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Monday, 21 August 2017

Purepotions - kind to skin and kind to the planet

Purepotions are a natural range of natural skincare products that are suitable for people with sensitive skin or who are prone to eczema, dry skin, dermatitis and psoriasis. They are made in the UK from quality, plant-based, 100% biodegradable raw materials, which are often organic and locally sourced, and contain herbal extracts to nourish and protect. They contain nothing unnecessary and are free from parabens, petrochemicals, phthlates and perfumes. The range is not tested on animals, includes products that are suitable for vegans and are as kind to the planet as they are to your skin, which are things that are very important to me.

Kezia has always suffered from eczema and gets flare-ups on her face and neck. Finding a natural, effective, eco-friendly solution has always been something I've wanted for her. Knowing that the founder of Purepotions formulated these products to help her own daughter's dry and allergy prone skin really resonates with me as a mother.

The Purepotion range includes their Skin Salvation and their brand new Hair & Scalp natural hair care products for top to toe benefits. Kezia was sent a selection of the products to try out and she is so far very impressed with the non-sting, nourishing and hydrating formula.

eczema care


From the Skin Salvation range:

Intensive Moisturising Ointment

This thick, rich intensive moisturising salve just feels so nourishing on the skin. A little goes a really long way. It locks in moisture and keeps out irritants because of the protective barrier it creates. Packed with biodynamic ingredients such as hemp, safflower and olive, it uses the power of nature to target the problem of dry itchy skin conditions. It is 100% natural and can even be used on infants. I wish I'd had this when Kezia was a baby, it's amazing.  Of a survey of over 500 users, 97% experienced successful results in improving their skin condition.

Daily Moisturising Cream

This vegan friendly cream is great for easy application throughout the day. The pump action bottle makes it really convenient to use. It is gentle yet rich and creamy and it rubs into the skin easily. I love that although it is perfume free, the smell is not at all unpleasant. It smells very natural with chamomile, nettle, chickweed and calendula blended into a shea butter and hemp base.

Intensive Lip Balm

This handy little stick is the perfect rescue remedy for dry skin on the go. It's great for lips, but can be used on any dry skin. It is the same formula as the ointment and is rich and thick with intensive moisturising and nourishing qualities.

From the Hair & Scalp range:

Natural Shampoo

99.9% natural and suitable for vegans, this shampoo contains organic botanics, including nettle, calendula, chamomile and chickweed, to cleanse, nourish and condition.It is remarkably mild and gentle, soap free, unperfumed and free from petrochemicals, SLS and SLES. It does not contain any harsh detergents or synthetic additives that can strip hair of its natural oils and irritate the scalp. This shampoo is not only for those with sensitive skin, it is great for anyone looking to detoxify their haircare routine. The shampoo can be used on babies from six weeks as it is so pure and gentle. The shampoo does not lather up as much as regular shampoos that contain synthetic ingredients, but the gentle foam is very effective at cleaning. With regular use, hair will become softer and glossy as it won't have the build-up of product associated with the chemicals found in other shampoos. We like the mild scent and it is lovely to use (as long as you don't expect lots of bubbles!)

Natural Conditioner

This conditioner is 99% natural and is suitable for vegans. It contains organic hempseed oil, oat flour, chamomile and chickweed to soothe and condition hair. It feels a little different as it doesn't contain synthetic silicones so it is less slippery and less thick than ordinary conditioners. But it feels silky and nourishing and has a gentle natural fragrance.

The hair care range is great for Kezia as she gets eczema in her hairline, but it is also absolutely lovely for me to use. I love that it is natural and vegan friendly and caring.

Purepotions is genuinely one of the loveliest ranges we have tried for Kezia. It feels like it's been made with love and care. I only wish I had had it in my life 14 years ago when my then baby daughter's eczema would cause her so much distress and would bleed and become infected. It ticks all my boxes for being cruelty free, eco-friendly, natural and gentle but effective.

No wonder Purepotions has won the Natural Health International Beauty Awards 2017 for best eczema range!

Prices start at £4.99 for the Intensive Lip Balm to £18.00 for the Natural Shampoo. You can buy a Skin Salvation sample pack containing 3 x 5 ml samples of their core products for £5.00 with free postage, which is a good way to trial the Skin Salvation products.

Find out more at: www.purepotions.co.uk.

Friday, 18 August 2017

FreshX an environmentally friendly alternative to flushable toilet wipes

When I was a child, the loo paper we had to use resembled sheets of rough, greaseproof paper, which was absolutely horrible. I'm so glad that things have moved on in terms of absorbency, comfort and efficiency when it comes to toilet paper, but our desire for convenience and cleanliness is arguably going a bit too far. We all like to feel clean and fresh, but the current trend for personal hygiene is taking its toll on the environment with the increased usage of moist toilet wipes. Although they are labelled as flushable, the wipes don't break down like loo paper and can cause catastrophic and costly blockages in the sewer system. They negatively impact our environment with thousands washing up on the UK's coastline with a reported 400% increase over the last decade. With 1 billion wipes getting flushed away last year, this is a serious environmental issue and detrimental to marine life. In fact 45% of users admit to being worried about the impact of their flushable wipes. Thankfully, there is now a solution.

