Amphora Aromatics Reed Diffuser Kit

Amphora Aromatics Reed Diffuser Kit is the perfect home accessory to fragrance your room with pure essential oils leaving the air with an aroma that boosts your mood and morale.  With 15 different fragrances available there’s sure to be something for everyone and suit your individual tastes.

We received Meditation to try out which contains an uplifting and balancing blend of Bergamot, Ylang Ylang and Clary Sage.  The natural reeds draw the special blends upwards and then disperse the gorgeous scent into the air and throughout your room.  The kit comes presented in a pretty box that would make an ideal gift for friends and family.

So what did I think about it?

Well I have to say the combination of fragrances comes across like a bunch of lilies and I did have one visitor ask me if I had some lilies somewhere and they were looking around my room for them.  I found it very pleasant and warming, giving the room a lift as you entered.  I find it best to turn the reeds upside down every few days to keep the fragrance fresh and flowing.  It’s nice to have a scent in the room as you walk in and I found my front room the best place for this one.  With a great choice of fragrances available – why not try one out for yourself?

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

Apple & Pear Pancakes inspired by Fruit Shoot

My children love drinking Robinson’s Fruit Shoot, perfect to take out and about or stick in a pack lunch.  It’s really good to know that a Fruit Shoot contains real fruit, in fact there’s real fruit in every drop of Fruit Shoot and each and every one is filled with multi-vitamins. Better still, there’s no added sugar, artificial colours or flavourings at all.

Inspired by the inclusion of real fruit, ex- Great British Bake Off star, Holly Bell has curated some delicious recipes suitable for the whole family that include real fruit for added flavour and nutrition.  We decided to try the Apple & Pear Pancakes out as they sounded nice and warming with the added cinnamon for the cold Autumn evenings that are upon us.

Ingredients for the Apples & Pears:

  • 1 apple & 1 pear peeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • maple syrup for serving

Ingredients for the pancakes:

  • 180ml milk
  • 30 ml lemon juice
  • 130g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • vegetable oil
  • maple syrup for serving

Method:

  • Place the apples, pears, lemon juice and cinnamon into a small saucepan and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes until soft
  • Make the pancake batter by mixing the milk and lemon juice into a jug.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together
  • Crack the egg into the milk and lemon mixture and whisk
  • Pour liquid mix over the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  • Add the apples and pears now or can be served seperately on top of the finished pancakes
  • Heat the oil and add small amounts of batter at a time to form each pancake, cook on both sides until just brown until all batter used u
  • Serve on a plate with fruit and maple syrup

The children were first to taste and declared them delicious  They were quick and simple to make, my daughter enjoyed helping me and most of all it was a tasty family dessert with some added real fruit – just like Fruit Shoots!

This is a sponsored post for Fruit Shoot

Oregon Scientific Smart Globe Adventure AR

Oregon Scientific Smart Globe Adventure AR is educational but fun and teaches children an amazing amount of facts about more than 220 different countries using a smart pen to guide them across the globe through learning facts and fun interactive games.  There are 5 games, 19 English challenges and 6 French language challenges.

  • HEAR – The SmartGlobe talks and speaks about lots of fun facts. Listen to the country’s national anthem, capital, or history. Over 4,000 information pieces are stored in the globe’s digital memory.
  • TOUCH – Use the SmartGlobe pen to touch all over the globe. The stand base and world globe contain digital touch points almost everywhere!
  • PLAY – Learn and have fun! Contains 25 games that will teach your children about world facts, while capturing their interest.
  • PORTABLE – Take the globe anywhere. Operates on 3 AA batteries (included) so no cords needed.
  • AUGMENTED REALITY – New for 2017! Use the Oregon Scientific SmartGlobe AR app to bring the globe to life with animals and dinosaurs!

The Smart Globe is a lovely size and brightly coloured which makes it really appealing.  With batteries included it was ready to go and my 9yr old was eager to check it out.  The base contains the controls to use for the smart pen and you have the option of games or facts.  The variety of facts are great and a fabulous way for children to find out about a particular country, either one they are interested in, doing at school, or just a new one they fancy learning about.  The facts cover everything from currency, capitals, national anthems, landscape features and interesting facts about the countries.  Miss M quickly found the games and spent a large amount of time trying to find countries and continents as per the game instructions.  Once she got the hang of where to press on the country and got more familiar with the continents, she was whizzing around and even though she struggled on some, she had so much concentration and determination to continue that she sat playing on her own for a fair amount of time.

