Oral-B Electric Toothbrushes as Christmas Gifts

You might have already seen that we’re writing a series to help you with Teens, Tweens and Other Hard To Buy For people at Christmas time (or any other time really!). We were therefore very excited when the team at Oral-B got in touch to see if we’d like to add their range of electric toothbrushes to our list. Yes please!

We started this gift guide for ‘Teens Tweens and Hard To Buy For’s‘ as our own boys are at that difficult, not really into toys anymore, kind of stage. But would young boys really appreciate an electric toothbrush as a present?

Star Wars Themed Oral-B Electric Toothbrush review gift idea
Star Wars Themed Oral-B Electric Toothbrush


That’s the simple answer, in my experience. My boys were SO excited to receive new electric toothbrushes. This is a win on several levels. Firstly, the fun character designs made them feel that this really was a cool gift – Hugo chose Star Wars and Toby chose Marvel Avengers. There are also more designs available, including Frozen. It was also cool because it was a gadget. It was electric, it had power! What’s not to like?

Frozen Themed Oral-B Electric Toothbrush Review Gift Ideas
Frozen Themed Oral-B Electric Toothbrush

It was also a win for me as a parent, as my kids have never been so keen to brush their teeth, and to brush them well. Can you imagine the parenting win that is your children begging to be able to brush their teeth?! So in my humble opinion, an electric toothbrush is definitely a good gift.

Of course, that’s not all. Mummy got a fabulous gift too. I was lucky enough to get to try out the gorgeousness that is the Oral-B Genius 9000. This is absolute electric toothbrush Royalty – have no doubt.

Oral-B Genius 9000 Electric Toothbrush Review Gift Guide
Oral-B Genius 9000 Electric Toothbrush – the latest thing!

This baby has all the looks, and the technology to go with it! So excited was I, that I actually just let it sit in the box for a while and looked at it. It’s a really cool piece of kit, and even the packaging screams quality. So I decided to make a little unboxing video – partly because the packaging and the product itself look so good, and partly because you really don’t need to watch me brushing my teeth! No, not my finest moment! So here is the packaging and the unboxing:

The technology behind the Oral-B Genius 9000 is indeed genius! You can link it to your phone via an app (from App Store or Google Play), and you can make sure that you are covering all the right areas in your brushing as well as doing it for the right length of time. There is even a phone holder which you can stick to the mirror, and a travel case which charges your toothbrush and phone. Talk about thinking of everything!

Travel case and phone charger of Oral-B Genius 9000
Travel case and phone charger

There is a ‘smart ring’ light on the toothbrush which has various functions, from an operating and timer light, to a Bluetooth indicator, and a pressure sensor indicator. There are also various brushing modes you can select – daily clean, pro clean, sensitive, 3D white, gum care, and tongue clean. Plus, it has four different brush heads included, and a brush holder. I told you – they think of everything!

So that’s the technical bit, the science part. The other thing is that in use, it is fantastic. I have mine set to the ‘professional’ setting, which gives a short buzz every 30 seconds to advise you to move onto the next section of your mouth, then a number of buzzes to tell you that your two minutes of brushing is up. It is so easy and intuitive. Even though you are applying hardly any pressure, the subsequent mouth feel is fabulous. My teeth feel wonderfully clean, smoother and fresher than they have in years. I feel confident that my teeth have been cleaned properly too, which is very reassuring.

But the other important part is that this toothbrush looks like a great gift. It is sleek. It is indulgent. It’s something high quality which feels like a treat, and that you probably wouldn’t buy every day.

Oral-B Genius 9000 Electric Toothbrush review
Oral-B Genius 9000 Electric Toothbrush

Perhaps you’re wondering if an electric toothbrush would make an appropriate gift? I’d say absolutely. I’d be delighted to receive this. I WAS delighted to receive this! It feels like the latest thing, and it’s something I don’t have already. Most women have a hairdryer and straighteners, most men have an electric shaver. This is different.