To combat this problem, without compromising on that feeling of cleanliness after going to the toilet, there is a brand new product hitting the shelves at Sainsbury's. New FreshX is a personal spritz that can be spayed directly onto toilet tissue transforming it into a moist, cleansing, soothing wipe. One bottle makes the equivalent of 300 individual wipes saving you money and helping protect the environment.

switch to spritz


FreshX is dermatologically tested and approved for even the most sensitive skins so is suitable for all the family. It is free from oil, sulphites, alcohol and parabens and is not tested on animals. It comes in two varieties using beneficial botanicals in the skin-loving formulations. The Fragrance Free variety contains Aloe Vera and White Tea, known known to promote healthy skin, plus the added benefits of vitamins E and B5. The Aloe Fresh variety includes Aloe Vera and soothing Cucumber plus vitamins E and B5.

You can wipe and flush with confidence, confident in the fact that you are not needlessly using unnecessary wipes that are harming our planet's future.

The FreshX Spritz is great for kids learning to be independent in the bathroom. Although it's not the same as using wet wipes, it gives a really nice alternative to wipes and is much better both economically and environmentally. If you use two sheets of good quality loo paper folded and spritzed with two to three sprays of FreshX, you have an effective way of staying clean after you go! I'll be keeping a bottle in each of my bathrooms from now on.

FreshX


The 150ml bottles of Spritz cost £3 and can be found at Sainsbury's instore or online. Find out more at www.freshx.co.uk.

Friday, 11 August 2017

A Laundry Revolution with Persil Powergems #extraordinarypowers

The summer holidays are in full swing, and although the sun seems to have missed the memo about bringing the good weather, I am trying to keep the kids entertained with activities and days out, so the six weeks aren't a total wash out. 

With this awful weather, things are however getting a bit messy. Playing in the garden in between rain showers, is resulting in lots of wet and muddy clothes because this persistent rain has turned my garden into a bit of a quagmire. Indoor activities (which we are having to do a lot of at the moment) such as arts and crafts and baking can get equally messy. This is resulting in lots of dirty laundry!

Thankfully, Persil has come to my rescue by sending me a kit to help me out, which includes their new revolutionary and unique laundry detergent: new Persil Powergems. This new game changing detergent has a brand new gem format and a powerful triple action approach to keeping clothing clean, fresh and cared for.  The Powergems are tough on stains, while protecting and caring for fabrics, making them perfect for the summer holiday dirty laundry pile. They also use fragrance release technology to give washing a long lasting fragrance and keep clothing smelling fresher for longer.

Persil


To test the power of the Powergems against things such as chocolate, grease and grass, Persil has challenged us to create some of those everyday stains that life can throw at family's clothing. Such activities as playing a family game of rounders, baking some chocolate brownies or painting a family portrait have the potential to get us pretty messy and inevitably soil our clothes. A perfect test for laundry detergent.

The Persil Ultimate Powergems are green and white or blue and white gems of laundry detergent that look different to any other product out there. They resemble confetti - but are definitely not recommended for throwing at weddings!

Persil, powergems


One concentrated dose, measured using the cap, contains the triple power to remove stains, care for fabric and intensify freshness. The packaging is compact and easy to store. They have a very fragrant clean scent. Placed directly in the drum, the Powergems disperse throughout the wash cycle and go to work straight away using their extraordinary powers!

One thing that I am particularly impressed with is the fact that the Persil Powergems has a child-proof twist and lock inner cap for extra safety. The gem format is also easy to use - no dealing with messy liquids or powders. Available in Non-Bio and Bio variants, they are available in 12, 19 and 30 wash packs.

I have been very pleased with the cleaning power of the Persil Powergems, especially when it comes to greasy stains. My whites are still looking white and my coloureds are bright, which is what I'd hope for from a detergent. Mud splashes, washable paint spills and dribbled food stains have all been dealt with effectively. Most noticeable to me has been the fragrance of my laundry. My washing is smelling very fresh and clean. This product is definitely a game changer.

The RRP of the Persil Powergems is £5 for the 12 wash, £8 for the 19 wash and £11 for the 30 wash packs.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Pass the Pigs this summer

Pass the Pigs is a classic game using two pig figures in place of dice, with the aim being to throw the pigs hoping that they land in a scoring position. With points scored for positions such as the trotter, leaning jowler, snouter and razorback, the first to score one hundred is the winner. Just be careful to avoid the Makin' Bacon position! There are two great ways to enjoy some Pass the Pigs fun this summer.

Pass the Pigs


The original Pass the Pigs game comes in a handy travel case and includes the pig dice, a score book, instructions and pencils. It's great for rainy days, games nights or for when on the go, with its pocket size format. It is suitable for 2 - 6 players aged 3 and up.

Pass the Pigs


The game is quite fast paced, easy to play and anyone can win, making it good for a range of ages and abilities to play together. Its compact size means it is easy to take anywhere for some piggy passing fun whenever you fancy a game. It is a good game for travelling or when on the road to keep kids entertained.

Pass the Pigs


There is now another way to enjoy Pass the Pigs - a giant, supersized version that will have everyone snorting with laughter!  With super cute, inflatable piggies, the fun is increased. The game comes with two blow up pigs, a scoring booklet, pencils, puncture repair patch and drawstring bag. It is perfect for taking away on holiday or for playing in the garden and is also good for indoor floor play if you have the space to toss the pigs.

