Organic Head Brunette Conditioner by Daniel Galvin Jr

Daniel Galvin Jr’s range of hair care products are all made with a high proportion of organic ingredients and provide high quality hair care that is a pleasure to use and treats your hair well.  The Organic Head Brunette Shampoo and Conditioner are especially formulated with Daniel Galvin Jr’s exclusive brunette blend including sage to gradually darken brown hair, elderberry to add richness and lustre to darker locks and black tea to enhance chestnut tones.  I was looking forward to trying out the Brunette Conditioner on my long dark hair to see how it performed.

The conditioner comes in a generous 250ml size tube that is easy to dispense and perfect for standing on the side of the shower or bath. Made with 70% natural ingredients, I have to say when it is dispensed from the tube it does look really nourishing and wholesome.  With a creamy beige thick looking consistency I was eager to try it out on my hair.  After shampooing I applied the product and it’s thick creamy texture was pleasant and hydrating on my hair.  It felt very luxurious and nourishing really giving my hair the boost it needed.

The Daniel Galvin Jr Organic Head Brunette Shampoo and Conditioner is a really competent and quality product that I’d happily use after every wash.  It packed my hair full of hydration, left it super soft with added shine and richness.  I haven’t used it long enough to see how well the brunette enhancement performs but the Daniel Galvin Jr Oh! Conditioner itself has a rich feel to it and is definitely a product that suits my hair type and leaves it feeling luxuriously soft, smooth and well cared for!

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

Sip n Sound Farmyard Animal Straws

Sip n Sound Farmyard Animal Straws from Flair are a fun new interactive range of straws for children, that along with the fun element also encourage health benefits by using a straw as opposed to a cup.  In the Farmyard Animals range there are four straws to choose from, Horse, Cow, Sheep and Pig.

Each straw is quite solid and easily slides inside the animal so can simply be removed for washing.  The animals stay put at whatever height you put them on the straw although we did find you need a sturdy cup to use them with so they don’t tip the cup over.

The children’s faces were all smiles when they saw them and they couldn’t wait to try them out, not quite knowing what was going to happen.  When they heard the animal sounds as they drank through the straws they were in fits of giggles and thought they were really funny!

The straws are great fun and the children love using them, it certainly encourages them to drink plenty of liquid everyday as they kept asking for refills so they could use the straw again.  Also drinking through straws is much better for oral health and helps prevent tooth decay.

So what did the kids think:

Mister B – “They are amazing – I love them, can I try a different one now?”

Miss M – “Brilliant, they are really funny, can we use them for dinner later please?”

As you can see the Sip n Sound animal straws have been a success with my children and they can’t wait to share them with their friends when they come round.  Being reusable and easily washable I think these will get many months of use!

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

Ravensburger My First Pets Puzzle 8+ Review

Ravensburger My First Pets Puzzle is aimed at ages 8+ and contains 200 pieces. It is a really cute design containing eleven different sections each with a different type of pet featured in it.  Being broken down into sections makes it easier to identify where each of the pieces go and having a 9yr and 6.5yr old I was sure they would be able to complete this between them.

With my 9yr old out, the 6yr old got started and without helping him, I encouraged him to find all of the edge pieces.  I knew he could do it if he tried and before long he started piecing bits together. He loved the achievement of joining up sections that he had made and had fun identifying which animal each piece came from.  It also gave us talking points about the various pets on the front of the box.

When the 9yr old got home, she couldn’t resist joining her brother and helping him find the inside pieces.  In fact just a few hours later they had completed it all by themselves!  I’ve always enjoyed doing puzzles and I’m pleased to be able to share this pastime with them.  I think it’s great for their brain and makes them think, identify and match pieces which are great skills for adapting into other things.

Overall we loved the puzzle.  The animals are all so cute on the front and having different sections gave each child a different pet to focus on so they weren’t arguing over who was putting which pieces in.  The 9yr old did get to put the last piece in though!