You may have seen some advertising about the Oral-B Genius – 9000. There are lots of special deals around at the moment (because this is such a great gift, peeps!).

Oral B Genius 9000: Amazon’s Black Friday Deal of the Day**

“This ground-breaking electric toothbrush is on sale at a huge discount – from £280 to £99.99– and makes for a truly perfect gift this Christmas.

Key features of the Oral B GENIUS 9000:

·        Works in conjunction with the Oral-B app via bluetooth, and is the first to offer Position Detection Technology which tracks brush position, ensuring all zones in the mouth are evenly brushed

·        Comes with Oral-B’s iconic round-brush heads. For the best clean, best gum health, and for superior whitening from day one, with oscillating-rotating-pulsating technology.

·        Triple Pressure Sensor Technology measures the pressure applied through the brush head, and alerts you when the pressure is too high

·        The Oral-B app also shows you your Dental Care journey; providing recommendations and tips based on your individual goals

·        Includes an innovative Smart Travel Case, which charges both your toothbrush and smartphone

You will find this amazing deal on Boots [here] for Rose Gold and [here] for Black, for the discounted price of £99.99*. 

 Available in Black, White and Rose Gold (Rose Gold is exclusive  Boots). ” 

*Prices correct at time of publishing and subject to change

**Affiliate link to Amazon

Disclaimer: We were sent the toothbrushes for the purpose of this review, but all opinions and associated excitement are entirely our own.

Oral-B Genius 9000 Electric Toothbrush review and gift guide
Pin for later – Oral-B Genius 9000 review


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Teens, Tweens and Other Hard To Buy For’s – Board Games

Do you have someone to buy gifts for, who is just too hard to please? Or who has absolutely everything already?

There are lots of great gift guides out there at the moment, from high street stores to brilliant bloggers, so I thought I’d do something a little different. Inspired mainly by the fact that my own children, now 8 and 10 years old, are no longer very ‘into’ conventional toys any more, I decided to make some lists of alternative ideas.

So, I’m starting with a conventional but broad idea – board games!

As my boys have moved away from action figures, soft toys, and other bits of random plastic tat, board games have moved into focus (when we can get them off electronic gadgets, of course!). It’s a great way to spend time together as a family, especially when the weather isn’t so good. It can also be very educational, and encourage communication and patience too.

We recently reviewed the Wikipedia Game, and we really had fun playing together as a family. Other conventional quiz type games include:

Good old Trivial Pursuit (with various themed quizzes)Articulate   , Scene It?

Lots of TV Quiz Show games including Would I Lie To You, Pointless,  Tipping Point, The Cube, Family Fortunes

Traditional Board Games, some with modern twists and variations, including: Monopoly – so many variations nowadays, Pictionary, Scrabble, Cluedo, Connect 4.

Kids’ Style board games include:
Ker-plunk, Frustration, Guess Who, Jenga, Operation

More modern, crazy, and ‘whatever next’ board games guaranteed to get a giggle:Pig Goes Pop, Gooey Louie, Doggie Doo, Silly Sausage, Pie Face, Googly Eyes,

and finally, my favourite, Speak Out (and a kids’ variation too)

So, are you feeling inspired yet? There must be something for every ‘hard to buy for’ person here!

Would you add any other favourites?

The post contains some affiliate links to Amazon. Forgive me, but it’s Christmas, times are tight! Also, Amazon has great prices on lots of products, as there are a variety of sellers on there. There are plenty of high street sales on at the moment too.

Board Games - pin for later
Pin this for later!
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking SundayYou Baby Me Mummy

Wikipedia The Game – Review

Today we’re bringing you more gift ideas, in the shape of family board games, including Wikipedia the Game.

In the spirit of finding things for ‘Teens, Tweens, and Other Hard To Buy For’s’, family board games are an absolute ideal. There are so many to choose from these days, from the traditional quiz types, to some fairly weird and whacky ideas!

