Friday, 30 November 2012

Micro Scooters Aid Programme

It is lovely to hear in hard financial times companies still finding the heart to be charitable, to help those very deserving people in the world who frankly have so much less than lots of us do.  We might think its tough but we are blessed compared to many of the children in the third world, who would be grateful for anything new to play with.   Micro Scooters are supporting Tumaini Children’s Home in Kenya, a children’s orphanage by sending them their recycled scooters you donate so they can enjoy the physical exercise and the thrill and excitement of a new toy.



I am going to donate my son’s Mini Micro scooter we reviewed as I have bought him a Maxi Micro (he was just a tad too heavy for his Mini bless him), I think there is nothing more rewarding than helping others and thinking that little scooter will be bringing enjoyment to another child on the other side of the world, a child who has had a very tough start to life.  I have seen how much my boys love whizzing around on their scooters, I am grateful that Micro Scooters are letting me have an opportunity to help.  I like the sound of this programme because Micro Scooters have actually visited this orphanage, so you know they have chosen a worthy place for the scooters you donate, somewhere it will make a real difference.



You can find out more about the scheme on their website.

But in essence donating a scooter will cost you nothing, you can print off a free return label off the website and then glow with pride for helping.  Only Micro Scooters own scooters can be accepted (whether they are old, broken or just unused!), as they have the correct parts for these so can fix them up as new including the all important safety checks.  You can even add a letter with the scooter you donate, which I think is even more special and my boys will enjoy helping me with that.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Be a Superhero and Win!

Do your little ones love dressing up? Mine do, although sometimes they do come up with strange and interesting combinations, youngest was modelling a hardhat, complete with colourful feathers, a batman mask, a train driver top and Red Indian bottoms the other day (he looked interesting to say the least!).  Luckily we were sent a proper outfit for eldest to enter this fabulous competition launched by Rubie’s the fancy dress manufacturer.

Here is he looking very dashing as Thor, taking on a sneaky villain (in the shape of daddy!) with his improvised hammer of Thor (a toy rake and tin foil, viola instant ownage!).


You can enter the competition too through their website, your costume can even be handmade so no excuse not to enter but be quick, the competition closes on the 7th of December.  The winner will enjoy an action-packed, Avengers-themed Superhero activity day at a local Kidspace play centre with four friends!  In addition to the winning prize, the first fifty entrants will also receive a free copy of the latest Marvel movie, Avengers Assemble, on DVD or Blu-Ray, so yet another great reason to enter!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Lawn Croquet Set Review

Garden Games sent us one of their croquet sets to review, we spent a pleasant time outside until our game was threatened off by rain (that and youngest starting using the mallet as a weapon) and we retreated indoors again to warm up!


It is a strong set that will go the distance for many a year (even with the added drama of the mallets being used for anything but the intended game!).  We have left it at my parents as they had a more suitable lawn, ours would have been more of an obstacle course avoiding the trampoline and the slide (and the cats!).


The storage bag is useful to keep everything together, including the instructions so you can set up the hoops correctly.  It is a fairly simple game though, so quick to set up and start enjoying.  As my boys get older I think we will benefit from this set even more, when the novelty of swinging mallets dangerously wears off hopefully!

Yes he seems dedicated to the game here... (don't be fooled lol!).


Hubbie and I could have happily carried on playing.  It is a fantastic investment (RRP of £49.99) if you want a quality set and the mallets are manageable definitely not too heavy (even for my Olive Oyl strength arms!).

For stockists click here.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Turning ONE Yippee

Today is my blog anniversary.  I am quite surprised to have lasted a year and grown so much, so a HUGE thanks to all of you for following me and visiting here.  I have a very big competition to share with you guys to help wrap up Christmas for the kids.  The lucky winner will have over £350 worth of children themed items to help take some of the stress away!

Here are the prizes for the winner:


This looks fabulous for the little babies out there, something to soothe and calm them before they nod off to the land of sweet dreams.  The projections and music making for a pleasant approach to bedtime!  I like the sound of sleep mode best, with this if the baby cries it turns itself back on hopefully meaning you do not even have to leave the comfort of your own warm bed!  They have a short interlude of entertainment then drift back to sleep.



