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Friday, 20 October 2017

Bonieri Sugar Free Luxury Chocolates

Bonieri chocolates are made with authentic Italian passion, using traditional recipes and highest quality ingredients including the Piedmont hazelnut. They produce a great range of delicious dairy free chocolates including their delicious vegan friendly gianduja pralines. They also offer a luxury sugar free gianduiotti chocolate for those following a sugar free diet.

vegan, sugar free chocolates, gluten free


Free from dairy, gluten and sugar, the Bonieri Sugar Free Gianduiotti offer a delicious chocolate treat for anyone with specific dietary requirements or for those looking for a healthier choice. There is no need to compromise on quality or taste. In fact, they have won a gold star in the Great Taste Awardswhere judges were "so impressed" that they were sugar free.

I received a Diva Box of the Bonieri Sugar Free Gianduiotti to try out. They come beautifully packaged in a sturdy tray style white box, tied with a black and gold ribbon. Inside, there are twelve individually wrapped chocolates.

vegan chocolate, sugar free chocolate, gluten free


Each triangular shaped chocolate is dark and glossy with a melt in the mouth velvety, smooth praline texture. The earthy, roast hazelnut flavour is balanced against the rich, fruity chocolate notes.

Bonieri Sugar Free Gianduiotti Diva Box


Bonieri chocolates are available online at bonieri.com or you can now get the Bonieri Sugar Free Diva Box from Holland and Barrett stores. The 110g box is £11.95. A perfect Christmas gift for anyone looking for sugar free chocolates for a loved one this year.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Num Noms Surprise in a Jar - new plush, scented Num Nom toys

Num Noms have added an exciting new product to their range of collectable, scented toys. The new Num Noms Surprise in a Jar sees the brand introduce huggable plush toy versions of favourite Num Nom characters that come squished into a cute, reusable, plastic mason style jar.

Num Noms Surprise in a Jar


The plush toys have the same delicious, food inspired names and fragrances as the original Num Noms. We received a jar containing the lovable Sadie Seeds, the pink strawberry scented Num Nom who wears a silky, green bow in her foliage! The plush toys are visible in their packaging, peeking out through the jar, so you know which one you are going to get, making it easier to collect the ones you want.

Num Noms Surprise in a Jar


Once the plush toy is out of the jar, it's surprising just how big and cuddly it becomes. (In fact I'm not sure you could never get it back inside the jar!) The toys are well made using soft materials and have the same detailing as the original Num Nom toys. With button eyes and nose, embroidered lashes and seeds, velvety leaves and silky bow, Sadie Seeds looks very sweet and her strawberry scent is very fragrant. Children will love to hug them and sniff these plushies!

Num Noms Surprise in a Jar


They will make ideal Christmas presents for Num Noms fans this year. The sweetly scented toys are perfect for little ones aged 3 and up or are a lovely, novelty gift for grown ups too. Num Noms collectors will enjoy adding these big cuddly Nums to their Num Noms collections. For play or display, these toys are an exciting addition to the ever growing range.

Num Noms Surprise in a Jar


As the jar is reusable, children can use it as a storage container. There is a coin slot on the front of the jar making it a lovely money box  to encourage children to save their pennies. It would also be perfect for using as a sweetie jar or for storing treasures. However, it made perfect sense for Freddy to use it as storage for his favourite little Nums!  I really like that the packaging is completely reusable rather than something that just gets thrown away. That is a real plus.

Num Noms Surprise in a Jar


You can find the Num Noms Surprise in a Jar toys at The Entertainer, Claire's, Toys R Us, Tesco and Amazon retailing at around £10.  Other plushes available in the Surprise in a Jar range include Sara S'Mores, Sprinkle Donut, Bella Bubblegum, Pinky Puff and Mint Cream.

JooMo Body Wash - healthy skin in 2 weeks

The JooMo brand has a new product which joins their range of 100% natural skincare. JooMo Body Wash is a 100% all natural product designed using skin bacteria (MIRR) technology to restore your skin's natural biodiversity and mobilise your natural defences to fight off disease and help prevent allergies. It can help solve skin problems such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis or roseacea and restores your skin's natural eco-system to promote healing.

