Bead-Kids Bracelet Kits – Review

Bead-Kids offer bead making jewellery kits, ideal for parties, party bags and gift ideas. We were sent the Dolphin Friendship Bracelet kit for 8yr old Miss M to try out and see what she thought.

bead kitsThe kit comes in a handy little box, that’s divided into sections and keeps everything separated and easy to find.  The box being transparent makes it easy to see what you get and where it is.  I like that the packaging is minimal but recyclable, we will definitely keep and use the little sectioned box for other craft bits.

bead kits 2The kit contains enough materials to make three friendship bracelets, each with their own charm.  There are three lengths of suede cord, three silver charms, a small bag of silver beads, organza bag and instructions.  The pieces are all of a good quality so do make a lovely bracelet that girls will love to wear.

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Miss M couldn’t wait to get started, threading the beads and charms onto the cord.  We then needed to follow the instructions to tie the knots at each end.  We did get a little confused as to which diagram we were refering to, but I soon worked it out and showed Miss M what to do.  She then had a go herself on the other bracelets.

bead kits 4I think the finished bracelets look fantastic and great for young girls to wear.  Miss M is thrilled with hers and has picked the blue fish one as her favourite!

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The organza bag that comes in the set makes a nice place to store the bracelets or use as a gift if you are giving one away.  Miss M has decided to keep her favourite bracelet herself and give the other two away to her two best friends at school, as they are friendship bracelets after all.

bead kits 5

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

Win a pair of tickets to BBC Good Food Show Summer 2016

If you enjoy food, (who doesn’t) then the BBC Good Food Show for Summer 2016 is the place to be.  With two major events in Birmingham and London I have a pair of tickets to be won by one lucky reader to a venue of their choice – see further down.

To whet your appetite a little I’m going to share this recipe for a rather cute Coconut Cake by James Martin who is due to make appearances at both shows.


* Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes

* Servings: 6-8


50g coconut cream
50g coconut oil
175g butter, softened
200g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
50g desiccated coconut

125g butter, softened
40g coconut cream
250g icing sugar, sifted
50g–75g coconut shavings
3–4 sprigs lemon verbena

TOP TIP: For the filling and decoration, I would always use fresh coconut rather than dried, as the latter tends to dry out the buttercream, but you could toast the coconut shavings first, if you like.


1) Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line two 17cm deep-sided cake tins.

2) Gently heat the coconut cream and oil together in a small saucepan until liquid, then set aside to cool slightly.

3) Put the butter and caster sugar into a kitchen mixer or large bowl and beat until lightened and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one. Add the vanilla extract then sift in the flour and baking power and fold together. Add the desiccated coconut, cooled coconut cream and oil and mix well, then divide between the prepared cake tins.

4) Smooth the tops over and bake for about 20–25 minutes until golden brown and risen. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean – if it doesn’t, return the cakes to the oven for another 5 minutes and repeat.

5) Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before turning out of the tins and cooling completely.

6) Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Beat the softened butter, coconut cream and icing sugar together in a food mixer or a bowl with an electric whisk until really light, fluffy and almost white in colour.

7) Spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a 13mm plain nozzle. Pipe swirls of coconut cream all over one sponge, then scatter some coconut shavings over the top, so that they stick out around the edge of the cake. Gently lay the second cake on top. Pipe small peaks of cream all over the top of the cake and finish with some more coconut shavings and small sprigs of lemon verbena.


Both BBC Good Food Show events are jam packed with things to do, a food stage, shopping areas, celebrity chefs and much more.   This really is a great event to see live demonstrations, sample the latest foods and treat yourself to some tasty goodies!