A really lovely puzzle from Ravensburger, with their usual high quality of pieces.  It was a pleasure watching my children complete this and gave them just about the right challenge to do without being too easy. My First Pets Puzzle is cute, fun and perfect for animal loving children.

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

Irish Fairy Door Perfect for Tooth Fairy Visits

The Irish Fairy Door Company make high quality wooden fairy doors perfect for little ones to bring the magic of fairy life into their homes and gardens.  My little 6yr old is a great believer in all things such as Santa, the Easter Bunny and of course the tooth fairy which he has been desperate to leave a tooth for but has yet to have lost one of his milk teeth, although I knew a fairy door would be perfect for him.

The Irish Fairy Door comes with everything you need to make a perfect home for a fairy and encourage lots of imaginative fun with little children.  We received the blue arched fairy door to try out and I knew my little Mister B would love setting it up as a few days prior he had the start of his first ever wobbly tooth!

The set is well thought out and comprehensive in the pieces included.

  • Wooden fairy door
  • Stepping stones
  • Notepad
  • Bottle with stopper and key inside
  • Welcome guide
  • Fairy lease agreement

Mister B was thrilled with the set when it arrived and amazingly got his first wobbly tooth a few days before it actually arrived so was very excited to set this up ready for the tooth fairy.  He was thrilled with the door and set it up on the skirting board outside his bedroom (at my suggestion thinking it will be easier to access than inside his room!).  The door is of very good quality, all wood with great detail that even Mister B commented on about how much he liked.  It can be used indoors or outside (just requiring a coat of varnish to help weatherproof) but ours was going to be inside as Mister B’s whole focus was on the tooth fairy.

The Fairy Welcome Guide is a lovely bright booklet that follows a story of a grandfather explaining to his grandchildren about the life of fairies and how to set up the door and believe in the little visitors.

The Fairy agreement is a scroll outlining your responsibilities which is really sweet and lovely.

Mister B wasn’t too bothered about the two above items and favoured the cute little key in a bottle and the stepping stones.  In fact we had a bit of a meltdown at the prospect that the fairy would take the key away and that would be how you knew she had visited!  So we decided that the fairy probably wouldn’t take the key and just use it when she arrived.

Mister B spent that day setting up his fairy door and was really excited with all the pieces.

Within a week or two his wobbly tooth fell out!!  I have never seen so much excitement and he couldn’t wait to put his tooth on one of the stepping stones ready for the tooth fairy to find at night whilst he was sleeping.  He wrote a cute little note on the note paper and left it all set up ready to check out again in the morning.

Of course we didn’t want to take away the key due to upsetting him, so left the bottle on it’s side with the cork stopper out and the key on the floor.  His tooth was gone and a £1 coin had appeared on the stepping stone instead.  Also the note he left against he wall was on the floor which totally convinced him that the tooth fairy had read it.

Overall this set of a fairy door from The Irish Fairy Door Company has been a total success.  My little boy really believes in the tooth fairy and his whole experience of losing his first tooth has been a pleasurable one that has been very much  enhanced by the fairy door.  He is a total believer and having a special place to leave his tooth meant so much to him.  He can’t wait to lose another one now and write a new note for the fairy.  This is a great concept that brings so much excitement, fun and memories to children – well worth checking out!

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

Jamie Raven Street Magic

Jamie Raven Street Magic from Paul Lamond Games is one of a set of four easy to follow magic kits by Jamie Raven, one of the UK’s top magicians.  The sets aimed at anyone from the age of 8+ are Street Magic, Sleight of Hand, Card Magic and Magic of the Mind.  Each set comes with every prop and accessory needed to carry out the tricks and you get a special online link to videos where Jamie demonstrates each trick simply and clearly.

Containing seven fun tricks that use everyday items, hence the name ‘Street Magic’, you can recreate these anywhere using items as you find them, although all items are included to get you started.