Dotty Cookies from Byron Bay

Byron Bay have kindly donated 24 of their very delicious Dotty Cookies, these make lovely Christmas stocking fillers for children.  They love the coloured chocolate drops in them and the taste.  I must admit I am quite partial to them too.  Lucky for the winner with this many you have plenty to share with all the family.


An English BB Bear from Bábógbaby (RRP £24.99)

These are soft cuddly bears that are educational too, helping teach lots of new words.  The ears, paws, feet and tummy are also covered in shapes and numbers to help with learning.  The bear is a great little teaching aid to give your loved ones a head start before school.  They even have a Welsh Bear available which I am quite impressed by!


Moshi Monster Cookie Kit and Yummy Dough from Maps Toys

Sets like this are huge fun.  Letting children get creative and in both cases you can help them eat the end result (always a bonus!).  We have not reviewed the Cookie Kit but enjoyed making the Yummy Dough.  It is quite novel having edible modelling dough to play with.  



My son's friend reviewed this doll and absolutely loved it, we are excited to feature it as a prize.  You can read the full review here, but suffice to say dolls are getting much more sophisticated especially in this case with 3D glasses to see a glowing dress!  Such a pretty doll complete with handy accessories.


This is a lovely baby gym provided by peanut & pip, that would appeal to little boys or girls with the neutral nature theme.  Plenty to keep them occupied with lots of toys hanging from the arch, different sounds and textures helping develop your baby and give them some stimulation and entertainment.

  
HEXBUG Nano's (RRP £6.98 each)

I have 10 HEXBUG nano's waiting for a new home to scurry about in.  My boys love their HEXBUG collection and return to it every day.  If you have some of the habitats they would happily live there or if not they are quite good fun just to watch rushing around on any hard surface.  Just be quick, they disappear under sofa's and so fourth fast when they are free to roam!


My rather fabulous friend and owner of DaisychainBaby has offered these gorgeous Pyjamas for my giveaway, in size 3-4.  The design with the bold red colour and elephant pattern would appeal to either a boy or a girl making for a very stylish bedtime!  



Brother Max Bear Carry & Hang Nightlight (RRP £29.99)

These definitely caught my eye, I think its a clever idea having a night light that can hang on a child's door that they can then pick up and move if they need to go to the toilet in the night or need more reassurance.  I am realizing more and more how much comfort a little bit of light brings to children in the dark.  Its really important to help settle them at night to have some light source, just one that's not too bright to disturb sleep just like the soft glow of this cute bear.  These even stay cool so can be kept in the bed.



I love this little fella, he is cuddly soft and a great way to encourage reading.  He is very loveable and the perfect accompaniment to the book.  Bigsby contributes to the story as you read aloud, so a great incentive for children to learn the words.
Selection of Shampooheads products

I love watching Dragons Den especially when the Dragons scramble all over themselves when they realise the pitch is pretty impressive and see the potential of the product and the team behind it and want a piece of the action.  I thought Shampooheads sounded great myself as a parent of two boys (after all boys are officially noise with dirt on them!).  The products have scratch and sniff sections and do smell divine.  The bottles are easy to handle and dispense the right amount, my boys tend to be over generous otherwise, so I  think this feature is especially helpful to avoid waste.  I know it sounds silly but it breaks my heart when they have half a bottle on there hand in one use otherwise!  My boys like having spikey hair but I do not think there are many child friendly gel options available and we have used adult gel before for them which I do not think is ideal, I will definitely be giving Busy Bob Crazy Gel a try.


Jurassic Jimmy from WOW Toys (RRP £16.99)

We are being sent one of these sets to review, both my boys are fans of dinosaurs and this set seems to have plenty for imaginative play.  With a vehicle, a couple of dinosaurs, a cave man and a dinosaur egg to crack there is lots of scope for adventures and the two of them could use the set together quite happily, so I think its good value and another lovely prize to the list.  WOW Toys look very sturdy and chunky, just right to be handled by youngsters.
To enter all you need to do is fill in the rafflecopter below by the 6th of December.
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Monday, 26 November 2012

Micro Scooters Review

We were very kindly sent a Union Jack Mini (£59.95) and Union Jack Maxi (£97.95) Micro scooter to review.  We have definitely been putting them through their paces the last few weeks, as the boys insist on taking them to school and home again most days (along with any excuse the rest of the time!).  It is definitely making tired little leg complaints a thing of the past, youngest has not moaned for a carry as much either, he seems to have more energy scooting along!  Thankfully this is also great for mummy’s sanity and my poor hips!  He is far too big to be carried anymore!