Giant Pass the Pigs


The inflatable pigs are great toys in their own right and will be such fun in a pool or on a beach. For the game, you grab them both by the ear and toss them upwards to head height. How they land, dictates how many points you score. The score book has an illustrated guide to all the piggy positions. It is a lot of fun for all the family to enjoy together. From the youngest (3+) to the eldest, everyone can have a go at Giant Pass the Pigs!

Giant Pass the Pigs


Giant Pass the Pigs was recently featured on This Morning as an ideal game for keeping the family entertained this summer!  My family definitely agrees that it is a lot of fun. We've really enjoyed playing it and will be packing it when we go away on holiday later this year.
  
Giant Pass the Pigs


Pass the Pigs in £9.99 RRP and Giant Pass the Pigs is £14.99 RRP.  You can follow Pass the Pigs on social media: Instagram @passthepigsofficial and Twitter @passthepigsuk. Find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/passthepigs.

Pass the Pigs this summer

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Vac Man is back!

When Stretch Armstrong was relaunched, I was transported back to my childhood and excited to share some toy nostalgia with my children. Now, Character Options has brought back the super villain Vac Man to add even more old school fun to playtime. He joins Stretch Armstrong, Fetch Armstrong and Octopus for some super stretchy entertainment that the grown-ups will love as much as the kids!

Vac Man is a 14" fully stretchable and poseable vac powered action figure that can be stretched to four times his original size. He can have the air pumped out of him using the special syringe that fits into the side of his head and can then be stretched and posed and have his limbs cracked. By pressing the release valve button on the side of his head he can be returned to his normal state.

Vac Man


The Vac Man action figure is filled with non-toxic bead shaped filler. When in his original state he feels quite soft and squishy, but after the air has been sucked out, he turns hard and lumpy. Freddy calls him Warty Man because of the texture of his skin!!

vac man


Vac Man looks pretty impressive and vibrant with his red coloured body, sinister grimace and silver head gear. The syringe fits and locks into the socket on his head and can be pumped up to ten times. It gets quite tough to pull back the syringe, but the more you pump out his air, the better you can play with him, stretch him and crack him.

He is a very tactile, textural toy that Freddy enjoyed playing with. It can be manipulated into different positions and makes a satisfying, crunchy sound. It is good for sensory play and has an educational aspect as children learn about the effect of pumping out the air. It's an all round great toy that really sparked Freddy's imagination.

Vac Man


The valve to release his vacuum is easy to operate and he very quickly returns to his original soft form. Vac Man is sturdy and has a new stronger formula to his predecessor, however he has some care instructions that need to be adhered to, to avoid damage. You must avoid extreme temperatures, not pull his head, keep him away from water and avoid sharp objects. He must always be put away in his soft, non-stretched state to keep him in tip top condition.

vac man


Vac Man is suitable for children aged 5 and over. He retails for £29.99 and can be found on www.character-online.com. Great fun for kids and a nostalgic gift for the young at heart!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Num Noms Series 4

Get ready for the brand new Series 4 of Num Noms and a brand new Num Noms magazine! The cute, colourful, collectable scented Num Noms can be combined to create all new mix and match flavour and scent combos. With inspiration taken from desserts and baked goods (think cookies, cakes, creme buns, donuts and pies) new characters include Mocha Frappe, Madelyn Macaron, Jan-illa Creme and Razzy Froyo. 

Num Noms


There are some 4.1 starter sets including Cookies & Milk, Tea Party, Ice Cream Sandwiches and Frozen Yogurt packs. The Ice Cream Sandwiches range is mouthwateringly cute with three exciting new Nums. Terry Berrywich, I C Sandwich and Wintergreen Creme Nums bring the scent of strawberry, mint and chocolate together. They come with food inspired accessories such the Ice Cream Sandwiches' handy scoop and tray to make your own stacked Num Nom creations. Each starter pack also includes a flavoured lipgloss Nom.

The Dessert Tray Lunchbox has nine scented Nums plus one mystery Num and two flavoured glitter lip gloss Noms in an attractive box with a dessert spoon handle. Scents of birthday cake, pumpkin spice, vanilla, ice cream and sugar wafer combine. There is also a Sweets Sampler Lunchbox that includes even more sweet treats.  The mystery Num adds an element of surprise to your unboxing. Which mystery Num will you discover?

Num Noms


New glitter lip glosses bring some pizazz to the Noms, and with flavours such as B-Day Meringue, Orange Swirl and Bubbly Drop. They are not only fun but practical and nice to use too.

Also for Num Noms fans, there is a new official magazine out now! The monthly magazine boasts 36 pages and is packed with puzzles, competitions, colouring and comes with free exclusive Num Noms branded gifts and stickers and is aimed at 5 - 9 year olds. It's colourful and fun and is the perfect addition to the brand.

Num Noms


The starter packs are £9.99 and the Lunchbox packs are £15.99. Add them to your Num Noms collection and create thousands of different flavour and scent combinations.

Monday, 31 July 2017

The Boss Baby Out Now on DVD

From the director of  Madagascar and Megamind, Tom McGrath, comes a laugh out loud adventure-comedy all about family and belonging. THE BOSS BABY features the voice talents of an all star cast including Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow and Tobey Maguire.