Free from any nasty chemical additives and 100% preservative free, every ingredient is taken directly from nature. The 3 in 1 formula can be used to cleanse and moisturise the skin and for shaving, providing an all round skincare solution. It is suitable for all ages and skin types including sensitive. It is great for teenagers who will love the quirky design and the simplicity of the product.

The lovely all natural scent of the product comes from the orange and cinnamon ingredients, no artificial fragrances are used. It's easy to use - just pop a blob on your hand, rub gently into the skin and then wash off in the shower. Don't expect foam or bubbles, instead expect a wash with a soothing texture that leaves you feeling cleansed and soft. It doesn't strip away natural oils or cause any skin tightness or itchiness after use. You can see results in two weeks as your skin's healthy bacteria is restored.

natural skincare


There are many products on the market that claim to be 'natural' but shockingly they still contain harmful, synthetic ingredients such as parabens, perfumes, glycerin and preservatives. JooMo are challenging the skincare industry to clean up their act and stop misleading customers, while staying committed to producing 100% truly natural products with ingredients taken from nature without any chemical or physical changes made.

The 250ml bottle of JooMo Body Wash is £23.50 and is available online directly from JooMo.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Fun Fruity Ideas for #ChileanEasyPeelers

Now is the season of the easy peel seedless clementine and mandarin. No more battling those citrus fruits with flesh bound to skin is if by superglue. No more losing all the juice as you fight to retrieve segments from the tattered mess of pith and peel. No more spitting out pip after pip, wondering how on earth so many could be hiding in such a small sized fruit. Personally, for these reasons, I love the season of the Chilean easy peeler, which lasts from September until November. My family can now enjoy the sweet, juicy, easy to eat fruits for healthy and delicious snacking.

Chilean Easy Peelers


The clementine and mandarin are just such delicious, little members of the citrus family. Packed with goodness, they provide fibre, folate, vitamin C, potassium, calcium and magnesium. They are also 87% water, so are great for hydration too. A perfectly nutritious little package of orangey joy, which is just wonderful for kids.

Chilean Easy Peelers


I love giving the kids easy peel citrus fruit in their school lunch boxes. It's so convenient and time saving as they are ready to go straight from the fruit bowl. As they come in their own protective skin, they will stay fresh until its time to eat. Being easy to peel is such a bonus. It means that the kids can get into them all by themselves. Pop one in their lunchbox and you can rest assured that they will be able to manage to peel it and eat it unaided.


Chilean Easy Peelers


When I was a little girl, I used to play a game when peeling clementines and mandarins. We'd compete to make the best elephant shape by removing the skin in one complete piece. We'd create a shape resembling the ears and trunk of an elephant. Easy peelers are perfect for this game.

Chilean Easy Peelers


For the sake of nostalgia, I challenged my kids to make a fun shape, removing their peel in one whole piece.  As well as the classic elephant, they also made a starfish, a man and an octopus design using the peel, so now we have more shapes to create. Making the peeling process fun, means that Freddy is now even more likely to peel and eat his fruit at school, impressing his friends on the way with his mad peeling skills!

Chilean Easy Peelers


Chilean Easy Peelers


Another fun thing to do with the lunchbox easy peeler, is to write a message or draw a funny face onto the skin with a Sharpie marker. It's nice to personalise lunch in this way, letting your little one know that mummy or daddy is thinking of them while they at school. With Halloween fast approaching, they can be decorated as adorable little pumpkin Jack O' Lanterns, adding some spooky themed fun to lunchtime. Using little stickers on the peel is another nice way of personalising lunchtime adding some fruity fun for little ones to enjoy.

Chilean Easy Peelers


Anything that encourages kids to eat more plant based foods is a good thing. So finding fun ways for children to enjoy fruit, will help them to make healthy choices that will last a lifetime. The Chilean Easy Peelers are a great product that kids will most definitely love - from the peeling to the eating!


This post is an entry for the BritMums #ChileanEasyPeelers Challenge, sponsored by Chilean Citrus Committee.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Rave-A-Roo review - Kids. Play. Rave. Repeat.

