand who digitally print photo-realistic beanbags, funky pillows and tents, which include many fun natural prints, as well as Beatles & Banksy themed collections.

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For Halloween they have released a very cool pumpkin beanbag, which can be used for lounging, as well as a massive spooky party prop for the season. The beanbags are polyester and waterproof, so can be placed in the garden for outdoor seating too. The Pumpkin costs £59.95 and you can buy it here.

Spookify Your Whole House This Year- Asda Has Halloween Duvets!

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Asda has been the best place to get fun Christmas duvet covers the past few years. They do fun, seasonal prints starting at £10 for singles, but also have the designs available in doubles and king size, and for the prices it’s affordable for something fun for a few weeks of the year. 

Well for 2018 they have launched a couple of prints to add to your calendar for the month of October, with some Halloween themed duvet covers in their George department online store

 

 

There are a couple of prints to choose from, but the Christmas prints are also in stock if you want to browse those too. 

There’s also a selection of Halloween props, but there are more to choose from in your local Asda store which will have a whole aisle, however unless you have a specific Asda Home store near you, online is the best bet for the duvet prints, but shipping is free if you do click and collect to your local, regular Asda store.

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Forest Feast Totally Nutty Halloween Competition - Win a Break to Lough Erne Resort Plus a Very Unusual Prize... #MakeMeAMonkeyNut

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Smix & I were dashing about this morning at 8.45am, him trying to clean his teeth while I simultaneously tried to do his hair, when I heard a knock on the door. When I ran down to open it, a very intriguing box was on the steps, because the top of it had wild, orange fuzz poking out of it. 

When I got home from the school run, I realised it will filled with wonderful nostalgia. Yes, MONKEY NUTS. I realise I’m already turning into my parents because the number of times I’ve begun lectures with, “when I was a child I didn’t even HAVE a computer in my house”, and I’m about to sound like I’m ancient again, but here I go. 

 Me being spooky in the 80s

Me being spooky in the 80s

1980s Halloween. There was no “Halloween aisle” in Tescos. Okay, that’s mostly because there was no Tesco in Northern Ireland, but there was maybe a small section with those plastic masks that cut your lips when the condensation built up behind them during the evening while you wore them, there was a witch hat. You had to make the rest of the costume out of bin bags. There were no decorations beyond a cardboard skeleton or witch.

There were no other Halloween home decorations up until around when Smix was born because I was still a total rockabilly type then and when TK Maxx got all the Halloween decorations in the first year, imported from American stores, who always DID decorate, I bought a tonne of it to decorate my new house. That was 2007. 

Anyway, this is supposed to be a blog about Forest Feast, so I’m almost getting there. Pumpkins- kids now, you don’t know how good you have it. Have you ever tried hollowing out a raw turnip with a spoon? That will build muscles on a seven year old. 

I’m guessing we didn’t have pumpkins because they are so hard to grow locally, and I have first hand experience of that this year. I had several huge pumpkin plants I grew inside a greenhouse, upward rather than along the soil. They flowered and I cross pollinated the plants by hand daily. In the end I managed to get one pumpkin to grow, which only took in mid-August, so it’s slightly smaller than a tennis ball right now. It’s also green. It might be ready for Halloween 2020.

So those Halloweens were more basic, but you had to DIY it more, you had to make your own decorations with your family, your own outfits, snacks, and wasn’t that a lot more fun? I certainly have so many fond memories of my childhood Halloweens, when they were less commercial, when it was about the simple little things, which finally brings me to- MONKEY NUTS! 

That’s the term for peanuts sold in shell, which for some reason was, and is a tip top Halloween treat. I remember every year my Dad would buy a big bag of them, and a big bag of mixed nuts in shell too. I would love the walnuts and brazils too, but found them so hard to  crack. Monkey Nuts, or Peanuts in Shell, which you can buy from Forest Feast either regular or Roasted, are very easy to crack. The shell is soft and you can break it with your hands usually.

