7 day Sleep Challenge with Holland & Barrett

Sleeping as I’ve got older has always got a little bit harder, particularly after having children and most recently I’ve just moved into a new house.  Having been in our previous house for nearly 16 years, you get used to the sounds, the space and the little noises you hear both from within and outside on the street.  I spent the the first five nights in our new house waking up at 3am and really struggling to get back to sleep.  Fortunately Holland & Barrett came to the rescue with wide range of sleep remedies as seen below.

WP_20160218_14_39_52_ProWith everything from daily supplements, calming tablets to take at bedtime, to warm drinks and relaxing bath oils, there really is something for everyone and something to fit your lifestyle and daily routine.
WP_20160218_14_43_55_ProPerfect for end of the day is a bath in relaxing Lavender Oil from Miaroma,  I love the scent of lavender, and this is a great way to unwind in the peace of the bathroom when the kids are in bed.  After your bath you can indulge in the Tisserand Sweet Dreams Body Oil, to really relax your body before climbing into bed.

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Having a hot drink is something I’ve got into a routine with each night now, and it definitely helps me to wind down and feel ready for bedtime.  If you want something light, I’d suggest one of the teas, Higher Living Chamomile & Vanilla is good, but for something a little more indulgent, the Good Night Creamy Chamomile & Cocoa drink with added lemon balm.  There is a good choice of drinks available for bedtime so you could also try Bloom Supercharge Matcha which can be drunk over ice, or added to smoothies, soups and salads.

WP_20160218_14_44_30_ProTaking regular supplements can help with tiredness and I’m currently using the Vitamin B-Complex to support the metabolism and combat fatigue, something I’m definitely feeling with the house move!  I’ve also found the Valerian Plus and Passion Flower Stress Relief tablets to be useful at the end of a long day when I know I want a good nights sleep ahead of a day at work the next morning.

I have to say I’m feeling great since adding a few things into my everyday routine and sleep has definitely improved.  Waking up in the night can be draining, but on the whole I’ve been sleeping through and definitely feeling more alert in the daytime.  I also enjoy a good wind down routine in the evenings, and the lavender baths are perfect for that followed by a warm drink in my pj’s.  If you need any help getting a good nights sleep then definitely check out Holland & Barrett – they really do have something to suit everyone!

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

Horlicks Review & Giveaway

Horlicks is a drink I remember fondly from childhood, as a warming drink on a cold winters day, or a drink before bedtime to give me a good nights sleep.  They now produce a ‘Light Chocolate’ version with 55% less fat than the original recipe, meaning less calories per cup – perfect!

WP_20160219_14_38_14_ProA mug of Horlicks Traditional is packed with 14 key nutrients including Vitamin B6 which contributes to the normal functioning of both the nervous and immune system and can reduce tiredness and fatigue. It is also low fat and a source of protein.

As well as the powedered drink, Horlicks have released some vintage inspired goodies to store your Horlicks in and drink it out of.  I love the old fashioned style tins and they make a great accessory for the kitchen.

I’ve been having a nightly cup of Horlicks over the last week or so when the evenings have been chilly and have to say the taste really surprised me.  It seemed nicer than I remember from years ago and definitely a drink I’ll include in my bedtime routine over the winter months.  It’s frothy and creamy yet so simple to mix up with hot water, well worth a try!

horlicksIf you fancy trying the Light range of Horlicks along with the memorabilia shown above, then just enter my giveaway below to win a bundle of goodies:

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

Little Bugs Bakery at Wyevale Garden Centres

Wyevale Garden Centres have some great little activities for children for key events throughout the year, I know my children love having tea with Santa at Christmas, so when I was asked to try out an activity for Wildlife Week during half term, I knew my children would be up for a trip out.

With a different activity on offer each day from decorating a bird box to creating a pine cone feeder and the Little Bug Bakery, I knew the bakery would be appealing to my two who love a spot of baking.

The Little Bug Bakery was a 90 minute session costing £5 per child which I thought was quite good value.  We arrived at Endsleigh, our local Wyevale Garden Centre and were handed disposable aprons and the children stood behind a table.  I hadn’t told the children what they were going to be doing and thought it’d be a nice surprise.

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The children enjoyed mixing up some ingredients to make biscuits and then were given some red and black fondant icing to decorate a pre-prepared cupcake.  It was suggested we could make a ladybird or anything else we fancied.  Mister B decided on a random design while Miss M attempted a ladybird.

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We were then given an activity sheet to complete while the member of staff in charge went to put the biscuits in the oven.  After doing some puzzles and colouring we were milling around for a bit wondering what we would be doing next, when the staff member came back and offered us a wristband for a 30 minute play in the soft play area.  As expected my two children couldn’t get in there fast enough.

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We were now 45 minutes into the 90 minute activity, the kids had lots of fun in the soft play and we returned after 30 minutes to the activity tables but it was just a case of grabbing our freshly baked biscuits and leaving.