On Sunday morning we went along to Selfridges at the Trafford Centre in Manchester, so Freddy could take part in an exciting Rave-A-Roo kids' party event.  Rave-A-Roo is a daytime, mash-up music festival for children with a live DJ, madcap party hosts, inflatable toys, bubbles, confetti cannons, crafting, fun and games. It's a high energy event to entertain the whole family, with old skool tunes and clubbing hits.

Rave-A-Roo


The party hosts, including Jungle Jane and Disco Duck, entertained the kids using a mixture of music, dance and storytelling. With props such as inflatable ducks and bananas, hula-hoops, beach balls and bubble machines, the scene is set for little ones to immerse themselves in the party atmosphere. They used their imaginations to join Jungle Jane and her friends on a trek to the jungle, sailing their boat across the sea to the tune of Oops Upside Your Side (that brought back memories!) and played a game of Sleeping Tigers. The children also enjoyed bashing a dad volunteer with inflatable bananas!

Rave-A-Roo


As well as the dancefloor and the madcap antics, kids can also take part in some crafting activities. Freddy decorated a pair of fancy sunglasses with some bling and did some neon clay modelling. He also had his face painted with some day-glo facepaint, perfect for the clubbing scene. There were also some healthy refreshments to keep the kids energised. Rave-A-Roo is a well structured event for children with a great balance of high octane activities and opportunities to chill out and get creative.

Rave-A-Roo


The finale of the show included confetti cannons firing confetti into the crowd of dancing children. It was really impressive and Freddy loved it. Seeing the kids all jumping up and down in the multi-coloured cloud of rainbow confetti was wonderful.

I was so proud of Freddy for joining in and taking part. He can be quite shy in crowds, but the hosts were so engaging and involved all the children making them comfortable and eager to be a part of the fun. The volume levels were not too high, making it good for little ears. We had packed Fred's ear defenders in case the music was too loud for him, but he didn't need them.

Overall, we were really impressed with the Rave-A-Roo event. They are for children aged up to 10 years old, and Freddy at 8 was definitely an ideal age for it. We were able to sit and watch him having fun, while enjoying a cup of complimentary coffee. Parents of younger children were on the dance floor with their little ones.

I would definitely recommend the Rave-A-Roo experience for children. I'll be keeping an eye out for future Rave-A-Roo events! Freddy absolutely loved it.

Find out more at www.rave-a-roo.com/.

Schleich Dinosaurs - Large Skull Trap with Velociraptor

New to the Schleich Dinosaurs collection is the dinotastic Large Skull Trap with Velociraptor playset, which promises some exciting pre-historic adventures for young dinosaur fans to enjoy. It is part of a range of realistic dinosaur figures and accessories that combine to recreate through play, the days when the dinosaurs ruled the world.

Shleich Dinosaurs Large Skull Trap


The Schleich Large Skull Trap set includes a Velociraptor figure, which features movable arms and jaw, along with a Compsognathus and a bearded dragon lizard so you can begin playing straightaway. The giant fossil-like skull makes the perfect play location for children to explore. The realistic looking, sharp toothed skull opens up, allowing the hollow cavity inside to be used as a trap for canny dinosaurs to catch their prey. The trap snaps shut when the tip of the skull's nose is pushed downwards, making some interactive, jaw dropping action to inspire imaginative pre-historic play. Budding paleontologists will love to act out a Jurassic adventure with the Velociraptor using the lizard as bait to catch the larger Compsognathus!

Shleich Dinosaurs Large Skull Trap with Velociraptor


The skull and the dinosaurs are made to Schleich's usual very high standard. The detailed models are of an excellent quality and are each lovingly hand painted to create a toy that will look great on display when not being played with. The dinosaurs look so realistic with their textured skin, sharp claws, teeth and colouring. The skull itself is very sturdy and well made and the jaw and teeth are rubberized to avoid fingers getting trapped.

Shleich Dinosaurs Large Skull Trap with Velociraptor


I really like this playset. The quality of the skull will see years of play and it looks so impressive with its detailing and large size. All three of the dinosaur figures fit inside when the jaw is closed, making it easy to store the pieces together. The opening angle of the skull can be adjusted to two positions and the mechanism feels really strong and secure. There is nothing flimsy about this toy, it is such good quality.