The Wikipedia game falls firmly into the former – a fairly traditional type of quiz. The Wikipedia game has a simple, straightforward format, without any gadgets of gimmicks.

The game box contains 300 Wiki Theme Cards (question cards), 4 whiteboards, 4 whiteboard markers, 100 tokens and an egg timer.

Wikipedia The Game
Wikipedia The Game

The game is suitable for age 8+. We played it together as a family, with my 8 year old and 10 year old sons. I was a little worried that this might not keep the attention of my children, as there are no game boards to move around, no bright colours or bits of plastic!

They did quite well though, as I think they are quite used to using white boards at school, so this was fairly natural to them. Plus, they both have a competitive streak!

Loving a bit of competition!
Loving a bit of competition!

There are three games on each card, all along the theme of the card title. Game 1 is three trivia questions, read out against the timer, and the answers written on the board. Game 2 is based around guessing the page rankings on Wikipedia for the 3 theme-related topics. The third game was our favourite – Disambiguation. This involves listing 5 things on the specified subject against the timer.

Wikipedia Game Parts
Wikipedia Game Parts

So, all are very straightforward and require little equipment. You are supposed to play all 3 games on the card before moving on, but you could always decide to play your favourite one depending on the mood and audience. Another tip if you have younger players – we decided to pick out some topics suitable for the children. My kids are quite clever, but really struggled with some themes (as did I, actually!). We purposely picked out cards about Roald Dahl, Harry Potter, history subjects they had covered at school etc to give them a little more of a chance.

Wikipedia Game - some questions are hard
Some questions are hard for 8-year olds!

We think Wikipedia is a nice, simple to play, general knowledge game. Not high thrills or gimmicks, but easy as an after dinner game or quiz for families with older children.

Disclosure: We were sent the Wikipedia game to review, but all opinions are our own.

If you want to see some more of our game and other gift recommendations, look out for our guides.

Little Loves #7 – Prizes!


The past couple of weeks since our last post have flown by in a blur, and have been filled with prizes and fun!

I used to be very keen on entering competitions before I started blogging, but with two such time-consuming activities, I found that ‘something had to give’, and so for quite a while the comping has taken a back seat.

I’ve recently started picking up the pace with it again, and it has given me something of a winning streak! We won tickets to the National Pet Show, with hotel and spending money, courtesy of Mumsnet (which we reported on here). We also won tickets for the Northern Homebuilding and Renovating show. That exciting weekend became a bit of an early birthday celebration for me.

Then, on my actual birthday, I found out I’d won some great prizes – Joe Browns clothing, and the following week £100 of Tesco vouchers with Esso.


Birthday Cards! Yay! Or should I actually celebrate being this old?



The movie about Beatrix Potter
The movie about Beatrix Potter

I’ve finally got around to watching Miss Potter after it was screened again on BBC2 recently.


I’m glad I stuck with it, as it was a really interesting and touching story of the life of Beatrix Potter.

Plus, it has Ewan McGregor in it – what’s not to like?!


I have to mention the fabulous Deacon Blue concert at the Newcastle City Hall (which we also wrote a blog post about). These tickets were a birthday present from my Hubby, and we had an absolutely amazing time.

Deacon Blue at Newcastle City Hall
Deacon Blue at Newcastle City Hall
Deacon Blue at Newcastle City Hall
Deacon Blue at Newcastle City Hall


Hugo has made a gorgeous cat house like a tiger, and he is going to share information about how to make it soon. I was so proud that he watched a YouTube video once, then made this from memory with amazing precision. My dining room table and chairs might have taken a bit of a beating, but never mind. The cat loves it anyway!

Not to be outdone, Toby made a Pet Hotel too, and both our cat and dog have been guests!

Home made tiger cat house from cardboard box
Hugo’s Tiger Cat House
Pet Hotel cardboard box
Toby’s Pet Hotel


I should show you what I chose for my prizes from Joe Browns. It would be rude not to really!