Tricks in the Jamie Raven Street Magic set include:

  • The Jumping Rubber Band
  • The Vanishing and Reappearing Coin
  • Currency destruction
  • Linking Paperclips
  • The Vanishing Hanky
  • The Floating Paper Cup
  • Vanishing Rubber Band

All the included accessories are perfect for performing the magic but what I really liked about the set is that the instructions are in the form of online videos which you get a special link to.  Here you see Jamie demonstrate the trick perfectly and then a slowed down version giving you clear instructions as to how to do the trick and make it look realistic to the audience.  My 9yr old daughter particularly enjoyed watching the videos to help her learn the magic.

We found the tricks really fun to learn and it’s just a case of practice to perfect your skill to really fool people.  This is a great little set and much better than other magic sets we’ve tried in the past.

Here is 9yr old Miss M showing me her magic:

I’m pleased with this Jamie Raven Street Magic set, the online instructions are really clear and simple and the set doesn’t try to cram too much in.  A few great tricks makes a good showcase of magic to show to friends and family.

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

Dolmio 3 Ways – Family Meals to Enjoy

Recently I was inspired by Britmums to make tasty family meals that included a jar of Dolmio.  From Spaghetti Bolognese to Mushroom & Spinach Cannelloni and a Vegetable Moussaka we’ve been enjoying delicious vegetarian dishes that are simple to put together and provide really hearty family meals packed full of healthy vegetables along with Dolmio.

With a delightful array of ingredients sent to us, I was excited to get cooking.  Being vegetarian I used soya mince in the bolognese which the kids enjoy (even though they are meat eaters) and the other dishes were purely vegetable based. I was surprised to learn that each jar of Dolmio provides a family of four each with 1 of their 5 a day.

Dolmio Bolognese Original 500g sauce is 100% natural. In each jar, you’ll find at least 10 juicy diced tomatoes, a dollop of tomato puree, half an onion, a tablespoon of sunflower oil, a couple of cloves of garlic, a handful of herbs including basil, a teaspoon of cornflour, a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of pepper, two teaspoons of added beet sugar for taste, a squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of water and nothing more.


Spaghetti Bolognese

We had to start with a traditional style bolognese – one of the kids favourite meals and one that the family all really enjoying sitting down to on a weekday evening.

Not being one to measure my quick dinner ingredients, I used approximately:

  • 2 diced onions
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1 diced courgette
  • half a diced red pepper
  • 1 jar of Dolmio
  • appropriate quantity for 4 of wholemeal spaghetti
  • sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese

Mushroom & Spinach Cannelloni

Now when I saw cannelloni tubes in my shopping delivery, I did think what on earth am I going to do with those?  As much as I love an M&S spinach and ricotta cannelloni for a lazy meal, I’ve never braved cannelloni tubes myself.  So looking at the ingredients I had and knowing the husband is rather fond of mushrooms I decided to concoct a rather simple vegetarian cannelloni with the added help of some Dolmio.

  • Mushrooms
  • Frozen Spinach
  • Half a jar of Dolmio
  • Cannelloni tubes
  • Bechamel sauce (made with Cheddar cheese, milk, flour)
  • Parmesan cheese

I lightly fried some mushrooms along with some of the frozen spinach balls.

And then came the tricky part….  stuffing it into the cannelloni!  Clearly I hadn’t thought this through and as I pushed the hot mixture into the tubes they started going slightly soft.. arghh!  But not to worry, a little perseverance and I soon had all the tubes well and truly stuffed!  I layered a little Dolmio under the tubes then another layer on top before adding some grated cheddar and topping with Parmesan.

Thankfully the dish looked rather scrummy as it made it’s way out of the oven and the husband thoroughly approved! (Result for mummy!)



Vegetable Moussaka

I rather enjoy Moussaka and don’t really follow a recipe, just throw in any vegetables I have around.

