Getting in shape for the Summer!

With the Summer fast approaching, well in terms of seasons rather than the weather, it’s that time we all think about our weight and fitting into Summer clothes.  With an opportunity to lose a few pounds before hitting the beach this year I’m keen to see what foods are around to help me out.  I’m tending to have just a salad for lunch at the moment but sometimes if I’m tired the night before and don’t end up making one for work the next morning, I need something quick that I can grab and chuck in my handbag ready for lunch.

This is where Forza Stir it Slim meal replacement drinks come in handy.  A new range of slimming drinks to rival large competitors currently on the market, Forza comes with two big advantages.  To make each drink you simply stir into water, no need to shake and no need to add milk. Another big difference is that not only do they offer cold shakes but they do hot drinks as meal replacements rather than just milkshakes.

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With Latte, Caramel Latte and Hot Chocolate available, I knew Hot Chocolate would be the one for me, so I gave it a try. Ideal either in the morning for breakfast or lunchtime, this is quick and simple to make and only 204 calories, but contains all the vitamins, minerals and fibre needed so you are not losing out.

So the all important, what did it actually taste like?

Well emptying the sachet into a mug, I was quite surprised and the volume of powder, but then again I guess you need that if it is replacing a light meal.  I did wonder how well it would stir in, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised and it mixed with ease and quickly, producing a rich, creamy looking hot chocolate drink.

Then it came to taste and I can honestly say that it tasted just like a thick, rich hot chocolate drink.  I really enjoyed it and have to say, I didn’t feel at all hungry afterwards and happily went through until my next meal/snacktime.

These are definitely worth a try, so easy to use and taste great!

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Nothing But. are a range of freeze dried snacks, in fact they are literally just freeze dried fruit and vegetables in individual snack packs, obviously in combinations deemed palatable.  With a ridiculously low calories per pack, just 36 cals for the Sliced Beetroot & Parsnip, 40 cals for the Pineapple & Grape and 34 cals for the Strawberry & Banana, these are the ideal healthy snack, not forgetting the biggest bonus of all – each pack contains one of your five a day!

Nothng butPersonally I prefer the vegetable combinations of these, although my friend loves the Pineapple and Grape variety.  They are not the most filling of snacks but if you are healthy eating then these are a great addition to give keep you going through the day, whilst also giving you some of your daily nutrients.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Peter Rabbit – The Tale of the Great Breakout DVD

Peter Rabbit – The Tale of the Great Breakout is the latest Peter Rabbit DVD to be released by Abbey Home Media.  With six episodes to watch lasting 70 minutes in total, there are plenty of adventures for little ones to watch.

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When Mr. McGregor captures the whole squirrel tribe in his garden, Peter must stage a mass break out to save his friends.  Follow our hero Peter and his friends Benjamin Bunny and Lily Bobtail on their adventures and quest to save the day, overcoming obstacles and outsmarting predators, all the while finding fun and excitement in the most unexpected places.

With a taste for radishes and a thirst for adventure Peter Rabbit is the lovable and extraordinary friend you longed to hang out with when you were a kid. But when the chips are down and danger lurks, there’s no better friend to have around than Peter and his boundless courage will always see him through. Peter has an infectious enthusiasm for life and is also an irrepressible optimist. He is cool under pressure and his quick-witted mind is as nimble as his super-fast legs.

So what did we think of it?

Well my 5yr old just loves Peter Rabbit and sat there glued to the DVD!  His favourite scene was when Peter was stealing the radishes and his favourite character is Lily, because she always finds something in her pocket to help them out.

This is a lovely series that I know I would have watched when I was younger and brings back some of the Beatrix Potter memories I had reading her books.  The DVD is sure to be a hit with young ones as they watch the adventures of Peter Rabbit and friends which is full of excitement, fun and friendship.

To win a copy of the DVD, just fill in the Gleam form below:

Peter Rabbit DVD

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

WIN Masha and the Bear DVD

Masha and the Bear follows the cute story of a 3yr old girl Masha and her friend, a retired circus star, Bear.  This is their first DVD release by Abbey Home Media and sure to be a hit with pre school and young children who will love watching their antics and adventures.

