Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Christmas gift guide for Foodies and Health & Wellness concerned: JML Nutri Blitzer

For the passed year all our family members have tried to improve their well- being. I personally had many days where I would enjoy my new lifestyle and days where I wanted to "spoil" myself to something that I have craved so my journey and progress perhaps was slower than I wanted. 
I decided to cut down on carbs and swap brown rice for boiled broccoli and cauliflower as I felt bloated in the evening and then few days later, I have tried to stay away from bread and other wheat products and introduced some gluten-free products, one of them is my new favourite gluten- free vegetable lasagne that even L enjoys eating too (proud moment as L normally wouldn't eat vegetables at all) and my last change- lots of freshly made fruit smoothies with the help of my new gadget- JML Nutri Blitzer (£49.99).
I have previously used a basic jug blender which was poor in comparison to Nutri Blitzer. To start with Nutri Blitzer has a shiny black base, comes with 2 different type of blades (for smoothie making or grinding nuts and even leaves), power base can be used with either 1 large 900ml cup with the handle and or one of the 2 small 650ml cups with handles, all 3 can be used with resealable lids. Seems too perfect for a little clever machine! But I think I have found my new little helper and my motivator for yet another healthy year (or years) ahead of me! 

If you ask me " Should I invest in Nutri Blitzer for Christmas or any other occasion for that matter?!" I would say a definite "YES". It has been an eye-opener how technology has moved on and how easy it is to "receive" nutrients with a nifty gadget such as Nutri Blizer! 

 "So if nutrition and healthy living are at the top of your wish list for a new, happier, healthier you, look no further than the incredible Nutri Blitzer. The original nutrition extractor to get the essential ingredients your body needs".

Disclaimer: I have received the product mentioned above for the purpose of these review/feature. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Christmas gift guide for GIN lovers

I have never been an alcohol enthusiast but I do like to see what's trendy and why people are having obsessions over a certain alcoholic drink! The latter would be more referred to the sparkling beverage which seemed to be quite popular but I want to talk about a slightly different drink, some would call it even more sophisticated and modern- Gin! 

Believe it or not, I have tried gin for the first time about a year ago or so which was served with tonic water and a rosemary in my glass, which was a really nice touch and a delightful drink in general!

Once the "C" word started to slowly creep into our lives I came across a unique gift idea for gin lovers, for those who appreciate the drink, perhaps for those who like novelty drinks or those looking for an alternative presents. Would you like to know what it is? It's Gin Baubles from Master of Malt (£29.95)! 
Gin baubles come in a little themed cardboard secured into a foam style insert. Six colourful baubles come with a red ribbon attached to the top of the plastic bauble, which makes it a safe and a thought through gift! 

Friday, 10 November 2017

Our half term holiday week in pictures

Since L started receiving 15 hour free funding at nursery we decided not to pay for a holiday club and spend some time together. With L not napping anymore it was a bit of a mission for me to find things to do!
Unfortunately most Halloween themed parties had a late start (6:30pm) or were sold out weeks before holidays which made me panic a little bit as I felt really restricted with me not being able to drive. But as I was determined to have some fun and do different things every day I (perhaps too eagerly) decided to book few local taxi trips for us to see a show "Hairy Maclary and Friends" and to visit a local farm.
Oh and we saw a gorgeous pheasant in our garden! I was so worried about him so had to call few RSPB offices but unfortunately no one picked up the phone nor called me back so I can only hope he is safe and sound!
Hairy Maclary show has been mentioned many times after watching the show as L was really impressed with characters and especially a cat! So here are few more pictures from our autumn half term holiday week:

How did you spend halt term break?

Monday, 6 November 2017

Christmas gift guide: Fabulous Christmas Hamper by Prestige Hampers

Since L started pre-school I always had an idea in mind that one of the best gift's for a teacher could be a hamper full of useful and delicious treats! 
Now that we are heading towards Christmas I have few gift guides scheduled and I wanted to begin the series with a lavish Luxury Hamper from Prestige Hampers

"Prestige Hampers are a leading online retailer of hampers & gifts with an enviable reputation in the industry for quality & service".
I have received Fabulous Christmas Hamper (£49.99) which comes in a tall wicker basket and contains:

- Founders Stone Merlot (187ml)