For this one I used:

  • Dolmio
  • Chickpeas
  • Red Pepper
  • 2 white onions
  • Courgette
  • Aubergine
  • Bechamel sauce (made with flour/butter/milk/Cheddar cheese)

I started off my slicing and lightly roasting the courgette and aubergine slices and whilst they were cooking I drained the chickpeas, lightly fried the onions and made the cheesy Bechamel sauce.

I then simply layered Dolmio with roasted vegetables, lightly fried onions, a handful of chickpeas and then repeated.  To top it of I poured over the Bechamel sauce, added some grated Parmesan and black pepper and cooked in the oven until done.

Voila! One delicious, homemade, vegetarian Moussaka!


Bonus Extra Quick Cheat Meal – Kids Pasta

Having enjoyed Dolmio so much we popped a couple of jars in the trolley when we next visited the supermarket.  When the kids need a quick tea between school and evening clubs we just cook up a bit of pasta with some chopped ham, cocktail sausages and grated cheese and that’s their quick bite to eat that they love.

This week however they asked me if I could put some of that ‘yummy’ sauce on it (aka Dolmio), they are a bit fussy with ‘other’ jars of pasta sauce, so I added a few spoonfuls of Dolmio to their cooked pasta, heated it up and there you go – two incredibly happy filled little tummies!!

This post is an entry for the #Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge, sponsored by Dolmio. www.dolmio.co.uk/thankgoodness.

Oyster Brightening Eye Serum

Oyster Brightening Eye Serum is a brand new premium brand formulated in British laboratories.  It is also vegan and contains a multitude of natural active ingredients to produce a lightweight serum that gives results.  Although perfume free it has a subtle aroma of essential oil – lavender, grapefruit and mandarin.

It comes in an easy to dispense pump style bottle and just enough serum comes out to use around both eyes.  It’s easily absorbed and I found it great to use both morning and at night time.  It’s more powerful ingredients include smoothing Hyaluronic acid, anti-wrinkle Pentapeptides and Co-enzyme Q10 along with antioxidant Green Tea & Raspberry Extracts and gently soothing Cornflower.  Combined the ingredients tackle anti ageing, puffy eyes and dark circles.

I have been using this for the last couple of weeks and love the feel of it around my eye area.  It is a transparent gel like serum that feels soothing and hydrating on application but you can also feel it’s gentle firming effects.  My eye area looks brighter and more youthful which is a great way to start the day and the perfect base for my eyes before applying moisturiser and make up.

I’m really pleased with the Oyster Brightening Eye Serum and will enjoy continuing to use as well as being a product I would be happy to purchase again in the future.

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

Doing the Bacofoil Baco-Shake

Food getting stuck to baking trays and foil is always a pain.  I’m a regular user of foil and tend to cook easy dinners on it (you know the ones from the freezer – chips, nuggets, pizza and such like!) but I always find a little corner or edge of food always sticks somewhere and I then spend the next few minutes picking off the little silver bits of foil – arghhh!

This is where Bacofoil comes in with it’s super non-stick power, along with a little trick that I’ve learnt.  Who new that it was the dull side of the foil that is non-stick?  Well neither did I and I always cook on the shiny side of foil, but having learnt this fact I was eager to try it out, not to mention it’s healthy benefits as no oil is needed and also reduces the amount of washing up – got to be a bonus!

We’ve had a few disasters with pizza over the last few months with the edges getting completely stuck to foil so I knew that it was a pizza that I wanted to do the Bacofoil Baco-shake challenge with.  Remembering to use the dull side of the foil I watched my pizza cook in the oven then grabbing my oven glove I took it out ready to do the Baco-shake.

You can watch it below here:

Well I think the results speak for themselves – it was like a miracle, the pizza just slid around the foil and lifted off with no foil attached whatsoever.  I love this product and it will be a staple in my kitchen from now on.