Youngest was thrilled with his new scooter (obviously when scooting outside wear shoes!)



The scooters were very easy to build as they clicked into place in the matter of seconds.  They are very lightweight, so easy to carry, when inevitably youngest decides he has had enough of scooting.  I was getting sympathetic looks of people on carrying them home after dropping the boys at school, until I pass the scooters to them and they saw for themselves how light they actually are, everyone is always pleasantly surprised.



They did already have scooters but much cheaper ones and they lacked the manoeuvrability (and style) of the Micro scooters.  They feel like quality products, with sturdy handlebars and impressive wheels.  My dad was quick to run down their previous scooters but he is in awe of these new ones.  I caught him holding up the Mini and admiring it from all angles… my dad very much believes you get what you pay for and the Micro definitely passes muster.   He also approves of all the fresh air they are getting, enjoying showing off their fancy new scooters.

Youngest loves his little bag to carry his favourite bits and bobs (and we use it to carry his fruit for school).  Eldest likewise uses his drinks bag for carrying items, a few toys and his fruit!  It is a novelty having a scooter like this, as there old ones had nothing like this.  My youngest has his birthday in a few months and I am eyeing up the Lion Zooter (a cover to go over the scooter which doubles as a cool puppet!).



Micro Scooters seem very safety conscious included in the box was a safety poster, which I found handy to go through with my boys.  Good to make them aware of the importance of wearing a helmet, appropriate footwear and avoiding hazards.



Youngest had a habit leaning forward and tipping the scooter over (I thought perhaps he was overloading his little bag but has since done it with the bag empty).  So after reading more of the accompanying leaflet I realised he is actually over the load capacity for the Mini already.  Bless him he is a stocky chap all set for dominating the rugby pitch.  So for his birthday we will also be getting him a Maxi scooter!  I have decided this year to get better presents and save on parties as I would rather get them something made to last.

You can order from the website.  Perfect for Christmas, then you can stuff their stockings with the fabulous range of accessories!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Gousto Review and Giveaway

I was very excited to be sent 2 x two person meals from Gousto.  I had not heard of them before they contacted me, but I thought the idea sounded quite novel and was pleased to have the opportunity to give them a try.  Basically you have a selection of ingredients arrive by courier alongside detailed instructions as to how to make the meal.

One Meal:



Another Meal:


I am not very talented in the kitchen, so I did not have high hopes even with following the detailed recipe I would achieve a gourmet dinner, but I was amazed, it was truly delicious.  Certainly as nice as anything I have ever eaten in a restaurant but made with my own fair hands!  I think hubbie was surprised when he tucked in; he cleared his plate in record speed.  The only thing about the meal was I tipped in all the cayenne pepper as suggested, but it was quite hot!  So if you like your food mild, adjust the recipe accordingly.  I just followed it like a robot; I should have used an element of my own judgement too!

The meals we were cooking were Filipino Pork Stir-Fry with Black Beans and Sweet Potato and Ras El Hanout Chicken with Barberry Bulgur.  What I like about Gousto is the challenge to try new ingredients you might not have before.  It can really improve your culinary ability and confidence in the kitchen.  Having created something so mouth-watering, I feel quite proud of myself.  It is a long way from my pasta in sauce (from a jar) formula!

Filipino Pork Stir-Fry with Black Beans and Sweet Potato



Ras El Hanout Chicken with Barberry Bulgur


The plus points about using a service like Gousto were the ingredients arrived still chilled and in excellent condition after their journey to our house.  I just put them straight in the fridge as suggested.  It was quite novel not having to go out shopping for extra food and just arrive home and have it ready for us.  They do not seem to skimp on ingredients either, they look decent quality, the meat especially, was a good cut from an established butcher.  I like that there is less waste, it breaks my heart when at the end of the week we throw stuff away.  But with everything measured out and portioned up, it is not a problem with Gousto.

