Kids Lunchbox tips with #HartleysYourLunchbox

With two children at school I’m always thinking about lunchtime ideas, particularly for school lunchboxes and days out.  I aim to keep them healthy so that I know what they are eating and then can treat them at home when they are with me.  Hartley’s is a familiar brand that we often have at home, jelly is something both of my two love and being a low fat dessert is ideal to use for the kids.

Hartley

My top 3 tips for packing a healthy kids lunchbox that children will eat are:

  1. Keep it familiar – when children are away from home, if you give them the unexepected they are less likely to eat it, give them foods they eat at home and then you’ll know they’ll eat them when away from home.
  2. Add colour and texture – Keep children interested with various colours and textures in their lunchbox, this is easily done by adding fruit, vegetables and Hartley’s Jelly which all brighten up and add colour to lunchboxes.
  3. Keep it fun – try to make food look interesting, cut different shapes, add fun pots of salad, fruit etc to keep children intrigued as to what they will be tasting next.

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In supermarkets now, Hartley’s are offering the chance to collect 12 special edition green lids from across the No Added Sugar Jelly Pots (115g), to claim a free Hartley’s lunchbox and stickers.  You can claim their exclusive lunchbox by heading to the Hartley’s website www.hartleysfruit.co.uk. Each one comes complete with a sticker sheet of Hartley’s much loved characters and a sticker alphabet for children to personalise their lunchbox.
As you can see 5yr old Mister B loved personalising his lunchbox and he is really excited to take it back to school in September.  He has also asked for jelly to be included everyday as he thoroughly enjoyed devouring the Hartley’s jelly pot that we tried out!
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This post is an entry for BritMums #HartleysYourLunchbox Linky Chalenge, sponsored by Hartley’s Jelly http://www.hartleysfruit.co.uk

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Redesigning Children’s Bedrooms

Having just purchased a new house for my family, one of the first areas we want to decorate are the bedrooms.  We need to think not only about paint colours, but how furniture will fit in the room, storage ideas and fun things to give the rooms personality and make the children feel like they have been designed just for them.

For my daughter we are looking for something a little bit more grown up and this bed with a large desk underneath is ideal for her to have somewhere to do all her drawing and homework.  With plenty of space on top, you can add little storage boxes filled with stationery ready for her to do her work. With drawers underneath also, this really does add storage value but gives you a large desk and bed in one.

Also when looking for girls bedroom ideas, I came across this pretty ceiling, dotted with little lights to give them room a twinkling effect.  I think my daughter would love this, especially in the evening when she reads before falling asleep.

Starlight nursery ceilings : Modern nursery/kids room by Lancashire design ceilings

Young boys just love a fun theme in their bedrooms, and my little boy would love this pirate style bed.  With so many fun elements making it look like a ship, he would also play in this during the day.  Having a den underneath is bed is something he’s been after for a while so we have already got him a cabin bed and are just deciding on how to decorate the rest of the room.

Nursery/kid’s room by Paidi
I do love this bunk style bed with a little house at the top and choice of ladder or slide to come down.  The bed underneath can either be used for a second child, or if you only have one child using this, it can be a spare bed for friends sleeping over and during the day it could be a chill out area that I know my two would love relaxing in and playing their little adventure games.
Eclectic style nursery/kids room by Мастерская дизайна Welcome Studio
Kids love a fun bedroom and there are some fabulous ideas here to get inspiration from.  My children can’t wait to see their finished bedrooms and finally move into them, a great new space for them to explore and relax!
This is a collaborative post

Wicked Uncle Online Gift Shop – Review

Wicked Uncle is an online gift retailer with a little difference.  It aims to be of help to those unsure what to buy or what is appropriate to a certain age.  It covers all ages from babies to teens so there really is something for everyone.

Rather than sitting for hours scrolling through pages of gifts, they are categorised by gender and age, don’t worry, lot’s of products are included in both boys and girls but it helps to segregate them by what is most popularly bought for the relevant category.

w1Once you have chosen you are then given a large page of gifts to look through all of which will be age appropriate for the child you are purchasing for.  There is a wide choice available from crafts to magic, stationery to gadgets and bath treats to edible items.