Tim Templeton is a much loved little boy with a big imagination, whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of his new baby brother. He soon discovers that his problems go way beyond regular sibling rivalry, and his new brother is actually an undercover boss from a secret organisation called BabyCorp who is on an important mission involving Tim's parents and the launch of a new, super cute pet from their employers Puppy Co. Tim realises that if he helps the Boss Baby to complete his mission, he can get rid of him and go back to being an only child again. An exciting adventure ensues where Tim and the Boss Baby discover the evil truth behind Puppy Co and learn to work together to save the day, leading them to re-evaluate what it is that they really want in life.

The Boss Baby is heartwarming and hilarious in equal measure. Freddy aged 8 thought it was a "great, funny and imaginative" movie with his favourite part of the whole film being when the baby farts out talcum powder when Tim is getting him dressed. There is a lot of baby centric visual humour, which is very enjoyable and beautifully observed. The characters are interesting and the dynamic between Tim and the baby explores the subject of sibling rivalry, family, love and belonging. There is a lovely message in the film where we learn that there is always enough love in the world for everyone.  It really is a great watch for the whole family and perfect entertainment for the summer holidays.

The Boss Baby DVD


THE BOSS BABY Blu-ray™, Blu-ray 3D, 4K Ultra HD and DVD each include more than 30 minutes of extras, which we really enjoyed watching after the film:

●     NEW Mini Adventure: The Boss Baby and Tim’s Treasure Hunt Through Time ­– Narrated by Wizzie, the magical wizard. Join the fun as Boss Baby and Tim battle pirates, travel through outer space, swim deep into the sea, and go toe-to-toe with some ferocious dinosaurs!
●     The Forever Puppy Infomercial – Always playful, always snuggly, and everlastingly cute; the Forever Puppy is destined to win the cuteness competition with babies once and for all.
●     BabyCorp and You – Helpful advice and more for new infants on the job at BabyCorp.
●     Babies vs. Puppies: Who Do You Love? – Who has won the hearts of familes once and for all? This “scientific” experiment compares and contrasts factors such as “cuddliness,” “adorability,” and “attention grabbing techniques” used by both demanding competitors.
●     The Boss Baby's Undercover Team – From Staci, the note taker who can’t read, to Jimbo the huge baby who’ll take a suction cup arrow for the Boss, to the triple-threat of the Triplets, Boss Baby dives deeper into this team of cute corporate board members.
●     Cookies are for Closers: Inside BabyCorp – Go behind the scenes with Director Tom McGrath as he introduces us to BabyCorp, a secret organization of infants united for a common goal in
THE BOSS BABY.
●     The Great Sibling Competition – A fun, kid-friendly and humorous look at the competition among siblings to win the affection of their parents. Explore conversations with the cast and crew on their competitive sibling relationships and get very special insights from Boss Baby himself, Alec Baldwin.





DreamWorks Animation’s THE BOSS BABY is available now on Digital Download, Blu-ray and DVD, from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. 


Friday, 28 July 2017

The Boy with his Head Stuck in a Book

In the world of digital media, many children would prefer to pick up a smartphone or tablet rather than choose to read a book.  So Zappar has launched a new title to bridge the gap between technology and literature, with an augmented reality book for children aged 7 - 11 years, called The Boy With His Head Stuck In A Book. 


augmented reality, Zappar


The paperback book tells the story of an ordinary boy who is reluctantly dragged to the library one Saturday afternoon, where he discovers an ancient, mysterious book and quite literally gets his head stuck within its pages. He finds himself catapulted into a magical world filled with dinosaurs, ghosts, dragons and pirates as he tries to free his head from the book!


The Boy With His Head Stuck In A Book


Downloading the Zappar app allows readers to scan the pages and bring them to life. The images and characters are animated in this innovative digital pop up book. There are buttons to press to activate the scenes and the letters on the pages spin around the page.  It is definitely a great way to engage reluctant readers!


The Boy With His Head Stuck In A Book


The book references a whole host of classic titles, opening up young readers to a range of texts that they may wish to further explore. The referenced books include:

  • The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  • Red Riding Hood – Brothers Grimm
  • The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
  • The Iron Man – Ted Hughes
  • Peter Pan – J. M. Barrie
  • Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Harry Potter – J. K. Rowling
  • Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
  • A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
  • Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  •  Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • King Kong – Merian C. Cooper/Delos W. Lovelace
  • The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling
  • Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton
  • The Sword in the Stone – T.H. White



At only £5.99, this product is an affordable way of keeping children engaged with reading in an interactive way over the summer holidays.  The Zappar app is free to download from Google Play or the App Store. You can find The Boy with his Head Stuck in a Book on Amazon.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Lacura Sun Care Range - save money without compromising on quality

The summer holidays are here at last!  We are really hoping that the sun makes some appearances over the next six weeks, especially as Aldi has invited us to join their unofficial ‘Lacura Sunseeker’s Panel’. Aldi have sent us a selection of their Lacura suncare products to see us through the whole summer and we will be sharing our experiences on social media.