Here’s a small clip of Miss M in action playing the countries game on the globe:

There’s an app you can download onto smartphones and tablets where you can experience 3D Augmented Reality such as landscape, animals, landmarks and dinosaurs, literally coming to life in your hand.  With so much to explore and fun to have this globe has to be a great way for kids to learn geography and one they will pick up and do on their own and be happy to learn from.

We’ve been really impressed with the Oregon Scientific Smart Globe Adventure and for the price of £59.99 think it’s well worth the money and something that will be a great boost to children of primary school age and even a little older.

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

Ben 10 Deluxe Power Up Figure

Ben 10 and his Omnitrix (alien watch) is a key part in the Ben 10 series and sees him transform into various different alien beings taking on their appearance and powers whilst still being a ten year old boy underneath.  The perfect way for a kid to have fun and play for the day.  Flair have launched a range of three Power up Figures fully articulated and with their own lights and sounds.  Here we check out Heatblast.

The Ben 10 figures stand at around 14cm tall and easily stand unaided with a steady balance.  Arms and legs can be moved easily for imaginative fun and play but the big feature with these figures is the little button on the top of the back which can be pressed as little or often as you want giving your alien a surging burst of energy.  The character lights up in various ways and makes a great selection of sounds.  From little blasts the more you press the button, the more it powers up creating larger and better sounds.  By holding the button down you get an instant alien blast which really adds to play value.

My just turned 7yr old enjoyed this figure and found the sounds really encouraged play and his imagination to get working.  He is often found carrying the figure around the house and imitating it’s blast off sounds.

A fun toy for Ben 10 fans and one that’s durable for lots of play but has an interactive side to add to the excitement!

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

Lush Halloween & Christmas

When it comes to special occasions Lush always bring it out the bag with an array of exciting products to fit the season and always manage to be innovative in their designs and ideas.  I was lucky to get a preview of the Halloween and Christmas ranges and am pleased to be able to share with you some of their fun themed products.

One I’d definitely buy for my children this Halloween is the Ectoplasm bath bomb, with citrus fragrances it bubbles up and leaves a slimy layer on top of the bath water, which is great for softening the skin but even more fun to play with.

A new addition to the range of lip scrubs and stains is Black Rose which looks so pretty.  If you are a fan of the other lip products then this won’t disappoint and gives a lovely deep pink colour on application of the stain.

Bewitched has to be one of the cutest Halloween bubble bars with it’s black cat head and yellow eyes.  Packed with bergamot it smells rich, spicy and fills the bathtub with bubbles and you can use it several times over which is a bonus.

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Moving on to Christmas, there were some exciting new arrivals, how about these Golden Pear soaps.  With a rich luxurious lather, these are a pleasure to wash with packed with lots of golden ingredients – pear puree, cardamom oil, agave syrup, orange oil, cocoa butter, almond oil among other things.

One thing I must mention are the new Lush Naked products, that is products without packaging – quite literally with no plastic bottle or tub.  So how does that work then, well a shower gel or body conditioner is thickened up until it is in a solid state but still lathers and feels like the product it should be.  In the picture below you can see the Snow Fairy Naked body conditioners.  This is a new idea but one that we should all be embracing as think of how many fewer plastic bottles would end up in landfill!

Man in the Moon just has to be the bubble bar for my son, the colours and style are right up his street although the added cocoa butter is great to keep his skin soft and moisturised.  Lime and neroli oils keep this one smelling fresh and clean.

Snow Fairy cold pressed soap looks pretty and would make the perfect stocking filler for any Snow Fairy fan.  With it’s familiar scent it’s a great way to lather up in the bath or just use for washing your hands.

Twilight Sparkle Jar has to be the cutest things I’ve seen for a while.  This massage bar melts into the skin with it’s moisturising cocoa butter along with lavender and tonka.  When you are done, simply tip it up and shake a golden lustre powder over your skin to leave your you shimmery and soft.

Some great ideas from Lush this year – what will be on your Christmas list?

 

LinkIt – the fun family fast paced Card Game

LinkIt is one in a series of card games aimed at ages 6+ and for between 2 and 8 players.  The fast paced games consists of a series of cards covered in pictures and you have to find a link between two of the pictures.  The unique game has been designed to help children sharpen visual perception and language skills in a fun and competitive atmosphere.