- Founders Stone White Zinfandel  (187ml)
- Founders Stone Pinot Grigio (187ml )
- Natural Sea Salt Yorkshire Crisps
- Pumpkin Seed and Cranberry Biscuits for Cheese
- Matthew Walker Luxury Gold Christmas Pudding
- English Afternoon Tea 20 Teabags
- Honey Blond Chocolate Bar
- Belgian Marc de Champagne Fancy Truffles
- Belgian Chocolate Caramel Thins
- Mackays Scottish Strawberry Preserve
- Mackays Dundee Orange Marmalade 

Delivery took around 2 working days from the moment of first contact to delivery to the door which is a really good for those rushing to make last minute arrangements. You can also add personalised message on a card and choose preferred delivery date. Hampers are being delivered by Royal Mail so if you are not home it can be left in your safe place if you have such an agreement with a postman or can be collected from the post office.
I could resist and tried Honey Blond Chocolate bar which was a very tasty white chocolate bar with a bit of honeycomb crisp to it, I have also tried Belgian Chocolate Caramel Thins (I am guilty of not sharing it with anyone) and found the chocolate to be rich but not too much. I can only assume that the rest of the items from the hamper are as delicious as the ones I have tried! 

I can envisage that this Luxury Hamper could be popular amongst those who want to buy a shared present for teachers and teaching assistant as a snack or stress time snacks or perhaps could be perfect for a larger family as the hamper included 3 mini bottle of wine which could be shared between grown ups.

Once all treats are shared and eaten the wicker basket could be a great storage container for arty supplies or even make up products, as it's such a useful and a very practical item!

Visit Prestige Hampers website to view the full range of hampers.

Disclaimer: I was sent the item mentioned above for the purpose of this feature. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own. 

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Review: CabinZero Classic 44L cabin bag

We have been planning a trip to Moscow this winter and needed a good cabin bag for the flight. Our tendency is to pack last minute and struggle to find a suitable case/bag, so we end up dividing the close amongst several small bags.

Let me introduce you to the CabinZero Classic 44L (£60) bag we have received for this review. CabinZero cabin and travel bag has a 44 litre capacity, which is an excellent size for our family. Finally a bag which allows us to fill it up with all of the items (time saver).
The cabin bag also has side traps and two further hands on the top and side. This allows for different carrying methods, rucksack style or by hand.
There are several zipped pockets, one at the front, one inside zipped and a further mesh pocket (for internal items/goods).
The CabinZero bag is designed to be exact measurements for a lot of airline requirements, such as BA, Easyjet and RyanAir, so ideal for anyone looking for a perfect and lightweight cabin bag.

The bag is waterproof, so rest assured that CabinZero items are protected (and the bag also) and comes with a massive 10 year warranty!
Most items in general have a 2 year standard warranty at best, but 10 years, really!? You have to admit, that is incredibly generous!
Here is another brilliant little selling point, it has a built in tracker! Yep a tracker, to keep track of your bag should it go missing at any time. This is all done through Okoban, in which the user registers with them and they keep track of your CabinZero bag. The great thing is that Okoban is integrated into WorldTracer which is the central lost and found system used by airlines.
The Cabin Zero bag also comes in several cool and classic colours and capacity sizes, which offers great variety. We opted for the Classic Navy 44L as it is neutral and practical colour for what we needed, but I also like the limited edition flags one as it simply looks cool and very travel orientated.

I can promise one thing- I will be using this cabin bag on our up and coming trip to Moscow and any future trips me and my family take (even nationally)!

A massive thank you to CabinZero for allowing us to review this superb cabin bag.

Thanks for all for reading my review and I hope it inspired you to go out and purchase this exceptional cabin bag, you will not be disappointing!

Disclaimer: We were sent the item above for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Review: Mi-Mic Bluetooth karaoke microphone speaker

Our family like to sing a lot, it could be from singing in the shower,  out of boredom or to finish the sentences mid conversation. When we were offered to review Mi-Mic Bluetooth karaoke speaker (£14.99) I knew it will be well used mainly my curious L but by adults too once the time is right and I think Halloween parties or Bonfire Night good be a good reason to have some fun! 

Mi-Mic Bluetooth karaoke speaker allows you to play any song direct from your device. This is great if you want an all in one karaoke microphone, without the need to plug it into a speak or karaoke system.
The Mi-Mic allows you to stream songs from your bluetooth 3.0 enabled device (such as iPhone, tablet, PC etc.) and add your voice to the song being played. The microphone also allows the user to adjust the volume or add an echo to their voice, as part of the performance.