Lacura has a variety of sun care products that will ensure you can enjoy your summer, safely. The Lacura brand means top quality products at great value prices, with the Lacura SPF 30 sun spray recently being revealed as the lowest costing sunspray to pass the Which? SPF testing. When it comes to protecting the kids' skin, I don't want to compromise on quality, so knowing this is really reassuring. I can save money but be confident that the range is safe and reliable. 

sunscreen, sun protection, aldi


With a selection of creams and sprays suitable for a range of ages and skin types, there is something for every family member. The range includes:

•             Lacura SPF 30 Spray 200ml - £2.79 
•             Lacura SPF15 Spray 200ml - £2.79
•             Lacura SPF15 Oil Spray 150ml - £2.99
•             Lacura SPF 30 Lotion  200ml  - £2.79
•             Lacura SPF 15 Lotion 200ml - £2.79
•             Lacura SPF30 Kids Sun Spray 200ml - £2.99
•             Lacura SPF30 Clear Spray 200ml - £3.29
•             Lacura SPF50 Clear Spray 200ml - £3.29
•             Lacura Kids water resistant SPF50 Lotion 150ml - £2.79
•             Lacura SPF 50+ Kids Spray 200ml - £2.99
•             Lacura SPF50+ Sensitive Lotion kids/adults 200ml - £2.79 
•             Lacura Aftersun Spray 200ml - £1.99

As you can see by the prices, these are a fraction of the cost of high end branded sun creams and sprays, but yet the sun spray passed the Which? testing, letting you buy with complete confidence. The savings made can go towards treating the family during the summer holidays.  Now all I need is some lovely sunshine and I can get testing these products and sharing my thoughts!

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Our day out at the British Music Experience

We were lucky enough to be invited along to visit the British Music Experience, and as I have a family of music lovers, we happily accepted!  The BME. is housed in the Cunard Buildings in Liverpool and is a new attraction, perfect for guests of all ages.

The museum houses a collection of music memorabilia that tells the story of the evolution of the British music scene from 1945 to the present day. It chronicles the history of modern music from the early days of jazz and skiffle through the eras of rock 'n' roll and Beatlemania to the psychedelic sixties through punk rock and glam rock and right up to the present day. From Hendrix's guitar to Bowie's kimono to Suggs' anti-apartheid suit, there are some amazing pieces on display. Handwritten lyrics by Adele and Chris Martin feature alongside Leona Lewis's diamante microphone and the signed, Africa shaped guitar from Live Aid.

There are lots of interactive displays where you can listen to interviews, search news archives and discover musical facts from around the country. Big screens show photos and musical performances from a host of artists through the decades. The centre stage show transports you to the excitement of a live performance where you can experience iconic acts such as Amy Winehouse, Led Zeppelin and Elton John. A special performance by Culture Club's Boy George is given via the technology of a 3D hologram. There is a music trail that children can take part in as they walk around the displays, answering questions from each decade. Completed trails can be exchanged for a certificate.

BME


In addition to the collection of music memorabilia, the British Music Experience has lots of hands on activities. There is a dance studio where you can learn a dance from one of the featured decades. We had a try at some Ska dance moves made famous by Madness, dancing to One Step Beyond. We also recorded a vocal demo of the Cold Play song Yellow in the recording booth.

The Gibson Brands Interactive Studio is an amazing space where visitors can try their hand at playing keyboards, drums and guitars. We absolutely loved it. There are tutorial videos to follow and the staff are on hand to offer advice and encouragement. The instruments are brilliant and we all had a go at playing a host of electric, bass and  acoustic guitars, an electronic drum kit and a full length electronic piano. Ian loved the Epiphone 335 electric guitar. It was such a great place to have a go at playing quality instruments in a relaxed, fun setting.  

Roland drums

Roland

Epiphone, Gibson


My girls performed an impromptu duet playing songs together. The very lovely Abigail, who is one of the staff at the BME joined in, singing harmonies with the girls and chatting to us about music. Her knowledge and passion for music and her love and enthusiasm for her job shone through. She is a wonderful asset to the museum and made our experience really enjoyable.


Gibson, singing

Performing a duet at the BME


There are some craft workshops making dream catchers and interactive story telling and sing-along sessions going on as part of the Summer Holidays Programme at the British Music Experience, making the summer holidays a perfect time to visit for families.

Find out more at http://www.britishmusicexperience.com/.

Epaderm Junior Range #OneTwoFreeYourSkin

Epaderm is recommended by doctors as the number one prescribed ointment for eczema in the UK and when used for two weeks, Epaderm Cream is clinically proven to relieve the symptoms of dry skin. #OneTwoFreeYourSkin

As a mum who has seen three children suffer with eczema, I know from firsthand experience how horrible it is to see little ones suffer with dry, sore, itchy skin. My youngest daughter suffered terribly and still has scars from some of her worst flare ups. So hearing that Epaderm was launching a new junior range, I was interested in finding out how well it would perform. It claims to relieve symptoms and make improvements to skin hydration and smoothness in just two weeks and I'm willing to try anything that can help relieve a little one's suffering.

The Epaderm Junior range is suitable for babies and young children with dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, and has been specially developed by dermatologists. Epaderm Junior is free from nasty additives such as fragrance, colouring and SLS. Such additives can cause irritation and are best avoided.

The range offers complete emollient therapy with a 2-in-1 Epaderm Cream; a skin moisturiser and cleanser and a 3-in-1 Epaderm Ointment; a skin moisturiser, cleanser and bath additive. The cream comes in a pump action bottle and is lighter for daytime use and the ointment, which comes in a tub, is heavier for nighttime use.

