My toddler drew on the wall so I Stickerscape-d it

I increasingly consider myself a lifestyle blogger, but I’m not sure I really qualify. Because lifestyle bloggers are supposed to have beautiful homes, right? And I don’t. We moved into this house over 10 years ago now and have never painted the walls in the lounge.

We were so busy working and socialising before we had kids that we didn’t really think interior decorating was a priority. Now that we do have kids, who force us to stay in staring at our walls, we are wishing we could spruce them up a bit. But it is utterly pointless. The other day, my toddler took a dry erase marker to the wall. And dry erase markers do not erase off of walls.

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Here is his masterpiece. What do you think it is? Maybe an expressionist jellyfish.

I find decorating to be annoying and expensive, and the last thing I want to do is go through all that just to have my freshly-painted wall drawn on by a 2 year old. So when Stickerscape contacted me to ask if I’d like to review one of their Thomas and Friends wall stickers, I had a lightbulb moment …

I could use the sticker to cover up my toddler’s wall drawing!

Thus improving the general ambience of the room without having to do any actual decorating. And he is Thomas-mad so I figured he’d be pleased with my scheme.

I chose one that had pictures of all the different Thomas and Friends trains with their names underneath. I thought it might help me keep track of which is which, as I’m a horrible mother who doesn’t know my Gordon from my Percy. It’s also good because you can either use the stickers all in one sheet as they come, or cut them out and put them on different places according to your preference. I decided to go with the former, because otherwise I would put them on all wonky.

The sticker comes rolled up in a poster tube, and then wrapped rather attractively in crepe paper. You unroll it and there are some instructions included. Wall sticker instructions.jpg

The stickers have a plastic backing and transfer paper on the front. So you have to stick them to the wall carefully as you peel off the backing, let them rest for 5 minutes, and then carefully remove the transfer paper. Before and after you stick it, you need to use a plastic card to push the stickers into the transfer paper and then onto the wall. Luckily, I recently lost my Oyster card and then found it after I’d already gotten a new one. So I had a spare card just lying around.

Sticking the sticker

Now, I have to tell you … I have really poor motor skills and am extremely impatient. My husband tells me off because I can’t open the Cheerios box properly – I always rip part of the box lid despite trying not to. Bad things happen to most of the packaging I encounter.

So I can assure you that even the most cack-handed among us can apply one of these wall stickers successfully. I was sure I would end up with at least one bit sort of ripped in the middle, or for the whole thing to go pear-shaped. But it didn’t. It’s really quite good.

And if you have a wall you actually care about, the stickers peel right off without damaging it as well.

Because of the sort of sticker I chose, it doesn’t totally cover up my toddler’s drawing. Some might argue it draws attention to it. But for me, it just makes a dingy wall into a cheerful happy little playspace. And my little one was so chuffed with it that he stood still and looked like a little angel for the picture.

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I should also add that we have used wall stickers from other companies before in the kids’ bedrooms. Stickerscape is definitely better than the ones we used before, for two reasons. First of all, the licensed content. Not all sticker companies have the likes of Thomas, Peppa Pig and In the Night Garden stickers available. Secondly, the price. The smaller wall stickers all come in less than £20, and in my experience that is very good value  – especially for recognisable characters.

So, if you’re doing up a nursery or child’s room, or you just want to cover something up, take a look at Stickerscape. They should definitely be your first point of call for wall stickers.

Stickerscape is currently offering 20% off on their new Thomas & Friends collection. Use Thomas20 at checkout. Expires 4 June 2017.

Disclosure: I received the sticker free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Tammymum

Letting your toddler smash your iPad

I’m going to go ahead and admit it: my kids each have their own iPad minis. And I shamelessly use them on long journeys, at restaurants, and even sometimes to get a few minutes peace at home.

My youngest is 2 and is fully skilled at using the Kid’s YouTube app to watch videos of full grown women playing with “In the Night Garden” toys. He watches someone play with a toy Ninky Nonk while he plays with his own toy Ninky Nonk. It’s Ninky Nonk inception.

But of course when you’ve got an expensive bit of kit like an iPad, you want to make sure it won’t be too easy for your toddler to break it. That just won’t be any fun for anyone. There are loads of iPad cases on the market, but it’s surprisingly hard to tell which one is best for protecting it from the rigours of toddler management.

We had a pretty robust iPad case that we’d been using, but there were several things I didn’t like about it. It didn’t have holes for all the buttons, and it was really hard to get it in and out of the case. The thing for propping it up for watching it was really unsteady too and it fell over all the time.

So I was pleased when I was sent the tech21 Evo Play case for testing.

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As you can see, it comes in a lovely bright colour with a really attractive design. The handle props it up at a comfortable angle for watching it, or can be used for carrying it around. It has holes in all the right places so you can plug in headphones and a charger and easily press the power and volume buttons. It’s also easy to put the iPad into the case – you just sort of push it in without much struggle and it stays in.

The biggest drawback to the product is it is kind of heavy. I think it might have doubled the weight of the iPad. But the 2yo can still carry it around just fine.

It makes up for its weight by the very robustness of the material. You can wipe it clean and if it gets really dirty, you can stick it in the dishwasher.

Years ago my eldest was sick all over his iPad and we could not get rid of the stench on the cover from just wiping it down. Finally, we tried putting it in the washing machine because we decided it was either that or the bin, so we had nothing to lose. It did vaguely survive the washing machine, but it’s great to know that we can dishwash this case with no worries about ruining it.

But the boldest claim of this case is that you can drop it from a height of 2 meters / 6.6ft and your screen will not crack. I personally don’t feel it would be a thorough product review unless I tested this bold claim. So, please view my lovely YouTube video below, in which I drop my iPad in the Evo Play case unceremoniously onto my kitchen floor.

As you can see, the case has passed my rigorous product test. I even had to drop it more than once because I am crap at making YouTube videos. And I hope you didn’t look too hard at the background. I didn’t do the washing up because I was too busy blogging.

Disclosure: I received the product in exchange for this review but it’s all my honest words above.

The Pramshed
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