Shleich Dinosaurs Large Skull Trap with Velociraptor


At £24.99, the Large Skull Trap with Velociraptor would make a great Christmas gift. It is a standalone toy in its own right or will be an excellent addition to an existing dinosaur collection, adding a new dimension to playtime. It is recommended for children aged 4+ but will suit children much older due to its realism and collectibility.

Shleich Dinosaurs Large Skull Trap with Velociraptor


 Find out more and discover the Schleich Dinosaurs collection at www.schleich-s.co.uk.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Thor figurine from Schleich

It's such a great time to be a superhero fan these days. All the recent superhero films, games and merchandise, have captured our imaginations, renewed our love for old favourites and brought many new and exciting characters to our attention. Whatever your age, everyone can have a favourite superhero.

Schleich, producers of detailed, hand-painted models, have a range of excellent Marvel figurines to collect, including Spider-man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, Dr Strange, Venom, Falcon, Iron Man and Green Goblin. One of the latest editions to this super Schleich collection is the mighty Thor!

Based on the titular character in the upcoming Marvel movie, Thor: Ragnarok (which is in cinemas from 27th October) the figurine is an excellent likeness with his signature weapon, his hammer Mjolnir. Thor stands on a rock with his hammer held aloft, in a powerful stance. He wears his superhero costume, complete with cape and helmet.

Schleich Marvel Thor


The Thor figurine stands at just over 7" tall and is well designed and beautifully detailed. It is perfect for grown-up collectors and superhero fans, and for children who will enjoy recreating movie scenes and assembling their Avengers to fight against evil forces. The figures will look great on display in any kids' bedroom, where they will be ready for action.

Schleich, Marvel, Thor


As with all Schleich figurines, the quality is excellent and the figurine comes boxed, making a lovely gift idea for Thor fans of all ages.

The Thor figurine is £9.99 and is suitable for ages 4 and up.

Find out more and see the whole range of Marvel figurines at www.schleich-s.co.uk.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Introducing Nergi - the Kiwi Berry

I love fruit and vegetables and enjoy eating plenty of both as part of my plant based diet. I thought I knew most of the produce available in the UK, until I received a package containing some wonderful looking little green fruits, called Nergi Berry Fruits. Also known as the Kiwi Berry, they are a vivid fresh green colour with an edible outer skin.

kiwi berry


Inside, they look like a mini kiwi fruit with green flesh and blackish seeds around a white centre, however they do not have the fuzzy skin that kiwis have. Slighty larger than a big grape, they can be popped in your mouth whole. They have a delicious sweet, fruity and slightly tart flavour and are 100% natural.

Kiwi Berries


Nergi Berries are now in season until November. The little green berries are a superfruit packed with antioxidant vitamins C and E, contain dietary fibre and trace minerals and are just 52 calories per 100g, making them a healthy choice for snacking. More robust and less messy than other berries, they are great for eating on the go.

The Nergi Berry has existed in the wild for centuries, and with careful cultivation and natural pollination, they are now being grown using sustainable practices in small farms in France, Portugal and Italy, where they are handpicked when ripe. You can find them in supermarkets now (I saw them in Lidl and Tesco this morning packaged as Kiwi Berries) sold in 125g punnets, containing approximately 15 fruits.

My kids loved them. Kez said they were like a cross between a 'grape, a cherry tomato and a kiwi' which I think is a very good description. They would look wonderful in a fruit salad cut in half, but we just ate ours on their own as an after dinner snack. I love discovering new things to eat, and will definitely be buying more before the 2017 season ends on the 15th November 2017. They are a great addition to a modern, healthy lifestyle.

Find out more about this superfruit at http://nergi.info/en/get-to-know-me/.

Monday, 18 September 2017

A Unique, Handcrafted Gift to Celebrate Your Family - Family Birthstone Drops

With Christmas fast approaching (yes, we are now less than 100 days away from the big day!) my thoughts are turning towards Christmas planning. This year, I am looking at ways to create a more compassionate and sustainable festive season, and will be sourcing more food and gifts from independent businesses that share my ethics and values. I love the idea of giving unique, personalised gifts that are lovingly made by craftsmen, rather than things that are mass produced in factories.

Something that perfectly ties in with my Christmas wishes this year is this beautiful, handcrafted birthstone family tree set in a tactile wooden drop.