If you’d like to win a pair of tickets to a venue of your choice, either Birmingham or London, just fill in the Gleam form below:

BBC good food tickets

Madame Tussauds Blackpool welcomes Festival Fields

Festival Fields is the latest addition to the ever popular Madame Tussauds in Blackpool, a themed area to celebrate the increasingly popular British festival scene.  With new waxworks Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift taking centre stage and joining fellow singer Olly Murs, there are photo opportunities galore with your favourite stars.

madame tussauds

The area will invlove a multi sensory experience with smells, sounds and all the sights you’d see at a festival such as mud, portaloos and a pair of rather funky, giant wellies.  There is also a chill out area at the campsite around an open fire and a rather call retro VW campervan food stall. If you are brave enough you can also have ago at karaoke or playing with the interactive light show, it all sounds like a lot of fun to me!

madame tussauds

This short video gives you a real feel of what Festival Fields is like and how much fun you can have checking out the area and grabbing some photo opportunities:

Make the most of your trip to Madame Tussauds Blackpool with a range of affordable ticket prices. Best Madame Tussauds prices are guaranteed online with 20% off on the day tickets.


Ticket Type

On The Day








Group of 4



Madame Tussauds is open an impressive 364 days a year and really does have something for everyone, with waxworks from a vast range of genres, A-list celebrities, sporting legends, political heavyweights and historical icons.  It’s great that you can wander round among them for true photo opportunities and the various interactive areas that the attraction now has really makes it a fun

For more information visit:

This is a sponsored post

Home Baking with the Kids and Wilko

There’s one activity that my two children just love to do, and that’s baking.  They jump at every opportunity so when Wilko sent over some of their home baking accessories to try out over the school holidays their eyes lit up and they couldn’t wait to get started.


Wilko has a great range of their own brand kitchen utensils as well as branded options.  I particularly love the Mason Cash range with it’s retro feel in soft pastel colours.  I love the designs on the sides of these products and they are really good sizes too, the 29cm Mason Cash mixing bowl (£15) is large, perfect for stirring up a cake batter in and the Mason Cash measuring jug (£10) can hold up to 2 litres of liquid.

wilko 2

Well the kids couldn’t wait to get started, begging me everyday to bake, so we started off with some simple chocolate chip biscuits, and seeing that it was just after Easter we decided to break up a leftover Easter egg for the chocolate chips.  5yr old Mister B took charge of the Wilko Oink Oink silicone spatula (£1) and 8yr Miss M was head of mixing with the Oink Oink mixing spoon (£1).  We also used the Wilko Mini Scales (£2.50) to measure out the ingredients.

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After mixing the ingredients, it was then for Miss M’s favourite part, getting her fingers stuck in, turning it into a ball of doll and rolling it out using the Wilko Revolving rolling pin (£3.50) made from Beech.  They then used the Wilko Heart Shaped Cookie cutters (£1.50) to cut out their biscuits before we baked them in the oven.

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And don’t they look pleased with the results!

wilko 5

A few days later, my children were eager to bake a cake, and we are all rather fond of the chocolate variety here, so the children whipped up a basic sponge mix.  Miss M absolutely loves doing this by hand, while Mister B whisked the eggs up using the Wilko Silicone whisk £1.25 and poured the ready weighed out ingredients into the bowl for her to beat together.

wilko 6

As you can see they had so much fun producing this cake batter and finished by licking the spoons and bowl whilst the cake baked in the oven, in the Wilko 9 inch sprung form cake tin (£6) which is completely non stick and released the cake beautifully when baked.  We repeated this process twice as we wanted to bake a two layer cake and the children got to mix the ingredients up all over again, so double the fun!

It was then time to decorate the cake which I did help them with by quickly mixing up some butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder to give them some chocolate buttercream.  I placed this inside a little squeezy tube with an icing nozzle to make the application simple for them.  Miss M was so excited at icing a cake herself and tried her hardest as well as teaching her little brother how to do it.  Mister B however became the chief strawberry placer, and decorated the top of the cake in strawberry halves.

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I have to say the finished cake was utterly delicious and we invited the grandparents over for a cup of tea and slice of cake in the afternoon.  We loved baking with Wilko, the products are great, the cake tasted scrummy, the children had a really fun afternoon – what more could we ask for!


