Holland & Barrett More Store Plymouth

Holland & Barrett More stores are the latest innovation from the brand and I was lucky to attend the launch of the new store in Plymouth last week.  Being only the third store of it’s kind in the country, it was a fantastic opportunity to see how Holland & Barrett are moving with the times and bringing a fresh, modern, innovative approach to their shops that will attract a new wave of customers of all ages.WP_20160714_10_20_41_ProThe store is huge compared to a standard Holland & Barrett shop that I’ve visited and very bright and inviting.  Being right on the doorstep of our shopping centre Drake Circus, you can’t fail to miss it and it invites you right inside to try out it’s array of interactive displays, taste it’s fresh goods, grab a pic ‘n’ mix pot of olives or nuts etc or even make your own body scrub in store ready to take away and use at home that evening!

The beauty section of the store is quite frankly huge!  Beauty isn’t something I would normally associate with  the store, but the More stores now have a large section dedicated to it, packed full of natural and organic brands, far more than I can list down here.  A few of the more prominent ones that spring to mind are Dr Organics, Burt’s Bees, Beauty Kitchen, Weleda to name a few but do check it out for yourself because the choice is vast.  Rather than products being packed into endless rows across shelves there are a lot of inviting displays eager to catch your eye, there are even opportunities for mini makeovers, hand treatments and a lot of sections where you can really see and smell the products.

holland & barrett more store 2Beauty Kitchen are a range that focus on providing 100% natural and effective skin care and body care products that smell amazing.  They have an interactive stand where you can make your own body scrub adding ingredients of your choice.  They also have lip balm kits which would make great gifts as well as an array of bath bombs and other exciting products.  The Zoya stand stood out, a vegan range of nail polish in so many gorgeous looking colours, I could wear them all.  The beauty section here has really impressed me and definitely somewhere I’ll come back to.

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Although Holland & Barrett are known for healthy foods such as seeds, nuts and dried healthy snacks, if you are vegetarian or vegan then you need to get down to the More store now!  It has aisles packed full of not only the usual seeds, pulses, dried substitutes but a whole wall of refrigerated and frozen foods.  There really is a vast choice and I spotted many of my favourite brands in both the chilled and dried aisles.  The snack selection is pretty amazing too, so I know where I’ll be popping into when I’m feeling peckish in town.holland & barrett more store 4If you thought that sounded good then wait until you witness the fresh food offerings the store has to offer.  I wasn’t expecting this lot when I walked in but there is an enormous fresh olive stand where you can pick up a pot and fill with your favourites.  Then there is the nut and seed pick and mix counter which looks truly divine.  These are perfect for a snack during the day or in the evening with a glass of wine. Then there is the Tea Bar, a utterly unique feature that allows you to lift a small glass cloche and sniff the flavoured tea that’s gently wafting inside the lid.  There is a vast range of teas to smell before you buy, with some amazing flavours to try out, such as chocolate orange.  There is also a salad dressing station where you can fill your own dressings and oils from tapped dispensers, again a unique and interesting feature. holland & barrett more store 3

I think you’ll have gathered from the above that I was rather impressed with the new Holland & Barrett More store with it’s vast range of products and modern concept of displays and interactive features.  It really has taken this shop into the future and is a place I’d love to visit  every time I venture into town.  Get down there now to check it out for yourself!

Here you can watch me talking about my thoughts on the store:

Keep you eye out for my follow up blog post reviewing the products I’ve been trying out!

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Barbie Dreamtopia Movie comes to Tiny Pop

Dreamtopia is a series set in a magical make-believe world created by Chelsea, Barbie’s six year old youngest sister. Like many girls, Chelsea really looks up to her sister, and every adventure features Barbie as either a princess, a fairy, or a mermaid from a different land that guides Chelsea and her young pup Honey on a new experience.

PR_Rainbow_RidingRainbow_S32_F26_062016This series looks magical and fun and just like something my children would enjoy.  The new Dreamtopia Barbie movie special airs on Tiny Pop 23rd July at 4pm with a catch up on Sunday 24th July at 9am.  It follows Barbie, her younger sister Chelsea and her pup Honey on a magical new adventure, telling the origins story of the land of Dreamtopia!

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Dreamtopia is a land where if you can imagine it, it can happen with everything from an edible lollipop forest full of cute happy pets.  Or perhaps ride the tallest roller coaster up in the sky on a rainbow.

Why not check out this trailer below?

The film looks fun, full of exciting adventures where dreams come true, perfect for any young Barbie fans.  We can’t wait to watch the full length this weekend – will you be watching it too?

 

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Disney Frozen Race to the Palace Board Game

Disney Frozen Race to the Palace board game from Ravensburger is aimed at 5yrs plus and can be played by 2-4 players.  Initially it appears a fairly simple game of climbing places to reach the palace, but it has an interesting combination of three dice and the fact that you don’t just move your own player makes it more complex.