The cards in LinkIt are circular making them a bit different but user friendly and I really like the storage tin that they come in.  This is brilliant and makes it great for storage and an ideal travel game.  With two children aged 9 and 7 I couldn’t wait to have a play and see how they found it.

There are two sets of cards, orange and blue backed which need separating, the orange go in the centre of the table and the blue are dealt out between the players.  All the cards have colour images on and the idea is to find a matching image between your top card and the top card in the central deck.  As easy as it sounds, it can be tricky to find one as the images vary in size across the cards and it takes a bit of quick thinking to find a pair.

The sort of pairs you need to find are things like a baby and bottle, football and goal, camel and desert, rabbit and carrot, mouse and cheese etc.  The first couple of rounds took a little getting used to the pairs but we soon all got the hang of it and everyone was eager to find a match with their card. We found it fast paced, competitive but fun and a game the children wanted to play again and again.  Although they find it fun it really does help sharpen their perception and learn to spot things quickly and I found my 7yr was as able as the adults in this game with his eagerness to win.  Over the last few weeks we have played this multiple times and being quite a quick game, you can fit in a round anytime.

The LinkIt game is great fun, in particular my 7yr old thought it was the brilliant and is now one of his favourite games.  I love it because it’s quick, light hearted fun for all the family and being compact and in a tin makes it a top travel game – we’ll definitely be taking this on our 4 hour train trip next week!

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

Angel Delight Desserts

Angel Delight is a very familiar brand from my childhood and one that I buy today to enjoy with my children.  I find the milky dessert is very quick and easy to prepare and one that the family all enjoy and devour as soon as their bowl arrives at the table!

With an array of flavours available and ready made individual pots too, it couldn’t be an easier dessert to have either at home or on the go.

Chocolate, strawberry, butterscotch and banana – which one shall we make first?  Well I had two little helpers who couldn’t wait to get stuck in whisking the Angel Delight so they took turns at making a packet each until we had plenty of bowls of all the different flavours for people to taste and try out.  We found the packets very simple to mix up, it only takes a little whisking and then it’s ready to pour into bowls.  Leave for just a short while to set, I prefer to put in the fridge and then they are ready to eat whenever you wish.

The children wanted to decorate some pots with smarties which really brightened up the Angel Delight making them look like a proper after dinner treat that they were eager to eat.  Chocolate proved (although I think we already knew) to be the favourite flavour amongst everyone and one we regularly buy and love.  Strawberry was hit and miss, people either liked it or not but it was pleasant enough, just depends on your taste buds and if there is something more preferable available.

Butterscotch Angel Delight is a particular flavour that I remember from childhood and one we often ate back then but one that I don’t think of buying now.  Having tasted it again we discovered it is a top favourite alongside chocolate and one that appealed to my testers of all ages from 6 up to 68 so a wide range.  Definitely one to think about using in mini butterscotch trifles for a quick family dinner or party desserts.

We decided to use the banana flavour to make milkshakes and added extra milk to thin down the mixture.  Being banana flavoured and of the colour yellow it was perfect for my minion mad son to enjoy.  We did little milkshake shots for others to try and they went down well.

Overall it’s been great to experience the array of Angel Delight products available and I got positive feedback from anyone that popped in to taste some or took a little ready pot to try out.  I think the instant pots are great for kids in their pack lunches or on a picnic but we prefer to use the packet Angel Delight ones at home to whisk up a bowl of fluffy, bubbly, milky deliciousness!

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

bea Advanced Skin Care

The bea Skin Care range uses medical grade and highly potent ingredients to provide effective results.  Founded by Bianca Estelle who has experience of working with leading cosmeceutical brands throughout her career, she she decided to develop her own skincare line in conjunction with an FDA-certified laboratory in the United States.

The Argan Oil Beauty Bar is a truly amazing bar of soap that benefits aged, dry, rough and damaged skin.  It has a creamy lather and smells lovely but it’s the results it give that really are it’s selling point.  Rich in vitamin E and vital nutrients it can help rectify sun damage and lightens areas of skin affected by pigmentation such as age spots and freckles.  I found that it easily lathers up and is a pleasure to use.  Although the fragrance is delicate I really liked it.  It left my skin feeling really soft, supple and hydrated and was noticeably different normal soaps.  A top tip bea recommends is to leave the lather on your skin for 30 seconds before washing off to really giving your skin an extra moisturising boost!