All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received some Wilko’s baking goodies in order to write an honest review.

Keep Dry with Trespass Waterproof Jackets

Looking for a good quality, waterproof jacket isn’t easy. One that can cope with heavy showers, keep you dry with a hood that doesn’t blow off in the wind.  Trespass have a vast selection of womens waterproof jackets make from high quality materials, to keep you protected from those dreary, wet days.


I had the chance to try out the Blurry Women’s Waterproof Jacket in black with purple detailing around the zip and also on the lining.  It feels quite lightweight but you can tell it’s got the quality to recent water and protect from the wind which I like as it allows you to wear it in warmer weather and not just the winter.

Trespass 2The jacket is nicely shaped around the hem, with a slight curve at the back.  I also like the zipped pockets on either side, always useful to pop your phone or keys into.  Across the upper half of the zip is a flap across which both adds style, but also added protection from the weather.  The collar is soft lined and really comfortable against your skin.  What I really like to help keep the wind out and the hood on is the toggles around the hood area, the cuffs and bottom hemline.  This are essential on those bitter, windy days when you just want to feel snuggled up and protected.

My mum has kindly modeled the jacket for me as the jacket does come up rather tight around the hips for me with the zip closed so I would recommend getting a size larger than expected.  My mum wears a size 14 jeans and this jacket is an XL.

Trespass 3Overall I’m really pleased with this jacket and it will be an essential for me in the school playground over the winter months as well as rainy days out with the kids who aren’t too fussed about the rain, but I do like to keep myself as warm and dry as possible!

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


Protecting your Child’s Teeth with Pronamel

Protecting your child’s enamel on their teeth is really important particularly when their permanent teeth come through between the ages of 6 and 13 years.  These new teeth are vulnerable to attack from acid erosions, the wearing away of the protective enamel caused by everyday food and drink.

Pronamel by Sensodyne sent my children a special wash pack each as part of their campaign to encourage both efficient brushing and ways of caring for their teeth as demonstrated in a bite size tooth guide that they have compiled.


As children’s enamel is 50% thinner than adults it’s really important to consider the diet that you give your child.  A survey amongst parents conducted by Pronamel, found that 30% of parents give fruit to their child as a snack, 27% biscuits and only 3% vegetables.

I have to say that with my two children I give them a mix of all three across the day, mixing up vegetables with houmous, fruit and a little sweet treat.

pronamel 2

Pronamel toothpaste for children helps to protect their teeth by:

  • Helps re-harden acid softened tooth enamel, keeping children’s teeth strong and healthy
  • It has a low abrasive formula that is gentle on children’s enamel
  • Contains flouride to help protect against tooth decay
  • Provides plaque removal with twice daily brushing

My 6 yr old has been using this daily and is quite happy with the taste which is great as I know the kids can be fussy if a toothpaste tastes too strong.  I’ve also been using the adult version and have to say it’s very pleasant to use and I’d happily use it again, particularly knowing that it is protecting the enamel on my teeth.

pronamel 35 yr old Mister B is always motivated with a little encouragement and I have to say with his new bathroom accessories he can’t wait to clean his teeth and has done it everyday without fail on his own without us asking him too! He just loves the elephant animal spout for our bathroom tap and he now says before going up to brush “If I brush my teeth can I have a sticker?”.  As you can imagine his pyjamas are covered in them but if that keeps his teeth brushed and healthy then great!

I’ll finish now with Professor David Bartlett’s top five tips for protecting your child’s enamel:

  1. Limit the number of occassions that your child has acidic food and drinks in a day
  2. Avoid brushing right after eating or drinking acidic foods
  3. Nibble on a tiny piece of cheese or swill with water or milk after each meal
  4. Use a glass and a straw and finish the drink quickly
  5. Brush twice a day, every day to with an optimised flouride toothpaste like Pronamel for children to help reharden and strenghten acid softened tooth enamel and help to keep children’s teeth strong and healthy.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product plus other goodies in order to write an honest review and sharing some toothcare tips.