As you can see my children were rather pleased with their finished products and couldn’t wait to take them home to show daddy and of course eat them!

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For an extra £4 you can include a lunch box with each activity which we did, so we then headed off to the main restaurant to sit down and enjoy a spot of lunch.  The children love eating out so this went down well and they enjoy picking the items to go in their lunch bag.  I’ve always found Wyevale Garden Centre’s to have a good choice for kids and also a wide selection of food available for adults too.  The children then popped outside to the outdoor playground for a final run around before heading home.

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Overall we had a good morning out and the children definitely loved being there.  I did feel though that the Little Bug Bakery lacked a little something, enthusiasm, excitement perhaps?!?

A youngish member of staff was in charge of the activity, and although she was pleasant and told us what to do, I didn’t feel she interacted with the children or engaged with the group as a whole in any way.  She just walked past the tables telling each of us which ingredients to mix together.  I wasn’t even aware until I got home and looked at the website that the biscuits we were making were “squashed fly biscuits”.  How excited would the children have been if they thought the raisins they were adding were squashed flies?!!

I just feel that if she had addressed the group as a whole by maybe having a table in front of us and getting all the kids to copy each step she did, it may have been a bit more fun and interactive.  It probably would have filled the time better too.  I don’t blame her in any way, but maybe a little more training/guidance is required.

I also noted on the website that unlimited squash was included but we weren’t offered any or didn’t see any around.

I would visit Endsleigh Garden Centre again and we do go there quite regularly as I think it’s a great place and does offer some different and fun things for the children.

 

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

 

 

Dr. Beckmann Cleaning products Review & Giveaway

Dr. Beckmann have a great range of essential cleaning products for your large kitchen appliances that I wish I’d discovered long ago.  My washing machine often gets a little grubby around the seal, and can get a bit whiffy inside, but I hadn’t realised you could get specific products for cleaning inside.  I usually just run it on an empty hot wash but it never really does the job properly.

Service-it ProductsAfter being given the chance to sample Dr. Beckmann’s simple to use deep cleaning products I couldn’t wait to give them a try.  A few days ago I gave my washing machine a long overdue treat with Deep Clean from Dr. Beckmann, and as soon as the empty cycle had finished, I could immediately see the results – a much fresher, cleaner looking inside to my machine.  It was so easy to use, just tip the powder in the drum of the machine and put it on an empty wash. If I had known about these sooner I would have given my machine a spring clean long before now!

The also have dishwasher cleaning products which I ran through my parents dishwasher and my mum was rather happy with the results.  A dishwasher is on my wish list for my new house and when I get one, I now know what to use to keep it clean.

If you’d like to try a selection of Dr. Beckmann’s Service It products then simply fill in the form below as I have a bundle as shown above to give away to one lucky reader.

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

The Little Penguin: Pororo’s Racing Adventure DVD Review & Giveaway

The Little Penguin: Pororo’s Racing Adventure is a great film for both children and families to watch from Lionsgate and was released on 15th February.  It follows the tale of Pororo and his desire to take part in the Super Sled Championships.  His ambition becomes a reality when he bumps into two pilot turtles, Toto and Mango who make an emergency landing in the local village, and Pororo manages to get a lift with his friends to the championships!

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The adventure continues as gets a super sled of his own and battles amongst the other teams such as the tigers and the brown bears to compete for the title.  Along the way Pororo inspires both the commentators and the other animals, making this a cute, fun film that I have to say both my children really enjoyed watching.

8yr old Miss M’s verdict: “Brilliant, I love it!.  I liked it because it was quite funny.  I thought the best part was when Pororo fell down a hole and one of the turtles came to rescue him.  Another part I really liked was when Pororo got stuck at the start and had the lollipop boost and was colourful in the air”

5yr old Mister B’s verdict: “Really good, the bit I liked was when the penguin was in the lead of the race.  I liked when the funny men were in the airplane and their yellow thing fell off – that was so funny!”

If you fancy watching this cute little penguin’s amusing adventure, then enter my Pororo DVD giveaway below:

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

Paper Planes DVD Review & Giveaway

Paper Planes is a great newly released film by Lionsgate, about an eleven year old Australian boy, Dylan, and his ambition to compete in the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan.

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His passion for inventing and creating paper planes is clear to see and the film follows his journey to come up with the best paper plane.  Having lost his mother at a young age and with an unsupportive father he is on his own until he meets up with the current Japanese champion Kimi, who he strikes up a friendship with, which helps boost his self esteem and enthusiasm.  The film follows various emotions from start to finish including friendship, family, trust and self belief.

My 8yr old daughter sat glued to this film during it’s entirety, she thoroughly enjoyed it and I think it was totally appropriate for her age.  I enjoyed the film too, and it is definitely something I would have watched when I was younger, but equally something I loved sitting down to watch as a family now.  It has a feel good factor to it and happy endings all round.