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I don’t really have anything else lovely to tell really – my back has been so poorly that the only time I’ve ventured out anywhere else was a trip to the dentist, and two trips to hospital! Hey-ho, plenty of prizes to keep me happy!

Little Loves


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Deacon Blue at Newcastle City Hall

Last night we went to see Deacon Blue at Newcastle City Hall as a birthday treat for me from my husband.

I’ve loved Deacon Blue since I was about 16 years old (that’s a long time!). They are absolutely my childhood sweethearts! These guys have seen me through happy times and sad, through thick and thin, and I think it’s really kind of them to once again organise their tour to coincide with my birthday. Very considerate!

Deacon Blue 2016 Tour
Deacon Blue 2016 Tour

These days, due to mobility problems, I have to worry about how far I’ll need to walk and where we can get parked. Luckily for us, there is an NCP car park right beside the City Hall, and you can pre-book the parking, which is fantastic, and so reassuring.

Another bonus, there’s a Frankie and Benny’s next door. OK, it’s not gourmet, but it’s easy and fun, and they have a gluten free menu. Yes, not just an option or two, an ENTIRE menu!! Sorted. Top tip – if you download their app, you also get discounts, and kids eat free.

Frankie & Benny's Gluten Free
Frankie & Benny’s Gluten Free Menu

Back on the subject. The Deacon Blue concert.

We got there for the start. We believe in making the most of a child-free night! Plus, there are often some good support bands. This night was no exception. We were charmed by the sounds of Lewis and Leigh. Beautiful harmonies. Very beautiful indeed. Check out what Wales and Mississippi together sounds like. You won’t be disappointed.

Anyway…how are Deacon Blue doing?


I mean it. Absolutely bloody amazing!

Their sound was rich and fabulous, and their mood was just so fun and energetic, it was infectious. The personalities of the entire band really shone through. I love Newcastle City Hall, it’ such a perfect size. The gig felt so intimate and the atmosphere was electric. From the beautiful ballads to the high energy numbers which had everyone jumping and cheering; from the old favourites to the great new numbers. Everything was just fabulous.

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The audience sang their hearts out, and even though most of us were getting on a bit, we did our best to keep partying until the end. As for the encore, oh guys, what an encore! Look at this set list, published to their Facebook page today. How lucky were we in Newcastle?

Deacon Blue Newcastle Playlist
Deacon Blue Newcastle Playlist

And Ricky was right – we are close enough to the Border to just ‘get’ their style and humour, and yes, we do love a good sing song at the end of the night. Thank you for giving us ‘Forever Young’ to go home with. Thank you for giving us a wonderful night altogether.

Deacon Blue at Newcastle City Hall
Deacon Blue at Newcastle City Hall
Deacon Blue at Newcastle City Hall
Deacon Blue at Newcastle City Hall

This was definitely the best Deacon Blue gig I’ve ever been to. It’s probably THE best gig I’ve ever been to.

Deacon Blue at Newcastle City Hall
Deacon Blue at Newcastle City Hall

What about you? Have you ever been to a Deacon Blue concert? Or do you have a band who has seen you through since the early days? Let us know in the comments here.


Keep Calm and Carry On Linking SundayRachelSwirl

Champion Cats – My Sunday Photo

Last weekend we visited the National Pet Show – our full report is here.

I was absolutely mesmerised by the HUGE rosettes and awards that the champion cats had won! Look at the cages, all ornate and decorated, and completely smothered in massive rosettes. These are champion cats indeed!

Champion Cat - look at those rosettes!
Champion Cat – look at those rosettes!
Fancy rosettes and cages for champion cats
Fancy rosettes and cages
Fancy rosettes and cages for champion cats
More cat champions!


The National Pet Show – “Can We Have One, Mum?”

Last weekend we were lucky enough to win tickets to the National Pet Show at the NEC in Birmingham courtesy of Mumsnet, with accommodation at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. As it was my birthday weekend, we decided this would be a great birthday trip!