Why not give the Bacofoil Baco-Shake challenge a go for yourself and share it with them on either their Twitter or Facebook pages along with the hashtag #BacofoilBacoShake

This is a collaborative post

Lee Stafford No Strings Attached Cordless Straightener

Lee Stafford No Strings Attached Cordless Straightener has revolutioned my hair routine in the mornings.  I love being cord free and moving around the room, looking in whatever mirror I please to do my hair.  The other big bonus is the stand to put these in, no more worrying about leaving hot irons on the floor or side where someone might knock them when they are hot or trip over the cord.

What do you get in the box?

Well I was very impressed with the contents.  Along with the straighteners was a heat mat and zip up bag for storage.

The cordless straighteners themselves are just lovely, a bold bright pink and easy to hold.  They have a stand which allows them to sit upright in and a cord which can either go directly into the straighteners as per normal ones, or into the base resulting in the straighteners being cordless when you use them.

So what are they like to use?

I love them!  They are now my go to straightener every morning that I wish to straighten my hair.  I love the way they stand upright in the holder.  They reach a good heat which should last up to 15 mins before needing to put them back in the holder to heat up again.  I find that plenty of time although sometimes I just pop them back in for a few minutes while I comb my hair and then just go over a few bits that need it.

The Lee Stafford No Strings Attached Cordless Straightener to use, I’d recommend them to anyone.  There’s no chance of them rolling about on the floor, you can walk around as you are using them rather than being tied to the corner of the bedroom and they give me the results that I want with my hair.  Plus the fact that they look good standing in the corner of my dressing table.  An all round winner for me!

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

Our Jacky Ha-Ha Girls Book Club

Jacky Ha-Ha by James Patterson a top selling author, is a perfect read for girls age 9+.  Packed full of fun and jokes as it follows Jacky Ha-Ha’s day to day life in which she can’t help cracking jokes and seeing the funny side in everything.  She turns any dull moment into a laugh sometimes without thinking it through but is this just a cover for the emotions she is feeling inside?  We were sent a bundle of books and goodies to hold a girls book club at home and my 9yr old Miss M was excited to invite a group of her school friends round.

“With her irresistible urge to tell a joke in every situation – even when she really, really shouldn’t – twelve-year-old Jacky Ha-Ha loves to make people laugh. And cracking wise helps distract her from thinking about not-so-funny things in her life, like her mum serving in a dangerous, faraway war, and a dad who’s hardly ever home.
But no matter how much fun Jacky has, she can’t seem to escape her worries. So one starlit night, she makes a promise to keep her family together… even if she has to give up the one thing that makes her happy. But can she stop being Jacky Ha-Ha, if that’s who she really is?”

The girls all arrived rather excitedly and couldn’t wait to share their thoughts on the book.  They were all enjoying what they had read so we started off by having a little chat, talking about some questions from the prompt sheet I had been sent such as:

  • How did Jacky get her nickname?
  • What are some of your talents?
  • Have you ever stuck up for a friend in the way Jacky sticks up for Meredith?

It was lovely hearing the girls chat and discuss things that we wouldn’t have otherwise and they all seemed to have fun, being inspired by what others said which led them to think of other things to say.  It certainly seems to help reiterate the story line of the book and got the girls to think about parts of their life they may not have otherwise.  They also recalled funny bits they remembered which set them all off in giggles!

Although the book is quite lengthy, it is broken up with black and white images on most pages which the girls enjoyed and helped maintain their interest whilst reading.  Ideal for girls from 9 to 12 years old it is a busy story line but one with meaning and depth behind it.

Once the discussions were over it was time for some fun.  The girls happily did their word searches and coloured the props for the Jacky Ha-Ha photo booth, whilst sucking lollipops and enjoying a refreshing glass of lemonade.

The photo booth was a huge success and they posed in various ways whilst giggling together.

We really enjoyed the Jacky Ha-Ha book club and would definitely like to hold another in the future.  The girls weren’t sure what to expect at first but found it fun and loved that they were all reading the same book.  It certainly helped the girls bond and reinforced their love of reading!

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. [I have received a voucher in return for writing this post]