Frozen race to the palace xInside the box are three pieces that join together to create the playing board, along with a large card that stands up to be the Arendelle palace and five figure cut outs with stands, four tokens and three dice.

The game is easily assembled and then play can commence.  The characters used in this game are Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf.  There is also Hans although no one own’s him and the aim of the game is to race him to the castle.  If he gets there first then he wins, but if another character get’s there first then they win.

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The game starts by each playing selecting a token, they take a look but don’t reveal which character they are playing.  You then take turn to roll the dice.  You will roll either two colours and a number or one number and two colours.  The colour tells you how many spaces to move and the colour determines which character or characters you move.  If you roll a white you can pick any character of your choice, which is where tactics come into play and you obviously want to choose the character that’s on your token.

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There is also a space on the board with friendly trolls that allows you to jump ahead two spaces and a giant snow creature which sends you back one space.   When a character reaches the castle, it is declared the winner and players can then reveal which character’s token they had.

My children both loved this game, particularly 5yr old Mister B who quickly grasped the game rules, which I think was great and he got really excited during gameplay.  I think he was the perfect age for this although he does have a good understanding of things generally.

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This is a really fun game that we’ve all enjoyed and has been well thought out.  I thought each game would only last about 5 minutes but we found it lasted a good 15 minutes and all the family joined in.

Disney Frozen Race to the Palace Board Game is a must for any Frozen fan who will love playing with all the familiar characters from the film, it’s also a game we have been playing most days which is great and shows it has long lasting appeal.

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

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Use Branston to Spice up your Food this Summer!

Branston is a household name, I remember eating cheese and pickle sandwiches as a child, but are you aware of all the different varieties of pickles and sauces they make now?  There really is something to tickle everyone’s tastebuds and they are perfect for the Summer and bbq season that is upon us. branston

The Original Branston Pickle you really can’t go wrong with, a traditional favourite loved by young and old, add it to sandwiches, salads and it is something the family all enjoy.

My husband really enjoyed the Sweet Chilli Pickle and it has become his staple for his sandwiches that he takes to work.  He really enjoyed chilli twist to the original Branston classic.

The Caramelised Onion Chutney is again great for sandwiches and salads, but we also topped a veggieburger with it along with cheese and salad and these made it rather delicious and gave it a great tang.

Hot Dog Relish has a really appealing smell to it, perfect for hot dogs among other things.  It is made with tomato and red pepper to give it rich, tasty flavour.  We’ve all enjoyed this on a burger or sausage – a great family favourite!

Rich & Smoky BBQ Sauce is exactly what it says on the bottle.  It is rich and packed with a smoky tang that we’ve enjoyed on burgers and grilled courgettes with halloumi.  Being vegetarian this adds a great flavour to vegetable skewers at the bbq and also if you are cooking over a gas bbq this gives your food that smoky kick.

branston 2We’ve thoroughly enjoyed trying out the Branston range and it’s certainly opened our eyes to the tasty flavour options available.  This selection would look great out on the bbq table when you have a group of friends and family round, but also they are equally good at home everyday to add flavour to your food.

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

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Chicago Town New Pizza Flavours

Chicago Town pizzas are the perfect treat for a Saturday night, so we couldn’t wait to taste some of the new flavours and check out the range of pizzas available.

This month Chicago Town has launched seven epic new flavours to the range, including Limited Edition The Takeaway Pulled Beef Brisket, The Takeaway American Hot, The Takeaway Four Cheese, The Takeaway Cajun Chicken, Deep Dish Meatball Melt, Deep Dish Mega Meaty and Pizza Melt BBQ Chicken.

Chicago Town pizzaBeing a pizza loving family, we couldn’t wait to taste this.  They cook with a really crisp crust, that just invites you to tuck in and the smell that wafts out the oven, get’s everyone shouting “Are they ready yet?”.

The Takeaway Four Cheese Melt is a mouth-watering feast great for families or parties.  It just melts in the mouth, with a light crisp base, a stuffed crust oozing with a rich tomato sauce.  Everyone loved the taste of this and wanted more.  We’d highly recommend this and think it’s one of the best frozen pizzas we’ve tried.

Chicago Town pizza 2The meat eaters then tucked into The Deep Dish, a range of individually sized pizza’s.  We cut them up so people could try different flavours and had a selection of Pepperoni and Mega Meaty to try.   Pepperoni is always a favourite, particularly of the children and Mega Meaty consists of pepperoni, crumbled sausage and ham, which was apparently delicious!

There are loads of flavours to try, and different styles of pizza in the Chicago Town range, perfect for family nights in and parties, definitely worth checking out when you are at the supermarket.

We all really enjoyed trying out these pizza’s and the children thought it was amusing wearing a pepperoni style t-shirt, just like the ones used in the new Chicago Town advert.  Why not watch it below?