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Join Masha, the Bear and all her woodland friends in the series that is currently taking the world by storm. A retired circus bear settles into the woods and prepares for a quiet new life surrounded by peace and tranquility until he is introduced to an adventurous little girl named Masha.

Masha is an energetic three-year-old who lives in an old train station in the forest. Precocious, silly, and friends with everyone she meets, this energetic girl can’t seem to keep herself out of trouble.

Bear is a warm, fatherly figure that does his best to guide his friend and keep her from harm, often ending up the unintended victim of her misadventures. Though he enjoys his quiet time alone, he misses those moments when Masha is not around.

For your chance to win a copy of the DVD just fill in the Gleam form below:

Masha and the Bear DVD

Pink Gellac Gel Polish Starter Kit – Review

Pink Gellac is Europes No. 1 selling gel polish brand and is really simple to use.  I was pleased to try out their starter pack which comes with everything you need to to get your nails looking gorgeous.

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The starter pack consists of:

  • 1 x Colour 156 Tropical 15 ml
  • 4 x Free Online Course
  • 1 x Pink Gellac LED Lamp
  • 1 x Pink Gellac Base2 
  • 1 x Pink Gellac Ultra Shine 15ml
  • 1 x Pink Nail cleaner 50 ml
  • 1 x Nail file 240-180 grid 
  • 1 x Orange Woodsticks 
  • 10 x Luxury Nail wipes
  • 10 x Remover pockets

Being a busy mum of two I was really intrigued to see how a gel kit worked.  I regularly cover my nails with regular polish but haven’t tried out salon gel treatments due to the time and the expense.  To me, an at home kit means I can do my nails in the comfort of my own home while the children are otherwise occupied, and once I’ve got the kit there is minimal expense.

To apply the gel was a lot faster than I expected.  The drying time is so quick that you can literally do anything once you have cured the nails under the LED lamp. The process is simple, push cuticles back using the orange stick then clean the nails to remove oil and dirt using the Pink Cleaner.  Then apply the base coat, cure for 15 seconds, apply a couple of coats of colour, curing for one minute between each one and then apply the top coat and cure again for one minute.

Watch my video below to see the process from start to finish:

I am so pleased with the finished result, ultra glossy nails that are super smooth and just look rather fabulous!  The colour provided, ‘Tropical’ is really fresh and summery, perfect for this time of year.

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The starter kit from Pink Gellac is great, it’s compact, doesn’t take up much room to store, but allows me to do my nails from home to a high standard.  It lasts up to two weeks and I haven’t had any chips or damage in this time, just a small amount of growth at the base of the nail which is to be expected.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

 

Crazy Cafe Game by Tactic Games – Review

Crazy Cafe by Tactic Games is a new fast paced, fun game that young children will love.  The thought of pulling a tablecloth off a table is always something you dream of doing, but would get you into trouble in real life!

CRAZY CAFEThe game comes in a clever box, where the bottom tray of the box turns over to become the table.  Included are a red gingham table cloth and various pieces of plastic crockery to use in turns during the game.  There is also a spinner which determines your moves.

crazy cafe 2There are six options on the spinner which are either to add one or two objects to the table, stack one or two objects to the table, remove one item from the table or the ever elusive “Pull!!” the tablecloth off the table.

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The object is to manage to pull the tablecloth away leaving the items intact on the table, a total of three times to become the overall winner.  My children loved the concept of this and couldn’t wait to have a go at pulling the cloth away.  They did get a little disheartened at how hard it was to spin to have a go at pulling the tablecloth as most of the options are aimed at building up the items on the table and obviously the more items that are on there, the harder it is to pull it off.

crazy cafe 4Overall the game is fun and something my 5yr old loved and wanted to play again and again.  He absolutely loved pulling the tablecloth off when he got the chance, I just wonder if there should be two options on the spinner to pull the tablecloth as that is the aspect that keeps the children playing.

I think this game is great for younger children as they think it’s fun and it gets them used to turn taking and used to following instructions on the spinnner.  It was a hit with my 5yr old and he wants to play it all the time, so I’d say he’s in the perfect age range for this game.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Art Therapy Colouring Books from Parragon

Disney Art Therapy colouring books from Parragon are simply gorgeous. We received the Frozen and Princess themed books to try and they are both packed full of patterns with plenty to occupy your colouring desire!