Spring Garden Flowers from OK Bouquet

There’s nothing like a gorgeous bunch of flowers to brighten your day, and the ‘Spring Garden‘ bouquet from OK Bouquet certainly does that.  With it’s brightly coloured flowers in my favourite colour hues, pink and purple along with some added foliage, this really is a stunning bunch not to be missed.

OK bouquetThe flowers were delivered in a large box and a clever water box at the bottom which kept the flowers beautifully upright and perfectly watered. They were delicately wrapped and the flowers came out completely undamaged.

OK bouquet 2The bunch was huge and slightly too many for my largest vase, which was a bonus as it meant I could have two vases of beautiful flowers to adorn my house.  These flowers are really pretty and after a few days the tulips really started to bloom and show their full potential.

When looking at the OK Bouquet website, I have to say that all of the bunches are simply beautiful and seasonal so you really do get the flowers at their best. I was pleasantly surprised by the prices too, as the website looks far more expensive than the flowers are but these cost no more than any other flower delivery service I’ve used before and therefore definitely one I’ll come back to next time I need to send my mum a surprise bunch!

OK bouquet 3These flowers have really brightened my days for the last couple of weeks, they have lasted well with a few water changes and trimming the ends.  If you know someone that needs cheering up, it’s their birthday or you just want to say thank you, then why not check out OK Bouquet and see their amazing range of flowers that they have available.

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

Some Gorgeous Kids Brands to Share with you

When it comes to looking for high quality, great looking products for children and babies, there are some great brands out there that really care and use the best materials to produce their goods.  I have been lucky to try some for myself over the last week and I have to say they are all fantastic and I’ve discovered some great brands that I hadn’t tried before but wouldn’t hesitate to go back to.

First up we have Frugi, which although I had heard of, had not actually seen any of their clothes first hand.  I have to say, the quality of them is second to none, all being 100% organic cotton and quite literally the softest, thickest cotton in children’s clothes I have seen in a while.  You can also tell from the cut and finish that these are well made and I couldn’t wait to fit my children into some of the new pieces from their Summer collection.


Mister B had a stripey t-shirt to try out and thought the applique design of a seagull listening to his headphones with his backwards cap on rather amusing.  Miss M had a playsuit, which is right up her street for her style.

InstagramCapture_af723af1-f234-4f7d-bbf3-8a3ece0782acBoth children simply loved their outfits, they are so comfortable and I must say a really good size for their ages.  Normally we need to go a size up, but these are a generous cut and being so soft, are so easy to wear against their skin.  I have been very impressed with Frugi and will definitely be checking out future seasons with them.

bell & booBelle & Boo is simply the most gorgeously branded homeware goods for kids that I have seen in a while, with a unique, old fashioned storybook style that reminds me of my childhood.  The collection centres on a girl called Belle and her bunny friend boo as well as many other characters suitable for both boys and girls.  We received some products featuring Belle and I just adore them. They have a retro feel and are made to a really high quality, making them ideal for beautiful gifts.  From their stationery ranges we had a writing pad, shopping list and set of notebooks.  They are all lovely to write on with a cute design in each corner.  The set of notebooks features a different picture on each cover.

bell & boo 2This framed print is so cute and will look lovely on Miss M’s new bedroom wall.  It’s a classic piece of wall art that looks timeless and suits a young girl’s room perfectly.  Belle & Boo covers a large range of items such as cute kitchen items for girls, bedding, party pieces and also some rather lovely pirate themed items too – well worth checking out for that special gift!


The Piupia polo top for babies/toddlers is made from organic cotton so is super soft, just what you want to put on to little ones skin.  The top is well made, a really good cut and features buttons down from the top to help get on and off easily.  The pattern is modern on a neutral background so will fairly much go with anything and being unisex is great too.

cheeky chomper

Cheeky Chompers features a rather fine array of teething accessories, in fact some rather clever ideas such as the Neckerchew.  All the fabrics look gorgeous and comfortable to wear at the same time.  We received the Chewy the Hippo teether who I have so say is rather charming.  He’s a really good size for grabbing onto and has a soft latex body for chewing away at.  He also squeaks if you give him a squeeze.  He also has a rather lovely velcro strap to attach him to wherever needs be, car seat, pushchair etc.