With the Chicken recipe there had been a mix up with their meat suppliers and the chicken portions were slightly smaller, I probably would not have noticed anyway, but hands up to them for adding a note of apology and a chocolate bar anyway.  I think that shows how seriously they value their customers; most companies would hope they got away with it.  Gousto went that little bit further to make amends.

I think I would have been most likely to buy this when it was just hubbie and I but with our two often-fussy boys I am not so sure.  But they do need to learn to embrace new foods, so it would probably be a good idea for families too!  A couple bag is £42 a week, which hubbie and I think is okay.  It saves you having to think about your main meals, you can come home and prepare them quite quickly and start enjoying romantic dinners again… (Then stock up on fish fingers and baked beans for the fussy eaters!).

You can find out more information from their website.

Gousto are giving you a chance to win a Gousto gourmet box to enter just fill out the rafflecopter below by the 4th of December.
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Thursday, 22 November 2012

“Good Heavens” Drinking Yogurt Review

We were sent two cute boxes containing four drinking yogurts each.  


They are aimed for the grownups, but youngest could not resist helping me out with the Luscious Strawberry variety.  I was slightly gutted sharing them to be honest, as I liked that flavour best.  The second variety we had were Raspberry, Oats and Honey, this I drank but not with the same relish of the first, but I am not a huge fan of honey.  I liked the addition of oats in the yogurt though, as they are a good source of dietary fibre.


I think its great that they are bio-live yogurts though so good for digestive systems.  Being a busy mum I always feel a little run down and stretched for time, so it’s quick and easy drinking one of these on the go and restoring some balance!  No excuses to skip breakfast when you can grab one of these and drink it on the school run, a healthy and convenient start to the day.

With less than 100 calories per bottle, it’s also a tasty treat when you need something sweet but still keeping on your diet!  Try and avoid reaching for the cake and chocolate and see if one of these will soothe your cravings instead (although I can't make any promises!).

Available to buy from Tesco and other supermarkets with an RRP of £2.50 for a 4-pack.  You can find out more from their website.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Hovis and Christmas Decorations

I had never thought of using bread to make decorations!  It was an eye opener following the instructions after having a lovely delivery courtesy of Hovis.  The boys were intrigued but mainly focused on trying to get me to relent and let them eat all the boiled sweets in one sitting.  But I had plans with them to make the Christmas baubles.


The Christmas baubles sounded relatively easy to make but I managed to cremate the bread in the oven and rather than achieve a lovely glazed effect the boiled sweet instead melted all over the baking tray! 

We had more success with the Reindeer Ribbons Garland.  It looked quite pretty afterwards.


Although the boys then wanted to eat the Reindeer shaped toast, so our decorations did not last very long!  They liked pushing the cutters in the bread to make the shape.  It made us all feel more festive thinking of decorations.


At the end of the session they got to eat the boiled sweets after all!  I did not want to chance cremating any more toast!

Here are the instructions if you are tempted to try either:

Christmas Baubles

8 slices Hovis soft white bread
8 coloured boiled sweets
10cm fluted circle or star cookie cutter
3cm fluted circle cookie cutter
Thin ribbon

  1. Preheat the oven to 160*C (fan oven), line a baking tray with non stick baking paper.  Toast the bread on both sides until golden.  Use a 10cm cookie cutter to stamp out circles or stars from the bread.  Use a 3cm cookie cutter to stamp out circles from the centre of your bread shapes.  Arrange on baking trays.
  2. Place a boiled sweet in the centre of each bread shape.  Bake for 10 minutes until the sweets have completely melted.  If necessary use a cocktail stick to push the melted sweet into any unfilled spaces.  Do not be tempted to touch with fingers.  Cool for 10 minutes to let the sweets re-harden.  Push the skewer through the bread to create a small hole.  Thread a piece ribbon through the hole and tie so they can be hung up.
Reindeer Ribbons Garland

8 slices Hovis wholemeal loaf (medium)
Reindeer cookie cutter
Star cutter
75g fresh cranberries
50g ready made sweet popcorn
4 mini candy canes
1 metre thin green ribbon
½ metre thin red ribbon