We have been sent some for a trial and although both my youngest children's' skins are actually quite clear at the moment (a perk of it being summer) they still have some dry patches. We like the texture of the ointment, which feels a lot like a rich body butter. It is quite greasy, but feels nourishing on dry skin. It didn't sting at all, unlike some brands we've used in the past. The cream is very convenient in the pump dispenser and although lighter than the ointment is still quite heavy, staying on the skin and feeling hydrating. The multi-purpose nature of the products makes them a good substitute for soap, which is very useful when dealing with a child with eczema. The products are fragrance free meaning that although they don't smell great, they are made without unnecessary perfumes.

eczema cream


The new products officially launch today and are available in Boots where the 25g tub of ointment is £2.49 and the 150g bottle of cream is £7.29. These are well priced everyday emollient solutions for eczema, dry skin and psoriasis for kids of all ages.

Monday, 24 July 2017

The British Music Experience Launches their Summer Holidays Programme

Throughout the summer the British Music Experience in Liverpool will be welcoming families of all ages to come along and experience the story of British Music through costumes, instruments, performance, memorabilia and some special activities exclusively for the summer.

BME


During the school holidays the British Music Experience really does have something for everyone with highlights including the chance to get your hands on a top-flight electric guitar in the Gibson Interactive Instrument Studio, daily story time and sing along sessions for the little ones and fun craft sessions.

Open Sessions - 22nd July to 3rd September 1 pm-3pm
 Meet the Visitor Experience Musicians who are on hand every day from 1 – 3 pm in the Gibson Interactive instrument studio. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced musician, you can unleash your inner rock star with experts on hand giving valuable tips.

Story Time Sessions - Everyday at 1.30pm
Enjoy an interactive, fun for all the family, storytime session with a musical theme. Sing along to well-known tunes and embark on an adventure in the Summer of Love, meeting friends and helping solve some puzzles along the way. Suitable for all ages.

Craft A Dream Catcher - Everyday between 11am-3.30pm
In the spirit of the Summer of Love you can make your own dream catchers in a workshop that encourages kids to create a take home craft. Free and fun for everyone.

In addition to the activities, visitors can enjoy the museum, which has a collection which boasts outfits worn by legendary artists such as Freddie Mercury, Dusty Springfield, The Spice Girls, Adam Ant and X Factor finalists not to mention musical instruments played by some of the world’s most renowned artists from Noel Gallagher to the Sex Pistols. There are hand written song lyrics from Adele, the original statues from the Brits and the Apple Corp front door from Saville Row.

You can learn a musical instrument with the best music equipment available, from drum kits to keyboards and even try your hand on a Gibson guitar in the Gibson Brands Interactive Studio. Teenagers will love putting their singing voice to the test in the vocal booth while younger children can Dance the Decades in the dance pop routines studio.  Perfect for music lovers of all ages.

After the main event browse an exclusive range of gifts, clothing, books and memorabilia from the Merch Store or enjoy a selection of snacks and meals in the Star Café.

Tickets are available to buy online here and directly from the Box Office at The British Music Experience. 

Adult £16
Child Under 5 FREE
Child (5-15) £11
Concession £14.50
Family Ticket £43


For more information visit: http://www.britishmusicexperience.com/

Monday, 17 July 2017

Boost your energy this summer with Berocca

There is no denying that life can be tiring at times. Just this weekend I hosted a family barbecue for my son's birthday, catering for four generations of family. Two days were spent baking vegan cakes and biscuits, preparing salads, shopping for veggie burgers and sausages and decorating the house and garden in a Ninja theme. It was a fabulous weekend, but I am so tired today! 

family


Poor diet and lack of sleep can have a huge impact on our wellbeing and cause fatigue, lethargy and a lack of motivation.  Consequently, many of us are not enjoying life quite as much as we should be.
The Berocca Energy Report has been carried out to see how tiredness is affecting us as a nation.  66% of Brits view tiredness as their number one health concern and as a result, many of us are missing out on living our lives to the full.  Of the 2,000 people surveyed, 42% admitted that low energy levels were preventing them from trying new experiences.

The report was launched to encourage Brits to look after their own energy and fatigue levels, so they can be ready to embrace life’s opportunities.  It comes as a response to over half of the UK (52%) admitting that they cancel or avoid social engagements entirely due to feeling too tired.

Energy crashes are disrupting daily lives with top activities being missed out on including:
  • Trying new experiences (42%)
  • Meeting new people (35%)
  • Spending time with friends and family (28%)
  • Reading books (28%)
  • Going out for dinner (27%)


23% of  Brits report having regular energy spike and crashes, but two thirds of us (62%) want a natural energy solution that is not dependent on caffeine or sugar.

The Berocca Energy Report aims to inspire Brits to seek natural energy alternatives and embrace the activities they were once too tired to do. Getting fit  (36%), achieving personal goals (24%) and spending more time with the family (20%) are the things that those surveyed said they’d do more of if they had more energy.

To stay energised, one thing we can do is to make sure we are getting the essential energy releasing nutrients in our diet. Berocca, the UK’s No.1 energy and vitamin supplement, is packed full of 8 B vitamins  including vitamins B1 and B2 which work with your body to release your natural energy. They are suitable for vegans. Starting the day with a Berocca can help you feel energised, so you can stay on top form even when life gets busy, and embrace all the challenges that come our way.