For Halloween 2018, Forest Feast also has a 500g novelty bucket of Peanuts in Shell, smaller bags of Walnuts, Hazelnuts, and Mixed Nuts. Completing the spooky selection shoppers can choose from share packs of Chocolate Peanuts, Chocolate & Yoghurt Raisins, Super Natural Mixed Nuts, and Frightfully Good Fruit & Nut. 

Forest Feast is a Northern Irish brand, based in Armagh, and you should find them in leading retailers, I know my local Spar & EuroSpar stocks their ranges.  

Now you have your nostalgic snack fix for the spookiest month ahead, how about winning a five-star weekend for two at the luxury Lough Erne Resort, and a very unique, nutty prize? Forest Feast have enlisted the incredible skills of the world’s ONLY monkey nut artist, Steve Casino, who will model you and a friend or family member in miniature, much like the little figures below. 

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The competition is easy to enter, and don’t worry, you don’t have to start whittling your own peanut shells! All you have to do is tag yourself and your friend on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #MakeMeAMonkeyNut The competition runs until Halloween, 31st October 2018.

If you want to follow Forest Feast on Instagram they are @forestfeast. For their Facebook click here. For Twitter it’s @forest_feast.

Here are some more examples of Steve Casino’s excellent work, please visit his Instagram and give him a follow, I have. All photos here are from his Instagram, click on any below to enlarge for a closer look. This is how your miniature you could look if you win the competition! He also does tiny Tic Tac art, and other amazing pop culture work. It’s great when you stumble upon some cool, unique art like that in such a random way like via our very own local Forest Feast!

A Look at What’s New for Autumn 2018 in Holywood’s Magical Toy Shop, Little Citizens Boutique - With an Exclusive Offer for World of Kitsch Readers

I’ve blogged about my favourite, local, independent toy store a few times before, but I was in Little Citizens Boutique in Holywood again last week, so I thought it was time for an update.

I just became an auntie for the second time, very exciting, and was buying a present. I always turn to Little Citizens first if I have a baby present or a gift for a child under the age of ten to buy, but more often than not I end up distracted by all the vintage and kitsch things I want to buy for myself. When I say vintage, everything is brand new, nothing is second hand, the selection of beautiful retro stylised gifts include Scandinavian inspired doll houses, kaleidoscopes and baby toys.

So what’s new for autumn 2018?  There’s the Moulin Roty range of dolls, jigsaws and play sets. The French brand, founded in 1972 is right at home in Little Citizens Boutique. There’s a teepee, a friendly lion plush, gorgeous baby toys, but these are my favourites from the range.

 Constance Tea Party Tin Tea Set  

Constance Tea Party Tin Tea Set  

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 Moulin Roty Wooden Garage £100

 

Also new for Autumn 2018 is Fair Trade brand Tegu Toys. They work with developing communities in Peru making these magnetic toys which are relaxing and fun to play with. You can make different shapes and models, allowing open-ended play. 

 

If you love what you see, the online store is packed with all the Holywood shop has, and even more. Little Citizens Boutique have very kindly given World of Kitsch readers 20% off purchases using the code KITSCHY20 to use online until the 1st Nov 2018 at midnight - click through to the Little Citizens Boutique Online Store here. Happy shopping!

A Look Back At Our Summer Visit to Portstewart Strand & Details of Their Free Half-Term Scavenger Hunt!

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A week into school and summer already feels like months ago, but in July we were jumping down the sand dunes on the North Coast at one of the National Trust’s beach properties, Portstewart Strand

 

We stay in Portstewart for a week every summer in a house there, quite close to the beach. The beach is free to walk down on to, so you can park on any of the surrounding streets and carry your beach supplies down with you, or you can pay £6.50 to drive your car down on to the sand and along as far as you want in front of the dunes to find a space to make your own. 

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 The beach is really popular for surfers,  and there’s always lots going on. The sand dunes are another great attraction, especially for kids who love to explore and jump down the slopes.

 

 

Even though the summer has ended, the beach is still great for autumn walks, and during half term there will be a whole week of free scavenger hunts, more details on the National Trust website here. 

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