  1. Toast the bread until golden.  Stamp out 4 reindeer shapes and 4 stars.  Make a hole in the top of each star using a skewer.  Cut the red ribbon into 8 equal lengths and use 4 pieces to tie around the necks of the reindeer and 4 pieces to tie loops through the stars.
  2. Tie a knot in one end of the thin green ribbon and thread the other end onto the needle.  Thread 4 pieces of popcorn onto the green ribbon and push to the knot.  Thread 4 fresh cranberries on and push to the end.  Thread the needle though the back of the ribbon around the reindeer’s neck and push to the end.  Repeat using the popcorn, cranberries and then a star.  Repeat until you have used up all the ingredients.  Tie a knot in the end and hang on your Christmas tree, mantle piece or staircase.
Good luck, if you manage the Christmas baubles, I would love to see your pictures!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Christmas at Drayton Manor

As it gets closer to Christmas there is nothing like visits to see Santa to build up the suspense and the magic before the special day.  We usually try and squeeze in as many grotto visits as possible.  But you can do one better and visit somewhere like Drayton Manor, you can enjoy the Santa visit, but combine it with watching the Polar Express in the 4D cinema.  It even snows as part of the screening!

On top of that Thomas Land looks spectacular all lit up and with snow machines ensuring it snows three times a day, you can totally absorb yourself in all things Christmas.  


It pains me not to be attending this weekend.  Watching the cinema screening, seeing the boys faces lit up on spotting Santa in his enchanted snow castle and myself possibly admiring the knights!!!  Something to appeal to all the family!  What a great idea having a literal knight before Christmas theme!

At the end of the day there is a fireworks show over the enchanted castle.  What a way to complete an enchanting day, that your children will remember always.  Children soon grow up, so its the time to hang onto the wonder of Christmas now.

Magical Christmas started at Drayton Manor on the 16th of November and is the perfect way to feel festive.  Even Scourge himself would be hard pushed not to get into the spirit of things here!

Drayton’s Magical Christmas will start on Friday 16th November 2012 and runs every weekend (Fri - Mon) in the run up to Christmas. It will be closed on 24th, 25th and 26th December, before opening daily on Thursday 27th December until Monday 7th January 2013. Currently, online prices are £15 for adults, £10 for children and free for under 4's.  So a real bargain if you ask me!

Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.draytonmanor.co.uk or by calling 0844 472 1960. Drayton Manor Theme Park is also on Twitter www.twitter.com/Draytonmanor and Facebook www.facebook.com/Draytonmanor for regular updates and news.

Christmas is coming

I had planned on an extensive Christmas gift guide but Christmas is just around the corner and I am no closer, so its time to remedy that with a few quick suggestions to help inspire you (hopefully anyway!).

Top of my list would be the Leapfrog LeapPad 2 priced at £64.49 on Amazon, it is good value for a remarkably versatile system.  Okay it’s not a mini ipad that most people rave on about, but its heck of a lot cheaper too!  The apps might work out more expensive individually but overall you could get plenty of apps for the difference in price and really you only need a few well-picked games, ebooks and videos to keep them happy for hours.  Also if you give young children an ipad now what will they be expecting when they are older, where do you go from there (Next step a fully integrated Iron Man costume complete with built in computer and go faster booster at the age of 5 perhaps!!!)…




I have surprised myself and really want to add Furby, I thought given his price tag (£50), there was no chance he would make the list.  But he is very likeable and growing on me fast.  One reason to perhaps relent and get said ipad mini for your child is so you can feed Furby!  Suffice to say he is charming, loveable and not too annoying.  I confess I now hate the Chitter Chatter we were sent to review (the boys though still love it!!!), the high-pitched squeaks have driven me to distraction, Furby on the other hand is one addition I can quite happily live with.


Hexbugs we love and I know Father Christmas has planned a Hexbug Zip Line addition to our extensive course.  The boys will be thrilled with this, I saw a video of it in action on you tube and it looks fun.  I love how they are always bringing out new ways to improve playability of these sets, meaning my boys keep going back for more.  It is permanently set up and something they return to daily.  Although I do think youngest mainly enjoys frightening his girlfriends with the scarab!