Berocca


Berocca Energy Tablets are free from caffeine, sugar and artificial stimulants and are best taken as part of your morning routine to set you up for the day ahead. Simply drop one orange, mango or mixed berry effervescent tablet into water and wait for it to dissolve to make a fizzy, fruity flavoured, refreshing drink.

Berocca is available in tablet packs of 15 £4.85, 30 £7.39 and 45 £12.59, available from Boots.

For more information visit Berocca.co.uk or follow on Twitter (@BeroccaUK) and Facebook (@Berocca).  Follow the hashtag #BeMoreBerocca and start saying yes to more of life's opportunities.

family fun

Friday, 14 July 2017

SpinZipz Light Up Fidget Spinners

Freddy absolutely loves fidget spinners. The whole fidget toy craze has captured his imagination and he enjoys the focus that he gets from playing with them. The latest fidget spinners in his collection are the SpinZipz two blade, light up spinners from Zing.

fidget spinners


With coloured LED lights and stackable features, they are just the thing for everyday play. The lights automatically come on when the SpinZipz is spun, giving a double light effect with a different colour on each side of the spinner. You can connect two of the light up spinners to spin together, which looks particularly impressive in the dark.

SpinZipz


The SpinZipz can be spun between your fingers, balanced on one finger or spun on a flat surface. It is easy to double them up and spin two together. The two bladed spinner is small enough to easily tuck into a pocket, so you can carry one wherever you go over the summer, to keep you entertained.

spinner


The SpinZipz are smooth, well balanced, nicely weighted and comfortable to play with. Three bladed SpinBladez are also available.

SpinZipz are £7.99 RRP and SpinBladez are £9.99 RRP.  They come in a variety of colours and are available from Smyth's Toys.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Garnier Ambre Solaire Sun Protection for Kids

Summer is at last here and the sun is doing its very best to shine. We've had some lovely warm days so far this year, so I'm hopeful that 2017 might actually give us the summer we have all been hoping for. With this is mind, it's really important to make sure we have appropriate sun protection for our families to keep everyone safe from harmful UV rays. When it comes to children, their skin is very delicate and vulnerable, so it's important to make sure they are well protected when out in the sun. Garnier Ambre Solaire have a range of sunscreens designed especially for kids' skin, which are hypoallergenic and tested under paediatric control.

sun cream, summer


We received a selection to sample, which includes their top sun protection products for kids and babies.

Ambre Solaire Kids Sensitive Anti-Sand Sun Cream Spray SPF50 is a unique sun protection spray with a sand repelling action. It's perfect for the beach or sandpit as it helps avoid that itchy sand feeling. It is water resistant,non-sticky and absorbs instantly. The spray mechanism works continuously at all angles making it easy to use, even on wriggly kids!

Ambre Solaire Easy Peasy Kids Swim Protection Spray SPF50 is great to apply before hitting the beach or the pool. It is very water resistant and has a moisturising formula to protect delicate skin. It offers very high protection against sun-induced skin damage. The Ambre Solaire Easy Peasy Trigger Happy Spray SPF50 has a trigger action spray applicator for speedy application. It is very water resistant and instantly absorbs into the skin.

Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced Baby in the Shade SPF50 sun cream is a formula that is hypoallergenic, free from perfume and parabens and especially designed for babies' delicate, sensitive skin. It is enriched with a mineral filter for advanced protection against UVA and UVB rays. It gives extra protection to babies who are shading from the sun, and gives reassurance to parents, knowing that their little ones are properly protected. It comes in a convenient 50ml tube that is perfect for popping into your handbag or baby changing bag.

Whether you are on holiday or playing in the garden this summer, it is so important to keep children's skin protected from the harmful effects of the sun. Always make sure sun protection is applied 20 - 30 minutes before going outside and topped up immediately before leaving the house or hotel room, and then reapplied regularly.



Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Snowballing in July #snoballsinsummer

Snowball fights are always a lot of fun in the winter (if we get snow) but the downside is that you get freezing cold and soaked through. So what about bringing the fun of snowballing to the summer months? This is exactly what Zimpli Kids, the makers of Gelli Baff, have done with their new Snoball product, which allows you to have all the fun of snowballing without the need for winter weather.

The Snoball Battle Pack includes four 25g bags of powder that when added to water turn into a realistic looking, mouldable snow-like substance. Each bag makes 15 snowballs, so you get 60 snowballs altogether for some summer snowballing fun.

snowballs


The Snoballs are 100% bio-degradable, stain free and are non-irritant. So playtime is safe and fun!

snoballs


Freddy couldn't wait to have a go with the Snoballs. We made up one of the packets and had a good bucketful of the stuff to have a snowball fight in the sunshine. The 'sno' is soft and gooey so doesn't make a solid ball like real snow can, so they are completely safe to throw and won't cause any harm to whoever gets pelted!

snowballing


It really is good fun to have something safe to throw around, but with the same appeal of a snowball. It is less wet and messy than having a water fight, but equally fun. There is also a real novelty factor to having a snowball fight in summer!

Snoballs


Afterwards you can collect up the snow and put it in your general waste dustbin or leave it to degrade naturally and wash away. It is harmless to the garden.