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

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Disney The Lion Guard Toys – Review

Disney’s The Lion Guard is an appealing tv series for young children, that has now been turned into an exciting range of fun and high quality toys that provide plenty of play value and encourage imaginative and adventurous play.  We were lucky to hold a Lion Guard party last week with a few friends to celebrate the release of the new toy range.

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The Lion Guard follows Kion, leader of the Lion Guard who along with his friends helps protect the Pride Lands.  The largest toy in the range is the Defend the Pride Lands playset which really is quite impressive.  At first glass it doesn’t look much, but when you have a closer look, there are eight interactive play features, such as traps, a motorised vine lift, boulder launcher, waterfall, hidden tunnel, collapsing rock.  It really is good fun for an adventure and my little boy loved it.  The set comes with a Kion figure to play with.  Further figures are available in smaller sets or a figure set which features each of the main characters.

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Smaller sets available include a figure and accessory such as Bunga’s Coconut Blaster.  All of the accessories have a moving part and all of the children found these fun and enjoying using them as part of their adventure play.

After checking out the toys we had lots of The Lion Guard related party games including eating cake which went down well.

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The favourite game had to be Pin the tail on Kion!  We had a lion headpiece and fluffy tail to use which the children just loved.

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The party was a great success and the children all went away with a goodie bag which included the new The Lion Guard magazine and also a blind bag containing a mini figure.

Overall I’m really impressed with the toy range, it is all made to a high quality that will be durable in play and withstand little fingers and a few knocks.  The toys look lovely as well and have been well thought out.  They lend themselves to imaginative minds of little ones which is perfect for my little boy and he has taken the animals on many adventures.

Lion guard toys

The Lion Guard toys are available now in most major toys shops now such as Smyths, so why not check them out now!

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

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Teachers Cards using the Postsnap app

At the end of the school year, little ones love to thank their teacher usually with a card and a small gift.  Rather than browsing the shops for a card, why not create one from home and have it delivered to you ready for you to sign and give to yoru teacher.  The bonus with this is not only do you not need to leave your chair, but you can personalise the card with custom words and photos.  Postsnap is the perfect app to offer this service and provide high quality cards within a couple of days to your door.

postsnapThere’s an array of ‘Thank you’ cards to choose from including general ones or ones that specify teacher on them.  As my 5yr old was choosing one for his teacher, he chose a rather cute one that says ‘To a great teacher’ and then allows you to add in the teacher’s name (I have blanked it our for privacy below).  You can then take a photo of your child using your phone or tablet and insert it straight into the card, in this case an apple shaped frame.

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Inside the card you can print the words you desire, or we chose to leave it blank so my little boy can add his own handwriting inside.  The process is so simple, you can create a card in just a few minutes.  This really is worth doing if you don’t want to trawl the shops, and also want to make the card a little bit special.

I must just say that the quality of the card is great and it is also a really good size.  The cards are A5 and look brilliant, my little boy can’t wait to give his to his teacher next week.

Get your orders into today to arrive in time for the end of term.  Head over to Postsnap and download the app now!

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

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Mysteries in Time History Subscription Box for Kids

Mysteries in Time is a brand new history subscription box aimed at 7-11 year olds, so who better to try it out other than my very own 8yr old, Miss M.  The box is delivered in a time machine style box which looks inviting and we couldn’t wait to step inside!

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This month’s box is all about Ancient Egypt and is packed full of educational facts, activities and fun.  After having sat and completed this box with my daughter I can honestly say she found the whole thing fun and interesting, not really thinking that she was learning at the same time which is really what kids activities should all be about.

The box consists of a booklet full of facts and activities, colouring sheets, a world map, stickers, a book to read, bookmarks,  a bag of craft goodies, a history related gift and instruction guide.

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We had a look through the booklet together, learning lots of facts and pieces of information about the Egyptians.  It is set out in bitesize pieces so there isn’t too much reading and with lots of pictures it keeps children interested.  The back few pages contain activities such as a wordsearch, spot the difference, anagrams, quiz, maze and a rather fun hieroglyphs quiz to work out words using a hieroglyphs chart.

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Miss M was fascinated by it all and without any hesitation got started on the puzzles at the back.  She also enjoyed the colouring sheets and reading the book which she started downstairs and took up to bed with her!

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A world map is included in your first box, which is a high quality poster to put up on the wall.  Underneath the map is a timeline and each box contains a sticker related to the period of time the box covers, that you can place upon the line.  Miss M was really drawn to the map and couldn’t wait to spot Egypt on it.  She then looked for England and started comparing the size of it to other countries.  The size of Russia really surprised her.  It was really lovely listening to her comment on places on the map and show an interest in something on her own accord.

mysteries in time 8Our special gift in this box was a golden canopic jar, which I have to say does look rather  impressive.  Miss M was enthralled with her gift and has had much pleasure in standing the coloured pencils within the jar while she did her colouring sheet and now the pot takes pride of place in her bedroom!