Hand crafted gifts, bespoke gifts, sustainable gifts


Made using reclaimed and repurposed woods such as mahogany, each Family Stone Drop begins as a hand carved ergonomic and tactile wooden drop. The ornaments are then handset with the birthstones of your family, configured in an arrangement approved by you, to create a bespoke piece that is completely unique and as individual as you are. Each creation comes with a numbered and dated certificate, in a beautiful presentation box.

Hand crafted gifts, bespoke gifts, sustainable gifts


My Birthstone Family Tree has the gemstones of Ian and I at the top, with my five children and two grandchildren included below us. Each of the three generations portrayed has a different sized stone, ours being the biggest and my two grandbabies having the smallest stones. It's a beautiful representation of our bloodline at this moment in time, displayed in a very unique way.

Hand crafted gifts, bespoke gifts, sustainable gifts


I love having something that represents the people I love most in the world that I can display in my home. It's a great talking point! I also find it very comforting to hold, making me feel close to everyone. It really is so tactile and feels so nice in my hand. There is something about wood; the warmth, the texture and the smell, that I love. And knowing that this is made using specially sourced, reclaimed wood makes it eco-friendly, creative recycling at its very best.

The family stone drop would make a wonderful gift for any parents and grandparents this Christmas. The presentation of the piece makes it perfect for giving. The unique design and loving craftsmanship makes something precious to treasure for years to come.

Hand crafted gifts, bespoke gifts, sustainable gifts


The birthstone family trees will soon be available to order on Etsy but if you want to express an interest or find out more, you can find the talented craftsman behind the product on Facebook, where you can drop him a message!

Hand crafted gifts, bespoke gifts, sustainable gifts

Planning my Christmas Countdown with Elves Behavin' Badly

It's that time of year again, when the first thoughts of seriously having to prepare for Christmas really begin to niggle at the edge of your mind. We know from experience that the last few months of the year quite literally fly by, so being prepared is the key to getting through the festive season without too much undue stress. So, now the kids are back at school, I'm doing my best to make lists and make plans in readiness for Christmas.

Usually I buy advent calendars for my children to countdown the days to Christmas, but this year I have other plans and am going to be trying something new and exciting thanks to Elves Behavin' Badly inviting me to be an official blogger for the 2017 season. They sent us some lovely Elves Behavin' Badly goodies to try out so we can join in with the fun world of the mischievous Christmas elves. This is perfect timing for us as we have become fully vegan this year, so the usual cheap chocolate confectionery is being taken off the menu. This new Christmas countdown idea will be a great alternative this advent.

Elves Behavin' Badly


The elf phenomena has been going for a few years now, but this will be my first committed foray into sharing some inventive elf adventures in the run up to Christmas, to entertain and amuse my children. Each day in December I will be getting creative with the elf goodies I have received, pulling pranks, playing games and having interactive fun with the cheeky elves. Every morning there will be a new scenario for the kids to discover. Much more exciting than opening a cardboard window for a morsel of chocolate! 

elf on the shelf


Elves Behavin' Badly has an unbelievable range of elves and accessories, to make Christmas 2017 the most exciting yet! The original 12" dolls are being joined by a jumbo 26" version and a teeny 5" baby elf. They have original elves with velcro hands as well as fully poseable, bendable deluxe figures.Twin elves, Elfie and Elvie are available as a boy and girl pair for double trouble. Plush elves are joining the vinyl faced elves this year for little ones who prefer their elves more cuddly and a cuddly reindeer friend Rudie has also joined the team. There is even a risque black and grey dressed elf for some naughty adult elf frolics! The scope for some fun filled elfcapades just keeps growing.

Elves Behavin' Badly


The range of accessories is huge with an elf sleigh, advent counter, bed, blanket, swing, elf door, post box and even a dummy security camera among the offerings. There are art sets, decorations, stationery and novelty items available so we can immerse ourselves in the Elves Behavin' Badly phenomena throughout December.

The beauty of the Elves Behavin' Badly as an advent idea, is that it encourages children to be good. Although the elves themselves may get up to some mischief overnight, children know that the elves report back to Santa with news on how they are behaving in the run up to Christmas. All children want to be on the 'Nice' list, so hopefully the arrival of the elves will encourage best behaviour all round.