Skylanders Giants it goes without saying these would be here given how my eldest is slightly obsessed with them!  Am sure this is on most boys’ lists anyway, I just hope they hurry up and bring the next wave of characters out, why keep us in a tender state of anticipation!  Mass release schedule please…


I quite like the look of the Angry Birds Star Wars AT-AT Attack Battle Game for £34.99, we bought a different one for eldest, but this looks more singing more dancing, with lots of blocks and figures to make for an action packed game.  My boys love the computer game, so it’s only natural to want to build on that!  They can have all the same excitement whilst getting them away from a screen for a change.  The Angry Birds Star Wars Mystery Bags for only £1.99 would make lovely little stocking fillers for fans; they can build up a collection of the figures relatively inexpensively.

One game we have kept enjoying is What's Up from Paul Lamond, so am sure this would be a hit for most children come Christmas.  Easy to set up and play, educational and good value.  Great fun for all the family and no batteries needed!
For my parents and other members of the family I love Lakeland.  They have some delightful edible offerings.  I got my mum onboard reviewing the Marzipan; she thought it was a lovely indulgent treat (although she is slightly hooked on Marzipan anyway!).  It was not too sweet and having some flavoured additions in the box, made this a dream gift idea for my mum.  


These days food is so expensive, so my weekly shop tends to be quite boring, repetitive and filled with whatever is on offer!  I want Christmas to be memorable for the special members of my family, so plan on getting a few select items to make Christmas all about tasting delicious, decadent, mouth-watering items.  You could really spoil them with one of the hampers.  You can see all the food and drink here.

My family sampled the Sharrow Bay Sticky Toffee Pudding (£7.49), it was heavenly, very rich, and the sauce was absolutely delicious.  If your not a fan of mixed fruit then this would be a welcome alternate to the usual Christmas pudding!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Furby has landed

Thanks to being part of the izziwizzi kids review team we had the honour of having Furby come to live with us.  We were all very excited to see what the fuss was about; as for £50 it is quite an expensive toy in my opinion.

He is very sweet; I love his little snoring sounds, his giggles, and the love hearts his eyes display when he thinks of you fondly.  I feel bad as he keeps showing a computer on his eyes, I think he is most likely hungry again, after youngest fed him some amazing sandwiches from the ipad we loaned.  There is hope for Furby though so do not worry as an Android app is planned for December, so he can go back to enjoying his sandwiches again soon, although he might have to sleep till then to avoid his hunger pangs!

Here is a little video of Furby:



He goes through lots of batteries if you have him on, being active for a long period (4 x AA a time); so rechargeable ones might be the best solution for happy Furby ownership.  He is smaller than I expected, but this does make it easier for youngsters to handle and carry him.  Furby has no off button but he can fall asleep and be left quietly (thankfully) until you decide to wake him up by picking him up and gently rocking/talking to him.  So if you need some peace from him you can!  Awww look how cute he is at rest!



We have only had him a few days so have not really seen how much we can influence his personality.  Youngest pulled on his eyelid and he cried!  But luckily most of the time both boys have been very caring, so I do hope he turns out to be a very well balanced Furby.  He certainly enjoys being tickled and stroked.

He currently speaks Furbish but with time you can teach him English.  On the ipad app (which is free to download) you get a translator so you can understand him talking.  I think without the app he would not be as exciting, it certainly adds another dimension to how you can interact with him and makes the price tag much more justifiable.  If anything we are tempted to get him a friend, so we can see how they interact with each other!

I do recommend following izziwizz Kids on facebook and taking part in the regular play fest sessions.  You could be reviewing something next!

At the moment you can win a Furby over at the Ninja Killer Cat blog, a yellow one!  I have entered as I want to win this one a buddy.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Anniversary Competition Part 2

Okay it’s still not officially my anniversary but seeing as the first competition closes tomorrow, I thought what is the harm in starting the next!  After all these are very exciting times on the Missing Sleep site!  The anniversary is creeping ever near and I (unfortunately) am still no closer to needing to re-brand!  Last night saw me up twice to settle youngest with nightmares, then he came into bed with me and I had to kick hubbie out as it seemed easier than all that going back and forth to reassure him!  Rod for my own back perhaps, but honestly when it’s the chance to get some much-needed zzz I seriously do not care anymore!!!

So in light of another spell of sleep deprivation I thought rolling out the next competition might cheer me up somewhat!  This is designed as a competition for glam mummies (but is open to all!), yearning for the good things in life, decent chocolate in their tummies, a fancy laptop case slung on their arm, some comfy shoes on their feet and a few more treats to keep them smiling (when the sleepless nights, the endless baby sick and tantrums get too much!).