The Solar Defence SPF 30 is an organic skin brightening SPF 30 sunscreen protecting the skin from harmful UV rays and treats discolouration, sun damage and hyper-pigmentation and can even decrease the signs of ageing and prevent premature ageing.  I know over the used my skin has suffered from sunburn and I’ve seen from a skin thermal imaging camera that I have a fair bit of damage under the visible layer of skin.  This is a high quality but gentle product that can be used daily under make up to protect and repair your skin.  It’s rich but non greasy and easily glides over your face.  I’ve love using this as it leaves my skin smooth, protected and ready for the day ahead.

Overall I’ve been highly impressed with the products from bea – they are premium skincare with luxury textures and proven results.

With products from bea having such amazing results they are being appreciated and recommended more widespread, most recently having their AHA Wands shortlisted in the 2017 beauty awards in association with OK and the Beauty magazine.  I haven’ t tried these myself but they sound amazing and based on my experience with other bea products I’m sure they work wonders.  If you can spare a minute or two to vote for your favourite beauty brands then click here, where you’ll see AHA Wands in the Best New Facial Skincare Treatment Product category.

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

Ravensburger Despicable Me 3 3D puzzles

Ravensburger Despicable Me 3, 3D puzzles can’t fail to be a hit with minion fans.  Not only are they puzzles, they are covered in minions and also can be used as storage containers once built!

The Despicable Me 3 Storage Box 3D Puzzle comes with 216 pieces and along with a base, top frame, tray and yellow paper inserts.  With a 7yr old minion fan and a 9yr old who loves 3D puzzles I left the two of them to get on with this.  They had a production line on the go with Miss M finding the correctly numbered pieces and Mister B piecing them together.  What I like about Ravensburger 3D  puzzles are that each piece is numbered with a little arrow alongside to show you where to place to the following piece. Within just a short amount of time the puzzles started taking shape and the children were impressed with their structures.

Once each puzzle is complete they each have a base and top frame that turns them into sturdy storage units.  A great bonus of the storage box is a tray that slides across the box and can hold little items but can easily be lifted out.

The Despicable Me 3 3D Pen pot was equally a pleasure to make and came together easily.  Once constructed there is a thin sheet of yellow card to insert inside to finish the look as well as the plastic base and top frame.  Mister B was absolutely thrilled with his pen pot and I think it looks great too!

Overall we are really impressed with both of the Despicable Me 3 3D storage puzzles.  Not only are they fun to do, they are useful and look great.  We’ve found with 3D puzzles in the past they normally stay up for a while then we have to pack them away as they take up too much room but these are fully functional and look great in Mister B’s bedroom.

These would make brilliant gifts at any time of the year but with Christmas on it’s way I’d definitely think about wrapping some of these to go under the tree!

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

 

K’NEX Web Weaver Roller Coaster Building Set

K’NEX Web Weaver Roller Coaster Building Set is a 430 piece building set including an air propelled motorised coaster car.  Aimed at ages 9+, my 9yr old couldn’t wait to get stuck in with the building and check this K’nex kit out.

The set comes with a large, colourful easy to follow instruction booklet which my daughter followed and I was keen to see how she got on alone so left her to build it herself.  The building of the set aids the growth of key developmental abilities like fine motor skills, hand eye coordination and dexterity so I prefer to give her the challenge and just assist when she asks.

She sat engrossed in the build which is always a good start showing that the toy is engaging and of the right age to build.  Miss M managed to piece this altogether practically by herself just requiring a little assistance adjusting the track on the outside to ensure the coaster car didn’t touch the inner structure.  The coaster car comes with a usb charger which I hooked up to my laptop for a short while to charge – we were then ready to see it in action.

The finished coaster stands at over 76cm tall and is quite impressive. What I like is that the structure is designed so that you can easily turn it over to stand either vertically or horizontally and once the pieces are together they stay fairly well.  My daughter started the coaster car on the track and wow – it’s incredibly speedy, shooting it’s way around the track, propelling it’s way up to the top and then flying it’s way back down.

You can see it in action in this short video clip below:

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