The Elves Behavin' Badly website has some great inspiration with lots of ideas for elf antics. Also check out elvesbehavinbadly on Facebook and Instagram. I'll be sharing some of my favourite elf escapades throughout December, so keep an eye out for my Elves Behavin' Badly Christmas Countdown!




Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Oral-B Pro 2500 Electric Toothbrush Review

I have managed to get to 48 years of age without needing a single filling, which is something that I am pretty proud of. The importance of dental hygiene is something that I have always instilled in my children from a young age, and so far all five of them have managed to avoid getting any cavities. 

We were sent an Oral-B Pro 2500 electric toothbrush with a 3D whitening brush head to try out courtesy of Pure Smiles, a Fulham based family run dental practice specialising in treatments to make you feel good about your teeth. 

Electric toothbrushes give up to 100% more plaque removal than manual toothbrushes and the compact, round head cleans better for healthier gums in just 30 days. The light up pressure sensor of the Oral-B Pro 2500 alerts you if you brush too hard, helping to keep gums protected and avoiding gum recession. The Pro 2500 has a two minute timer to make sure you are brushing for long enough (the average adult only brushes for 45 seconds so this is a very good reminder.) It pauses every 30 seconds prompting you to move on to the next area of your mouth for thorough cleaning. There are two modes to choose from: daily care and gum care mode. Gum care mode controls the brushing pressure and includes a massage mode. The Oral-B Pro 2500 can help give you a whiter smile as of day one by gently removing surface stains with its arrangement of bristles and its 3D polishing action.

The electric toothbrush is rechargeable and comes with its own charging station. One charge will last for 28 minutes, which is a week's brushing. The charger plugs into a 2 pin shaving adapter. There is a handy travel case included making it ideal for using on holiday, providing solid protection for the toothbrush and two heads.

The Oral-B pro is really nice to use, making my teeth feel cleaner and making me more aware of my brush time and helping me avoid overbrushing and gum damage. Switching from manual toothbrushing to electric takes a little getting used to, especially with regards to how much pressure you use to clean your teeth. The electric toothbrush requires a much lighter touch, but knowing that this is protecting my already receding gums is reassuring. It is a simple brush that is very effective performance wise. It is compatible with other Oral-B toothbrush heads including the floss action, cross action, sensitive clean and trizone, for every oral care need. Oral-B is the number #1 brand recommended and used by dentists worldwide, so I feel very confident using this electric toothbrush.

This is a good value electric toothbrush (currently £36 on Amazon) which is also available in black with a cross action brush head.

electric toothbrush


Contents: One electric toothbrush handle with two modes, charger, premium travel case, one toothbrush head, ships with UK 2 pin plug.

Oral-B offers a 30 day challenge, guaranteeing satisfaction and  the toothbrush comes with a 2 year limited warranty.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Become a Singing Superstar with The Rocket Singing Machine

I have a family that absolutely loves music. The kids sing, dance, play instruments and perform at any given opportunity. So when we were offered the chance to try out the new Rocket Wireless Singing Machine from Character Options, we were delighted to put it through its paces.

This high tech mic is an all in one music experience set to revolutionise how we interact with our favourite songs. Perfect for parties, anyone can feel like a singing superstar as they sing along to top tracks and latest hits. The device can link wirelessly via Bluetooth to any Windows, iOS and Android Smart device, and is able to play music from any online streaming service, your music library, YouTube or karaoke apps. The light up base and hi-tech design make this a very exciting product for families to enjoy together, from little ones aged six and above (with supervision) to music loving teenagers to the young at heart!

Rocket Mic


The Rocket Singing Machine has a speaker on one end and an amplifying microphone at the other. It comes with adjustable voice enhancing echo, mic noise cancellation and volume control and includes a headphone jack. It can be used as a stand alone wireless speaker or as a novel karaoke machine. You can even connect it to Siri and ask questions or request songs from up to 10 metres away!

Could You Be A Rocket Star?

The Rocket Singing Machine has an exciting competition to find a star to become the face of the Rocket Mic. Simply send in your child's best singing video to the Rocket Star page by 11.59 pm September 24th 2017 for the chance to win cool prizes including a Rocket Singing Machine of your own. Click through the image for more details.