Struggling with mobility due to heart and back problems, I had to acknowledge that there was no way I could manage walking around a huge exhibition all day. I really didn’t want to spoil the weekend for everyone though, or pass up the great prize. Therefore, I decided to hire a wheelchair from the NEC. I rang to book in advance and found out there were no electric scooters left. So I had to hire a manual wheelchair and ask for a push! (From the Hubby, although the kids both had a turn too and found it quite hilarious!).

NEC Birmingham
NEC Birmingham

So I had wheels and was entirely at the mercy of the rest of my family. Scary! The exhibition hall was huge, but easy enough to find our way around thanks to a very comprehensive guide booklet. It was a very busy, very popular show.

My kids were absolutely in their element. There was the perfect mix of stalls and actual animals you could meet, talk to and pet. I was so relieved at this, as the boys would have been so bored if it was all pet food and flea treatments being pushed at us!

Rescue dogs from Manchester Dogs' Home
Rescue dogs from Manchester Dogs’ Home

We met so many lovely pet owners, and so many gorgeous pets. There were also some great rescue charities, and working dogs too. We really enjoyed the dog section, where we were introduced to lots of breeds we didn’t know about, as well as lots we know and love. Most were very friendly and able to be touched/stroked. Toby was all ready to take one home, so many times!

A shaggy dog story!
Jealous of all that hair!

We saw so many beautiful cats too, many of whom were multi-champions, and all were absolutely beautiful. We couldn’t touch quite as many of them, but some were friendly and bold enough to say “hello”.

There were several arenas with shows and presentations, but these were extremely popular and often too crowded for us to be able to see, which was a shame. Daddy is an impatient fellow and doesn’t like standing in big queues, so was reluctant to wait to get a seat for the big shows such as ‘Supervet’ Noel Fitzpatrick or Michaela Strachan. Never mind, we spotted Michaela at breakfast in the hotel anyway!

Not to be disappointed though, we caught some great talks in the smaller areas, and a fantastic display by Lucy Heath and Indie (‘Trip Hazard’ BGT 2016 Finalist) with a brilliant demonstration of training your dog to do heelwork to music. My kids have been trying to train our dog to do the tricks ever since!

Lucy and Indie from Trip Hazard act
Lucy and Trip Hazard

We also watched a Nerf demonstration which was so much fun! Yes, there are Nerf guns for dogs which fire tennis balls!

Ultimately, we actually purchased a Nerf stomping toy which the boys preferred (as they said it went further!

Nerf stomper dog pet toy
Nerf toy for Daphne

We met the cutest dog, Doug the Pug, who has written his own book. He also goes into schools to read with children. That was another pet which Toby wanted to bring home! He was also quite keen on some of the reptiles, which I stayed well away from, and I definitely drew the line at a giant millipede which Hugo had a little hold of!

Doug the Pug
Doug the Pug

I must admit I was as bad as the kids when it came to wanting to take home some pets.  We were all really smitten by the chickens from Fresh Start For Hens, and had some lovely cuddles from these gorgeous rescued creatures. I’m also a big softie when it comes to rabbits, and found myself saying yes when asked “can we get some, mum?” about these too. Hubby says no, of course. We travel a lot, and already have to get the cat and dog looked after. The addition of chickens and/or rabbits might just make it too much!

Fresh Start for Hens at National pet Show
Fresh Start for Hens
Cutest rabbit garden at National Pet Show
Cutest rabbit garden

In summary, we think the National Pet show is a great place to go if you are thinking about a pet and want to find out more, or if you are an animal lover and want more information. It’s great to meet other owners and their animals. We had a fantastic time, and would love to go again next year!

Tiny little ponies at National Pet Show
Tiny little ponies
A fun pet rat
A fun pet rat

(Sorry about the photos – it was very busy and hard to get a good shot!)

This post contains some affiliate links to Amazon.

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