WP_20160502_13_41_46_ProBoth books are of a really high quality and quite thick with lots of pages.  This means you can easily use coloured pens without the risk of it bleeding through the pages.  Alternatively some sharp pencils would work well for a more subtle effect.

The pages are based loosely on the themes of Frozen and Princesses and rather than being packed full of characters and action scenes, meaning these are more grown up and full of patterns inspired by the themes rather than a book aimed at the younger audience.  This means they would suit an older child or adult and something I certainly could sit passing the time with.  I think the patterns are really pretty and quite detailed with each page taking you on a different set of shapes and designs.

art therapyThese would be great for an older child, my daughter 8yr old Miss M was excited to see them and there really is hours worth of colouring in each book.  They would be great to take on holidays, long journeys or one of those things to have around when you just want to do nothing and have a doodle – why not colour a page in one of these books instead?

Colouring books for adults have really become fashionable of late and these certainly fit the bill for any Disney loving fan. They are feminine with intricate wallpaper style designs filled with swirls and also some bigger mandala style images, so give one a try now and get creative with colour!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Triop World from Interplay – Review

Triop World from Interplay is a fascinating home kit where you can grow your own pond creatures known as Triops or alternatively Tadpole ShrimpsTriops first made an appearance in the Triassic period and have been around for over 300 millions years.  They tend to live in puddles and pools where they also deposit eggs ready for the next cycle to begin once they are no longer alive.

triop world box from interplayThe kit comes with practically everything you need to produce these little creatures, all you need to add is some bottled or rain water.  You get a water tank included to grow you Triops in along with a sachet of triop eggs, triop food, sand, pipette and a spoon.

WP_20160402_18_15_35_ProThe set is recommended for 7yrs plus and 8yr old Miss M was eager to try it out.  It is very simple to set up and simply requires the water to be added to the tank along with the detritus (dirt and eggs) sprinkled across the top.

triopsIt’s then a case of waiting…. and I have to admit after about 4 or 5 days I thought nothing was going to happen, but then about a week later I spotted some small white flutterings in the water.  We then all eagerly came down each morning to see how much they’d grown and loved seeing them swimming about in the tank.

triops 25 yr old Mister B loved their beady black eyes which are really quite prominent. Miss M loved the role of feeding them just a small shake from the food sachet provided every few days.  They have soon grown and we can see so much more detail on them.  We have three and they love swimming around together.  We have also added the little packet of sand to the bottom of the tank for them to scurry about in.

triops 3This has been a fascinating activity to have in the home and we are still enjoying them day to day and can’t wait to see how big the Triops finally grow to.  Apparently they lay eggs in the sand which you can dry out and reuse to hatch another batch of Triops, so that is something we may try again afterwards.  Triop World is a great way to get closer to nature and actually a bit different from the normal activities we have at home so I think this has been a great educational success and something I’d recommend trying out.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

National Board Game Week with Pork Farms

Having just come to the end of National Board Games Week, it’s been great to get the family together, sat down without gadgets, happily playing good old fashioned board games!  To help celebrate the week, the UK’s leading Pork Pie manufacturers, Pork Farms.
PorkFarms_BoardGames3With some fun, downloadable bingo style sheets to use during play where you need to cross of certain achievements in each game and then printable certificates to hand to the winners, this made our weekend of game playing even more fun!

WP_20160502_14_48_53_ProWith Hasbro leading the way in fun family games, we dug into our games cupboard and found some fond favourites, Connect 4, Guess Who and Monopoly.  We were also sent Game of Life to try out, something I remember playing at friends houses when I was younger, and a game I knew my children, particularly 8yr old Miss M would love.

gamesGame of Life is quite literally a board game that takes you through the journey of life, from graduating from college, getting your first job, marriage, children, earning lots of paychecks and then heading for retirement.  The board game is well made with a good quality spinner attached to the board.  You also get cars to use as players counters to which you can add pegs representing people.  There are cards for landing on certain squares that allow you to earn more money along the way.  The journey ends when you all reach retirement and the winner is the person who has made the most money throughout their board game life!

games 3Miss M loved being banker alongside playing and picked up the rules straightaway.  Her verdict on the game was ‘brilliant’ and ‘I love it’.  Mister B played with assistance from us but soon got to grips with what he was doing, just needed a little help with his money.  We all absolutely loved playing this game and it was played over and over all weekend.