We have had such fun with the Rocket Singing Machine. To get started you need 3 AAA batteries (which are not included) and it is then super easy to pair to your smart phone or device. We used Freddy's Spotify playlist and he was quickly able to sing along to his favourite songs with the vocal effects adding an echo to his voice.

Rocket Mic


The ergonomic design is nice to hold and the sound quality is good. It definitely creates a party atmosphere and is very easy to use. Everybody enjoyed their moment in the spotlight singing along to their favourite songs. The fact it can also be used as a standalone Bluetooth speaker, for karaoke or as a standalone microphone gives it multiple uses. The space age design with the light up base is cool and quirky

Rocket Singing Machine


The Rocket Singing Machine is available in pink or white and retails at £29.99 and is available online here.

To find out more about the Rocket Star competition and how to enter your children's singing video visit: www.therocketstar.co.uk.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Neatlynamed - Name labels for kids' clothing and belongings

According to new research, commissioned by Neatlynamed, manufacturers of labels for children’s clothing and belongings, mums spend a staggering £1,589 replacing items lost by their kids before the age of ten - and spend nearly two days in total looking for them. Having had five children myself, I can definitely agree that we have misplaced hundreds of items over the years.

The research of 1,000 mums with children aged three to ten found the average child misplaces a total of 483 belongings between the ages of three and ten - with hats, jumpers and cuddly toys among the most commonly lost items, with 62 % of possessions NEVER being found again.  55% of mums admitted that losing items can sometimes be traumatic. I remember my daughter losing her favourite cuddly toy dog and spending hours on Ebay trying to find an identical replacement. Definitely a bit traumatic!

School or nursery is the place children tend to lose things most often. My children have definitely lost plenty of items of school uniform, gloves, hats, PE kits and coats during their time at school. However other items seem to simply disappear when playing inside at home, with the fridge, tumble drier or the roof of the car being common places for these missing items to later turn up. 50% of those surveyed said they have known their little ones to lose items within just 20 minutes of getting them for the first time. Another finding that I can relate to! One of my daughters lost her brand new Minnie Mouse sunglasses within minutes of buying them.

Four in ten mums admit they’ve had to replace the same item repeatedly and 47% of kids have even lost items belonging to their mother.  Only 16% of mums believe that their little ones really appreciate the value of their belongings, although personally (like a third of mums) I think that most children simply don’t consider the possibility of losing things and inadvertently mislay them. 60% of mums think that losing items as a child helps them to appreciate the value of things later in life.

Thankfully, three quarters of mums put name labels on their youngster’s belongings to help prevent them becoming permanently lost with 64% of those polled saying items initially lost and subsequently found had name labels on them.  I have always labelled my children’s belongings and have retrieved numerous items from the lost property basket at school thanks to them having my children’s names on them.

The cost of sending children back to school with the cost of new school bags, uniforms, stationery, lunchboxes and water bottles is pretty huge.  So it is important to protect their belongings by clearly labelling everything. In a school you can get hundreds of identical objects and other children can easily pick up the wrong sweatshirt or cardigan. Name labels increase the chance of misplaced belongings finding their way back home again.

name lables, back to school


Neatlynamed provides a range of self-adhesive stickers and name labels designed for children’s clothes and personal items. This includes its Peel ‘n Stick clothes labels, iron-on labels and shoe and sock labels as well as stickers for marking personal belongings. All labels can be personalised with a child’s name, choice of colour and an icon.

Neatlynamed has also launched its new range of Disney themed clothing labels to help engage children in looking after their items and ensure they are easily identified. The new brightly coloured labels feature some of the most popular Disney characters including those from Cars, Planes, Frozen, Disney princesses as well as Mickey Mouse and friends.

I received some of the labels to make sure my children's belongings are properly named. I absolutely love the Peel 'n'n Stick clothes labels as they are so easy to use. No need to get out the iron or the sewing kit, you simply stick them to the care label inside the item and they attach to it securely. They can withstand the laundry process for about 8 months and are swimwear safe. The personalisation allows for a cute icon to feature alongside the child's name, adding a fun element for children to get involved in. Freddy chose a cool little monster for his labels. 