Cue the prizes on offer this time.  One winner will have a beam as big as a Cheshire cat with this bounty!

A Years Supply of Tasty Little Numbers Chocolate Bars

With 365 of these yummy bars you will be helping with your calorie counting but none the wiser, as they are very delicious.  You can read my review of more of the product range including these bars here.  Just try not to go crazy and eat them all in one sitting!!!    Dieting is no fun; I hate restricting myself in anyway!  I cannot give up chocolate it would break my heart!  With only 100 calories I can easily burn that chasing the boys, so I can still avoid the gym (like the plague!) and continue to enjoy in one of my favourite pastimes (chomping on tasty treats!).



A Pink Lining Laptop Case

This is the prize I covert the most!  I am green with envy giving this out as a prize; this is a very stylish offering.  Your laptop would be very lucky indeed having a case like this to be transported in!  Turn up in the office to a multitude of admiring (possibly slightly jealous) glances, whilst they have to make do with the standard office issue ones (in tones of black and more black).  With an RRP of £65, if you’re not the lucky winner, you could always beg your partner for one as your Christmas present.
An assortment of Sakata Crackers

A selection of the fantastic flavours to munch on, even my boys were quite partial to these.  So perhaps if you do not get a chance to enjoy them yourself, you could use them to bribe the kids to help out around the house.  You can read our review of these scrumptious snacks here, they also help with the whole dieting thing if you were inclined as they are only nine calories per cracker!  But if your still think "dieting" is a very bad word, then just eat them because they are nice.



A pair of Cheekyshoes

Cheekyshoes are extremely comfy; you could walk for miles and feel happy in these.  The colours are bright and bold, who wants to be drab and grey when your feet can dazzle instead!  For £19.99 they are affordable whilst still making an impact.  A pair of shoes can really make an outfit and with these colours am sure you would get noticed.




Some delicious Jelly Belly Beans

Two lovely little boxes to enjoy (ideally when the children are in bed, so no pestering you to share them!), one in Hello Kitty style the other Cocktail Classics – now we are talking, the taste but not the hangover!  
We love Jelly Belly here (in moderation of course), the flavours are great and you only need a few to feel you have had a real treat!  They would make wonderful stocking fillers, a nice change to a chocolate Santa that ends up smeared all over the bedding!!!

A Rachel’s Hamper

This organic yogurt brand has an extensive range of mouth-watering flavours, we reviewed back in February, and I remember it being a hit for all the family.  It also spurned me on to include their yogurt in our baking on a regular basis; it is surprising how nice an addition it is to a cake!  I like my boys having yogurts, it is a reasonably healthy snack compared to the sweets they badger me for, so it’s great to see that they have a range just for children.



To enter please complete the rafflecopter by the 27th of November (my actual anniversary date whoop!).  I do ask you to go through lots of likes and follows but its good to support the generosity of these kind companies supporting me, so hope you join in :)

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Handpicked Christmas Catalogue

I was excited to browse through all the Christmas gifts in the lovely catalogue.  It is hard not to start highlighting lots of products, as there are some fabulous items.

We were kindly offered an item to review; we picked the First Pottery set.  I thought it would be an interesting craft project for my boys and we have not done much with air-drying clay.  


The set is priced at £12.95 and you certainly get plenty for your money.  The clay, the ceramic paints and the tools.  The boys and hubbie enjoyed making a couple of pots.  There are instructions of the three basic techniques to create different styled pots.  The instructions are quite easy to follow and fairly comprehensive.<


The only downside is the clay does take ages to dry, it said leave to dry overnight but it took a couple of nights to be hard enough to paint!  


My boys had to show extreme patience but they managed and had a very calm and focused painting session.  Youngest who on occasion can be very loud and active, sat quietly, not jumping all over the table and enjoyed making his pots look pretty!  Initially he said they are for his grandparents, but now is tempted to keep them to store sweets!!!

If you’re looking for something to entertain your children over the long winter, this set is a good introduction to something they might develop a natural flair for.  The pots make nice keepsakes to treasure of your child’s handiwork!  The set is aimed for children 5+, but our three year old was very engaged by it all.

Head over to the website for more Christmas inspiration.