I have a copy of the Paper Planes DVD to giveaway to one of my readers, just fill in the Gleam form below:

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

 

Girlz 4 Life – Lego Friends DVD Review

Girlz 4 Life is the new dvd release from Lego Friends featuring all the familiar Lego Friends faces (Olivia, Stephanie, Andrea, Mia and Emma) along with a new girl Livi, who is a popstar that they admire and want to share their new song with.  Unfortunately things don’t go quite to plan as the story unfolds throughout the film with tales of friendship, trust and fame being put to the test.

lego friendsIn LEGO Friends: Girlz 4 Life, the girls’ friendships are tested when mega pop star Livi arrives in Heartlake City. When our friends’ hit song “Girlz” is stolen by Livi’s manager, they must devise and execute a plan, and fast. As Livi gains more fame and recognition from the new hit single, the girls try to share the truth behind the song in hopes that Livi will do the right thing.

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With a running time of 76 minutes this is the perfect for my two children to sit, watch and enjoy without getting bored. They loved the animation and found it easy to watch, sat glued on the sofa with me throughout.  The storyline was easy to follow and kept them eager to see what happened.  We all enjoyed watching this with fun music along the way.  The film is modern and fresh with up to date references to everyday life and a great movie for early Saturday night entertainment with the kids!

The DVD and digitial download was released this week, so why not get a copy now and enjoy it with the children.

We were loaned a preview copy of the film in exchange for an honest review.

Valentine’s crafts from Baker Ross

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s a great time to get kids crafting, and there’s nothing better than a pile of Baker Ross goodies to get them going.  The kits are simple to use, and come with practically everything you need and importantly always give effective results that children are proud off.

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We started with some Heart Fuse Bead Kits, which came with heart templates and a variety of coloured beads.  Both children sat down and eagerly created their patterns taking inspiration from the image sheet provided.

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They both got quite engrossed and were determined to finish.  The prospect of me ironing their designs and them seeing the finished piece stuck together was exciting and they were thrilled with the finished results!

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We then moved onto bookmarks which are a great size and perfect for children to use or give to an adult as a gift.  The bookmarks first need to be coloured in and then some cross stitch added to the top, using a child friendly plastic needle.  You also get several colours of thread to choose from.

When my daughter started colouring one of these, my 5yr old boy really wanted to join in too, and it was his first ever go at sewing which he really loved and put his full concentration into – I just love his finished bookmark!

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

Reward charts from Miggins & B – Review

Reward charts are something I’ve used at various times over the last few years with my young children but finding one that works, keeps the child interested and is durable for multiple uses is often hard to find.  Miggins & B have come up a set of reward charts that are fun, durable and a little bit different to other ones that I’ve seen and tried.

blast_off_1_grandeWe received the “Blast Off” themed reward chart to try out with 5yr old Mister B.  One of the biggest things I’m trying to tackle with him at the moment is tidying up!  He forever leaves a trail of toys across the floor, particularly little bitty ones that he has several boxes for, so I thought I’d start using the chart to encourage him to tidy up.

blast offThe chart arrived rolled up, and being made of a lightweight pvc, this unrolled immediately and was flat, ready to hang on the back of one of our doors.  Accompanying the chart is a sheet of adhesive backed vinyl stickers that stick well to the chart but are also easily removable, enabling the chart to be used again and again.  The chart is A2 in size and easily wipeable making it a durable piece.

WP_20160117_13_22_13_ProHere is Mister B with his first sticker, a little green alien.  What I like about this chart is that the child can choose whereabouts they wish to put the stickers and it allows them to make up their own adventure.  Here Mister B has put the alien on top of the red planet.

Not only that but there is a grey space at the bottom of the chart where you can stick all the stickers and when the child gets one, they just take it from the bottom and place it higher up.  This way the stickers can’t be lost and it keeps everything in one place.

 

WP_20160124_10_45_54_ProThe chart comes with a total of 20 stickers with one being larger than the rest, in this case it is the rocket booster which can be the final sticker that the child earns each time. Mister B loved this concept and has made his own unique story each time he’s gone through the chart and is always eager to make the rocket blast off into space.

Here is his first adventure, apparently all the spaceman and aliens had got stuck on the planets and had to make a chain back down to the rocket!

The ultimate challenge was to get the rocket booster which meant that the chart was complete and Mister B would then get the chocolate coin that awaited him.

 

Look how proud he is of finally achieving his goal and I can honestly say we have had a much more tidier and helpful little boy around the house this past week – a big success!

WP_20160124_17_11_09_ProMiggins & B have a variety of charts available to suit different children such as football, dinosaurs, flowers, fairies and horses.  If you are looking to encourage better behaviours in your child then do pop over and check them out as a better behaved child makes for a happier household!

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