The new Disney labels are really lovely and feature a whole host of Disney favourites. With labels suitable for either clothing or belongings, Disney fans will love labelling up all their things ready for the new school term. We love the characters and the appealing designs and they come in a useful variety of shapes and sizes.

Ordering is very simple online and delivery was speedy and at n extra cost. The labels are of a high quality with good, clear printing.


You can check out the full range of products and place an order at www.neatlynamed.com.

Our Bank Holiday BBQ - the etiquette of last minute alfresco dining

An unexpected sunny Bank Holiday Weekend has seen many of us Brits hosting a last minute, impromptu barbecue or picnic, making the most of the late summer alfresco dining opportunity. We were no exception. We decided to dust off the barbecue and gather the family to enjoy vegan burgers, sweetcorn, chips and dips and salads in the sunshine. A lovely way to spend the day with good food and good company before the kids go back to school next week.

vegan barbecue


Sainsbury's have been looking into the nation's attitudes to alfresco dining and have asked 2000 people about their outdoor dining habits. The results found that 90% of those asked consider themselves to be good guests at friends' and family barbecues. 45% would never muscle in on the barbecue cooking uninvited, 35% will top up drinks for other guests and 32% consider dressing up as a top attribute for attending a summer event. However, 60% of those asked said that they enjoyed the relaxed attitude that comes with picnicking and barbecues, suggesting that fun wins out over formality and we are happy to throw out the etiquette rule book. We definitely enjoy kicking back and having fun with our food!

There are of course some annoyances associated with eating outdoors. Worrying about the unpredictable British Weather (78%), not having enough seating (69%), not knowing how many people to cater for (63%) and the fear of animals or seagulls stealing the food (60%) are among the top peeves when it comes to hosting a BBQ. Although for us it was the wasps, which were our biggest annoyance, sending the kids running for safety several times with the black and yellow buzzers chasing after them! A definite downside of being outdoors.

The other concern that seems to affect us when dining alfresco is how to fit all the guests, the bowls and plates of food and the condiments around the table. Sainsbury's have coined the term "Table Squish" to describe the act of squeezing everything in, likening it to a game of Tetris. We definitely filled our space to full capacity and ended up using foldable chairs alongside our garden furniture to fit us all in. But it all adds to the fun of the occasion. For me, laughter, family and delicious vegan food are the perfect ingredients for a successful family barbecue. With some help from Sainsbury's who stock a great range of food for hosting the perfect vegan barbecue (including their meat free frozen burgers and brilliant vegan cheese range, which are absolute must-haves) we definitely enjoyed a relaxed, informal lunch out of doors.

You can find out more about Sainsbury's at www.sainsburys.co.uk.


Monday, 28 August 2017

A Dog's Purpose Out Now on DVD

If you are a dog lover looking for a heartwarming movie for the family this summer, then A Dog's Purpose is a good choice. A dog tries to discover his purpose and the meaning of his own existence through the many reincarnated lives that he goes through and the many humans he meets.

A Dog's Purpose


The dog develops an unbreakable bond with a boy Ethan, who saved him from a hot car when he was just a puppy. The dog, Bailey, helps his boy through the years, a constant companion through family troubles, girlfriends, the good times and disappointments. He's always there through the laughter, love and tears. And even when life takes an unexpected turn, Bailey stays loyal and faithful to his boy. As time goes on, it's time for Bailey to begin more brand new reincarnations, but the bond he has with Ethan continues, and their paths are destined to cross again helping Ethan find true happiness and helping the dog realise his true purpose.

The film is narrated through the words of the dog, voiced by Josh Gad. It is a really novel idea that the dog is constantly reincarnated, creating several sub stories as he goes through different lives with different owners. From a police dog, to a stray, to a spoiled pup, to a family pet, the dog goes through lots of interesting experiences. There are plenty of funny moments and visual comedy throughout the film, with the dog getting into mischief and causing trouble. But there are also lots of very dramatic and emotional scenes that pull on the heartstrings. It's a beautifully crafted story with great casting and talented canine actors.

A Dog’s Purpose is available on Digital Download, Blu-ray™ and DVD now, courtesy of Entertainment One.

            


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.

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