Kokoso baby is a multipurpose moisturiser made from 100% natural and organic coconut oil.  It really is a high quality product to help soothe and protect baby skin.  The product itself is quite a solid product but once warmed between your fingers it softens and melts ready to be absorbed straight into the skin to work it’s magic.  Perfect for sore bottoms, baby massage, dry skin and much more this is definitely worth a try.

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


Win a Family Theme park trip plus hotel stay with Dioralyte

We all know the dreaded horror stories we hear when either you or family members get hit by the dreaded Norovirus or Rotavirus.  Days in bed ill, the kids have to be kept of school for days, constant cleaning the bedsheets to keep them fresh and germ free, and most importantly keeping everyone hydrated.

Dioralyte Family

I remember back a couple of years ago, when my daughter Miss M came home from school telling me that several of her friends were off school ill.  The next thing I knew, poor Miss M herself was poorly and totally unfit for school.  She was on and off the toilet with diarrhoea all day, couldn’t eat and so the one thing I tried to make sure was that she stayed hydrated.  I remember giving her a few sachets of Dioralyte to drink as I had some in the cupboard at the time and they are so much better than just plain drinks as they help to replace essential salts in the body.  It did take her a few days to get better then a further 48 hours off school so she didn’t spread it to others, although my now it seemed to have made it’s way around a fair few members of the class.  My little boy also suffered a little although I really pushed the point of washing hands all the time to prevent the spreading of germs.  Fortunatley the adults escaped this episode but with both children poorly, it wasn’t a very nice week at home at all!

Dioralyte is the number one selling rehydration drink and available in three variants, natural, citrus or blackcurrant. Suitable from 2 years of age, it’s worth keeping some in the medicine cabinet for all the family to use at time of diarrhoea and viruses.

DioraleZe is another product in the Dioralyte family, which aims to stop diarrhoea in it’s track with just one does.  Suitable for adults and over 12’s, this is definitely worth keeping an eye out for should you start suffering from such symptoms.

Some important facts you should remember if a bug reaches you or a family member are:

• Norovirus, is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK. Sometimes referred to as the “winter vomiting bug” it causes diarrhoea and vomiting.
• It’s important to STOP & rehydrate from the first signs of illness, so it can be helpful to have the Dioralyte family on hand to help
• Dehydration is the loss of water and electrolytes (mineral salts)
• The Dioralyte family includes Dioralyte, Dioralyte Relief and DioraleZe
• Dioralyte provides the right balance of mineral salts and water to combat dehydration and rehydrates better than plain water, fruit juice or fizzy drinks
• Dioralyte Relief includes rice powders to reduce symptoms of diarrhoea as well also being formulated to hydrate better than plain water, fruit juice or fizzy drinks
• Drinking plenty of fluids, taking antidiarrhoeal and/or anti-emetic (anti-vomiting) medication, as well as getting plenty of rest are just some of the ways you can help manage the symptoms of norovirus
• Oral rehydration salts are recommended as good sources of rehydration in guidelines
• Even mild dehydration (between 1% and 2% loss in bodyweight) can cause a lack of concentration in the short-term, headaches and reduced mental capability

** Winner as picked by Pegasus is Rebecca Beesley!**  Congratulations!

I’m pleased to announce that in association with Dioralyte I am running a fabulous competition for my readers “Gastro Ghouls & Noro Stories”.

All you need to do is comment below with your Gastro Ghoul & Noro Stories including the following information:

• What gastrointestinal illness (gastro ghoul) did they suffer from?
• When did they get ill?
• What happened?
• How did it affect the family & in which order did it travel around the family?
• How quickly did it spread?
• Who was affected the worst?