It is a really fun product that allows you to enjoy snowball fights all year round! You can find the Snoball Battle Pack on Amazon and in Toys R Us, currently priced at £4.99 for a 60 SnoBall Battle Pack. Perfect for kids' parties or family summertime fun!

Monday, 26 June 2017

Tonka Tinys Mini Playsets - Blast & Dash Quarry Playset

This year marks Tonka's 70th Anniversary celebrating decades of keeping children entertained with their amazing toy vehicles.  My 28 year old son played with his Tonka truck as a child and now my 7 year old loves playing with it. They are toys built to last.

Tonka Tinys is the newest, exciting toy in the range. We recently reviewed the new Tonka Tinys three pack and blind garage packs of miniature scale, collectable vehicles. With over 20 Tonka Tinys vehicles to collect including police pick-ups, dump trucks and helicopters, there is a world of imaginative play for kids to enjoy.

Now, playtime is set to bring some big adventures on a tiny scale with Tonka Tinys playsets. Brand new for this year, Tonka Tinys have launched the Blast & Dash Quarry and the Car Crush playsets. They are scaled to suit the Tonka Tinys vehicles and are fully connectable.

Tonka


Freddy received the Tonka Tinys Blast & Dash Quarry playset to try out. The playset comes with an exclusive Tonka Tinys dump truck ready for action. Features include a toppling tower and working detonator for some explosive fun.

Tonka


The playset comes boxed and needs to be assembled. It is a bit fiddly to put the parts together and as you would expect from this type of playset, the assembled structure isn't very rigid (as it is meant to break apart during play) so can't be handled too roughly.

The playset looks pretty cool with a Tonka flag, a ramp that goes through the rock surround, a working barrier and a lift. It is all made in miniature making it the perfect size for any of the Tonka Tiny vehicles.

The exclusive vehicle that comes with the playset is a yellow truck with a working black dump bed and chunky wheels. You can load up the dynamite or boulder into the back of the dump truck.

Tonka


The detonation device consists of a push down detonator that fires the boulder from a launcher. We didn't manage to fire the boulder out of the launcher with any force, so it wasn't powerful enough to bring down the structure, but it was still quite fun to push down the plunger. Freddy said he thinks this part of the playset needed improving to make the boulder explosion look more like the one shown on the front of the box.

The lift carries the truck to the top of the tower. Pulling the lift up was a bit tricky and sometimes resulted in the tower toppling over. If the truck gets to the top of the tower it can then cross the bridge to the adjoining tower and whizz impressively down the ramp. (The ramp was Freddy's favourite part of the playset.)

Tonka Tinys Blast & Dash Quarry

Tonka Tinys Blast & Dash Quarry


The tower collapses to simulate an explosion at the quarry. The plastic structure tilts on its base  so it's simple to push it back into place afterwards. I thought this was a good idea because children don't need to continually rebuild that part of the structure from scratch to continue playing. However, as the structure is quite flimsy, the bridge and ramps sometimes fell off during play, which frustrated Freddy.

Tonka Tinys Blast & Dash Quarry


There is something so appealing about miniature toys. I absolutely love the Tonka Tinys vehicles and think they are well constructed with good detailing. The playsets make a nice addition to a child's collection, increasing the play value and providing an environment for the vehicles to use. The concepts of the two playsets: an explosive quarry and a car crushing junk yard, are exciting and thrilling to young imaginations. We just wish they were a bit more robust to withstand being played with. They are  however good to look at as part of a tiny model world.  A larger playset is due to be launched this autumn to add to the fun.

You can find the Tonka Tinys Blast & Dash Playset on Amazon (RRP of £9.99) and the blind garage packs are £2.49.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Plant For Peace - sowing the seeds of love

Since taking the step and becoming completely vegan, I have found that my whole outlook on life has changed way beyond just avoiding the consumption of any animal products or by-products. I think a lot more about my effect on the planet and try to source as many ethical, sustainable and compassionately produced products that I can. So when I heard about Plant for Peace, the new raw superfood fruit and seed bars, I was really impressed.

Plant for Peace bars come in three varieties: Mulberry Apple, Mulberry Chia Seed and Mulberry Cocoa Orange. They are 100% natural and packed with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. They are made using wholesome ingredients such as organic mulberries, seeds, apple and raisins with no nasty additives whatsoever. They are suitable for vegans and are a low calorie, nutritious and really tasty, fruity snack.

superfood bars, vegan


However, even more excitingly than having a new superfood bar on the market, Plant for Peace helps farmers in conflict zones in Afghanistan turn their lives around. The organic Mulberries in the bars are exclusively grown on small Afghan farms, enabling farmers to transform their fields from growing opium for the heroin trade, to growing fruit  for the superfood bars. All profits from the bars will be reinvested to fund further fruit tree planting, helping even more farmers to transform their lives. Plant For Peace aims to revive the agricultural industry which was destroyed during the war, and offer farmers an alternative and sustainable livelihood. I think this is an amazing initiative for everyone involved. As a consumer, I love knowing that my money will help support these farmers and this great cause - plus the bars are really good, healthy and vegan. Win win!

Plant for Peace bars cost £1.19 (£2.99 for box of 4) and are available from Sainsbury's in three flavours: Mulberry Chia, Mulberry Cocoa Orange and  Mulberry and Apple.

Plant for Peace

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