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The favourite activity for Miss M was the clay craft.  Within the craft bag is a sachet of air drying clay, paints and gem stickers, the girl was in art heaven!  She couldn’t wait to get her fingers into the clay and make some egyptian amulets.  She took inspiration from the booklet but also got a bit creative and made her own heart shaped one too.  I have to say the clay went a lot further than we initially thought it would and the paints were generous too, with a good variety of colours meaning we had plenty of materials to get creative with.

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We had to wait a day for the clay to fully dry, but then Miss M happily sat painting her creations.  She is very  pleased with them and I think they look great too!

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Overall we’ve had a lot of fun with our Mysteries in Time box, both learning new things and carrying out the activities.  It was nice to spend quality time with my daughter and great to see her engaged in the activities.  The box is of an excellent quality, all the content is well produced and set out and the craft materials are of a good standard.  It’s always lovely when a child is keen to do something with educational value, although they see it as a box of fun!

Why not pop over to the Mysteries in Time website and find out how to subscribe, a perfect activity to keep the children occupied over the Summer!

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

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Win a set of pillows with Silentnight & Dream Holiday promotion

There’s nothing better than sleeping in your own bed at night, so when you are away from home it can be hard to feel comfortable and get a good nights sleep.  In fact a surprisingly high number of people really do miss their bed whilst on holiday, according to a survey compiled by Silentnight.

“Six out of 10 Brits agree that they miss their bed more than their FAMILY, when away on holiday.”

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With the holiday season arriving and a good nights sleep on our minds, Silentnight have launched a Dream Holiday competition where you can win the holiday of your dreams along with a multitude of runners up prizes including iPads, bikes, experience days and fitness equipment.

For a chance of winning one of these amazing prizes, all you need to do is purchase a Silentnight product, can be pillows, duvet etc that has the Dream holiday promotional sticker on.  This will give you a special code to enter online HERE for a chance to win.

Nick Booth from Silentnight comments: “With increasingly busy lives, it’s understandable that UK consumers are looking to get away just to unwind, relax and sleep! And good bedding is of course key to a good night’s rest.

I totally agree with this statement and find a decent pillow to be really important at night otherwise I do struggle to sleep through the night.  With that in mind I have a set of Silentnight pillows up for grabs for one of my readers to ensure they get a really good nights sleep at home!

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All you need to do to win is fill out the Gleam widget below, and don’t forget to look out for the stickered packs in the shops to win the amazing prize of a Dream Holiday along with some amazing other prizes.

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Summer Crafts with Baker Ross

One thing that never fails to occupy the kids is crafts, be it sunny or rainy, Baker Ross have a huge selection of crafts to keep the children busy over the Summer months.  We took a look at just a small selection of what is on offer and both my children, age 8 and 5 loved them!

baker ross summerFirst up, my daughter had her eye on the Paracord Bracelet Kits, which we opened up and I helped her start one off.  She was soon able to continue on her own, with a simple cross over and loop of the threads, a pattern soon emerged and it didn’t actually take that long to complete a bracelet.  She was enjoying it so much, she sat and spent the afternoon creating all of the six bracelets in the pack.  It kept her thoroghly entertained and she couldn’t wait to wear all of her creations!

baker ross summer 2Next up we tried the Sealife Spiral Notebook Kits, which I think look so cute once completed.  They consist of a plain page spiral bound notebook with foam covers.  There are sticky backed foam shapes with each one that turns into a different sealife creature on the front of each one.

baker ross summer 4The designs are simple and effective, even my 5yr old just got on with it and created the turtle all by himself.  He even added some other effects to his finished design.  I love these notepads and think they’d be great for a party activity, or something to do when you have friends over as it’s nice for them to take away an item that they can use after.

baker ross summer 3The Farmyard Stampers are fun for little ones. With familiar animals the set allows children to print out their own farm scenes.  I put a large sheet of brown paper out in the garden and let Mister B stamp away for an afternoon over which he had great fun!

One of our favourite activities has to be the Beach Self Adhesive Art Sheets which we got along with the ten mini bags of Glitter Sand.  Each picture has a pre cut layer which can be peeled back in sections to reveal a sticky background.  You can then sprinkle your chosen colour of sand in that  particular area before peeling off the next section.

baker ross summer 5Both my children became completely engrossed in this activity, they really enjoyed it and I think their finished pictures look amazing.  This is different from any craft they have done before and the results are so effective.  We really loved doing this and is something they have already asked to do again.

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As you can see we have had lots of fun with the Baker Ross Summer crafts box this month, hopefully some of the activities will inspire you of ways to keep your children occupied this Summer.

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

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