Feel free to also submit a ghoulish video of your story which you can email over to me.

The winners story will be made into a promotional video by the promoter Pegasus to which you will be invited to a screening. Your details can be anonymous for this if you wish.

In return one winner will be selected according to the terms and conditions below and can choose one of these fabulous prizes!

Option 1
Family mini break (2 adults and 2 children) to Legoland Windsor, including centrally located hotel accommodation for one night and tickets to Legoland.

Option 2
Family mini break (2 adults and 2 children) to Chessington World of Adventures Resort, including centrally located hotel accommodation for one night and entry to the resort.

Option 3
Family mini break (2 adults and 2 children) to Longleat Safari Park, including centrally located hotel accommodation for one night and entry to the safari park.

Competition terms and conditions:
1. This competition is open to residents of the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland.
2. All information detailing how to enter this competition forms part of these terms and conditions. It is a condition of entry that all rules are accepted as final and that the competitor agrees to abide by these rules. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Submission of an entry will be taken to mean acceptance of these terms and conditions.
3. Entries should be submitted as a comment on the blog post or via the bloggers given email address. Entrants should include their own name and relevant contact information i.e. email address.
4. All entries must be received by the midnight 1st May 2016
5. Each entrant grants a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual licence to Sanofi to feature any or all of the submitted story in consumer and trade press and Sanofi company publications, on their websites and/or in any promotional material connected to this competition.
6. Late, illegible, incomplete, defaced or corrupt entries will not be accepted. No responsibility can be accepted for lost entries and proof of transmission will not be accepted as proof of receipt. Entries must not be sent through agencies or third parties.
7. The winning entry will be chosen by Pegasus. The winner will be notified within seven days of the closing date of the competition.
8. Offensive or entries deemed by the competition organisers to be inappropriate will not be accepted.
9. The winning entry will win an experience with a perceived value of £560.
10. The winners may be required to take part in publicity.
11. Events may occur that render the competition itself, or the awarding of the prize, impossible due to reasons beyond the control of the Promoter and accordingly the Promoter may at its absolute discretion vary or amend the promotion and the entrant agrees that no liability shall attach to the Promoter as a result thereof.
12. English law applies and the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts shall prevail.


• This competition prize is provided by Dioralyte as part of their Gastro Ghouls & Noro Stories campaign
• Dioralyte has not influenced the content of this piece
• To find out more about Dioralyte, Dioralyte Relief and DioraleZe products visit
• Always read the label (to be included if referencing product information)


Thunderbirds Dress Up Costume – Review

Thunderbirds is a popular family favourite that most people are familiar with whatever age they are, so this new Scott Tracy dress up costume from Pretend to Bee will be a hit with a lot of children.


Available in sizes that will fit ages from 3 up to 10 years, the costume has wide appeal and has an extra fun hidden sound button.  The costume is designed in shades of blue with various detailing such as a badge design on the sleeve as well as padding across the upper chest area and shoulders.  There is velcro down the back to get it on and off and also an additional small zip at the front.

Thunderbirds 4There are also a few detachable parts that simply velcro on.  A padded sash goes from one shoulder down to the waist with strong velcro either end and behind the middle of the sash you can velcro on a little sound button which proved to be rather fun and had 5yr old Mister B very excited and kept him playing in the costume for hours.  There are also two padded gauntlets that go over the lower arms and velcro around the back for added dimension to the costume.

Thunderbirds 3

The sound button on the costume is really effective and brought lots of fun when playing with.  It says in the familiar voice “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Thunderbirds are Go, **a big blast of sound**”.

Listen to the sound in the video below, it’s sounds much louder in real life, your little boy will just want to try it!

The Thunderbirds costume is brilliant, I love it and my little boy loves it, so we would definitely recommend it.  It’s had lots of wear already in the short time that we’ve had it and I’m sure it will get plenty more.  I think when a child puts the costume on themselves in the morning you can be sure it is a hit!

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