I had a look through and chose a couple of items I thought my children would love to see what they thought.  I chose the Melissa and Doug Rainforest Stamp Set as my two love stamping, particularly Mister B and I knew this was something he’d be happy to sit and do.  Also they love animals and there’s lot of different scenes they can create with these.

rainforestRetailing at £14.99, I thought it was great value with a total of 20 stamps, a double coloured stamp pad and pack of coloured pencils.  They also come in a wooden tray style box which is great to store craft bits on a shelf.   My two children were eager to get stamping when they saw this and I gave them each an A3 sheet of paper to get creative on.

rainforest 1They soon realised that if they put the stamp over both colours of the ink pad they could get mulitcoloured stamps which they thought was fascinating.  The stamps are all of great quality, being wooden means they look good too.  The choice of stamps in this set is really good with a mixture of animals and some foliage designs too.

rainforest 3The children really enjoyed these and I think it’s a lovely set, one that I definitely recommend for anyone who fancies a go with stampers.

 

We also chose something a little bit different to try out from Wicked Uncle, something practical that I knew Miss M would enjoy.  The Big Cheese Making Kit, allows you to make cheese in your own home and lots of it too!  Miss M loves cooking and I wanted to pick something that was useful and I think this was just the right thing.

cheeseAt £22.99 this wasn’t cheap and when the box arrived, it was pretty small.  Inside was a sachet of salt, sachet of Citric Acid, 2 rennet tablets, thermometer and muslin cloth.  The kit enables you to make either Ricotta or Mozzarella cheese, all you need to add is millk, a LOT of it!!  So was it worth it?

cheesexWe decided to try the Mozzarella cheese, which required 8 pints of milk per batch.  I wasn’t sure how long it would take or how easy it would be but Miss M and I set to work.  I actually found the whole process to be incredibly easy and it was more or less a case of simply heating the milk in a large pan, adding a piece of rennet tablet, salt and citric acid, then stirring continuously as the curds and whey separated.

cheeseOnce you have just the curds in a bowl, it needs microwaving to heat up at which point you need to wear gloves as the cheese needs to be stretched and kneaded until it becomes shiny which can then be broken up into balls of Mozzarella.  We made rather a lot of balls of cheese with that one batch (not surprising considering we used 8 pints of milk) but the set does contain enough bits to make upto 10 batchs of cheese of this size.  Obviously you need to add the milk each time but at £2 per batch I think it is pretty good value for the amount of cheese you get.  Also bearing in mind that part of it is the experience and fun of doing so.

cheese 2We’ve enjoyed eating the cheese in salads and on puff pastry tarts with roasted vegetables.  Obviously Mozzarella has many uses and in our next batch we are planning to make some pizzas with it.  We also want to try making some Ricotta cheese for which you use the muslin to strain the cheese, I’m thinking spinach and ricotta parcels for mains and ricotta cheesecake for dessert!  All in all I’m very happy with the cheese set, it was fantastic to try something new, a very different experience that Miss M loved helping out with and we had fun eating it!

Why not take a look at Wicked Uncle, the choice of gifts really is vast with some really different things available that you don’t normally see!

 

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

WIN Mister Maker: Watch & Make Vol. 5 DVD – 5 copies up for grabs!!

Anyone that watches CBeebies will know and love Mister Maker – my 2 children are huge fans as they love to make things, get their fingers in gloopy glue and stick googly eyes on things!  So if you have some aspiring little artists then this is definitely the new Mister Maker: Watch & Make Vol. 5 DVD to watch.

Mister Maker 2
Join in the fun with Mister Maker and his friends in his magical art studio.  Watch and make along as he transforms everyday objects into fun pieces of art!

The new Mister Maker: Watch & Make Vol. 5 DVD contains over 20 fun makes including:

A splattered space picture, noisy coin clackers & hilarious worms in a can!
Splattered stencils, an incredible ice cream cone game and wobbly eggs!
Bubbles, a fabulous fish with shiny paper & space skittles that are out of this world!
Brilliant bubble wrap picture, a straw powered rocket & crazy carnival shakers!
Transform everyday objects into incredible insects, torn paper & a space age city!

The DVD is out now and can be purchased from all good DVD stockists

For more information can be found on the Abbey Home Media webite or their Facebook and Twitter pages.

To win 1 of 5 copies of the new Mister Maker: Watch & Make Vol. 5 DVD simply fill in the form below.