In the evening we did play our old family favourite, Monopoly, which Miss M loves as she acquires property and builds her empire charging mummy and daddy for landing on what she owns.  She was determined as ever this weekend and used the bingo card we had printed out, and surprise, surprise, she was our little winner!  As you can see she was thrilled.

WP_20160502_14_48_19_ProBoard games are a fantastic way to entertain the whole family.  If you’ve had fun playing games with your family over the past week, then send your best photo to Pork Farms on either Facebook or Twitter using hashtag #porkfarmsgames by Friday 6th May for a chance to win a whole stack of board games and a years supply of pork pies!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received a game in order to write an honest review.

Pulsin’ Kids Fruity Oat Bars – Review

Pulsin’ Kids Fruity Oat Bars are a new wholesome oat based bar containing real fruit that it made to be highly nutritional and a perfect snack for kids.  Coming in a variety of flavours such as Strawberry, Blackcurrant & Apple and Orange Choc Chip, there is a good choice for all tastebuds, and the biggest bonus is that each bar contains 1 of your 5 a day!

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I’ll be honest in that I’m always a little sceptical of these super healthy bars for kids, as no matter how healthy they are, if the child doesn’t like the taste, then they just won’t eat them, so I was keen to see how these faired with my two, aged 5 and 8.

pulsin 2Well I think you can tell by Miss M’s face that these are a hit!  She ate the whole bar and said she liked it.  Her favourite is in fact the Strawberry flavour whilst 5 yr old Mister B wasn’t really fussed and happy to eat any of them.  With all the benefits these have over junk food, they will always be more expensive than regular cereal type bars but if your child is getting one of their five a day, then that is worth it for me.

I think these are particularly useful for school break times, which is what Miss M has used them for.  Also good for when out and about, which is what I’ve used them for with Mister B as we are often hanging around waiting for the particularly sporty Miss M whilst she attends various after school sporting activities.

Aimed at ages 3-9 years of which my two both fit into that bracket, they are both happy to eat them.  They are suitable for vegetarians, gluten free, dairy free, soya free and contain no artificial ingredients so really fit the majority of dietary requirements.

pulsin 3I was lucky to get to try out an Almond & Raisin Raw Choco Brownie, well you give something like that to a chocoholic and it’s pretty much a given that I’ll like it!  It did taste good, but you could tell it was healthy, it was moist though and a good chunk of energy, would be great for an afternoon snack at work!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Dinky Divers Dive Sticks from SwimFin

Dinky Divers dive sticks from SwimFin are a fantastic and fun way of building confidence in the water for young children.  I have a 5 and 8 year old who were keen to test them out.

WP_20160408_09_55_06_ProThese are really fun, brightly coloured sticks, each designed after an animal.  We have a blue shark, orange seal, yellow seahorse and red hippo.  What I love is that they come in an easy to carry, black mesh bag, which means taking them to the swimming pool is simple and they all stay together when you are not using them, either at the poolside or at home.

dive sticksWhen these arrive, both my children were keen to pick out with their favourites and played with them all in the bath each night, but what we really wanted to do was take them to the swimming pool to really put them to the test.  We had an opportunity after school one day and took them to the pool.  The are really easy for little fingers to hold and carry as well as a soft, durable texture.

So to the all important test.  Dropping them into the swimming pool they easily sunk to the bottom and stood upright, the children couldn’t wait to take on the challenge of trying to dive down and get them.  Miss M went down with ease and love grabbing them but for Mister B it was a little more of a challenge, but he did it!!  He was so keen to get back his favourite shark stick that he pushed himself to get down and retrieve it.

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These are an excellent way of getting children used to going under water and they find it lots of fun.  It also is a great activity to occupy them with in the swimming pool and something both of mine enjoyed.  I’d definitely recommend these for any young swimmers, my two are already excited about taking these on holiday this year where we’ll have a private pool they can play in everyday!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.