The microphone offers 7 LED colours which flash to the music beat, offering a nice colourful show.

The microphone has several buttons:

  • Play/Pause/Previous & next flick switch
  • Echo button for added affects
  • Volume button to change the sound
  • LED/Power push button
The microphone has a user manual, but it is easy to use/setup and a USB charge cable (in which there is a charger port on the microphone). In fact it's so easy that I didn't look at manual once! To connect it to the device you need to activate Bluetooth on your phone or other device, find the Mi-Mic Bluetooth name on the list and you are ready to play the music.

The microphone takes up to 2.5 hours to charge, but in turn offers the performer up 4 hours worth of performance. More than enough time to showcase your talents! We have been using it on and off for a month and didn't need to charge it at all!
This is truly a one of a kind karaoke microphone, which allows the performer to change track and voice settings at the touch of a button (even if you use Youtube you can pause/play, choose the next or previous video). Easy to hold, easy to use and easy to perform.. what is not to like!

L has been singing/performing like mad since she got her hands on the Mi-Mic and her nanny seemed to like it too!

A party must, I certainly think so!So if your a budding singer/performer or just someone who wants to sing until your hearts content (and you can be of any age at all- young or old), grab one of these mi-mic microphones with the knowledge that it is well worth the money.

Disclaimer: We were sent the item mentioned above for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Review: L.O.L. Surprise series 2

Little L is absolutely besotted with her L.O.L. Surprise dolls, but of course the more the merrier. Few weeks ago we received new L.O.L. Surprise doll from series 2 (£9.99), which at first glance didn't look different to the previous collection until I have noticed different characters on the packaging. 

The day before the packaging arrived I was made aware that it can come any time the next day which meant that L would be greeted to one of the best doll surprises. I think L sensed that she will receive L.O.L. Surprise as she was finding quite a few Youtube videos with these dolls, some of them were unpacking videos, others were role play episodes that actually helped me to understand how L.O.L Surprise dolls work. 
At first I thought that each L.O.L Surprise doll had all 4 features: doing a wee, crying, spitting water out, changing colour, but from the videos  I learned that each doll from collection can do one or the other and not all at once.  New series also mean that L.O.L. Surprise released new incredibly cute dolls that can be twinning with their cute Lil Sisters (sold separately). 

As always L.O.L. Surprise has 7 layers of fun clues and accessories under each layer. It could be a little image related to the doll; mini stickers representing 4 main features which  you can then apply on a collection leaflet once you found out what your doll can do; little bottle; little pair of shoes; accessory for the outfit like glasses or halo; outfit itself and of course the doll.
L.O.L Surprise doll comes in a round ball that can be also carried around as it has a handle, can be a pedestal as has a section for doll to stand in or can be transformed into a lounger with the seat, nifty tray and a bottle holder. 
As L is more into a doll itself and playing with it she rarely uses the ball but manages to constantly change doll's outfits. Yes you read that right, these dolls are not just cute and playful they also very diverse- can be of different ethnicity group and once you start the collection you can easily swap outfit and accessories as all of the dolls come with a little pre-cuts behind the ears for head accessory. My little L also manages to change their heads too allowing dolls to have not just different hair do but a different 'skin' colour, which is very interesting to see. 

I am not the one for clutter or enormous amounts of toys in the house but I am willing to be flexible for L.O.L. Surprise as these are totally adorable and allow L to have hours of fun!

Disclaimer: We were sent the item mentioned above for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Arts & Crafts: Halloween themed creations with Duck Tape

I  am a big fan of celebrations be it birthday party or something bigger like Halloween. I don't take the day itself seriously, as a religious person I shouldn't be celebrating it at all, but as a big kid at heart I don't see anything wrong with dressing up, having a spooky disco or making few decorations. 
For this year's Halloween celebrations we were sent some colourful Duck Tape to help us create ultimate Halloween party decoration. 
" Repair, craft, label and decorate with Duck Tape® Brand Duct Tape. Choose from traditional silver to wide range of colors, prints, strengths and technologies like sheets, mini-rolls, max strength and even glow-in-the-dark. Whether your next project is a simple kids craft or emergency home repair, there’s a Duck Tape® product for you".
So, to create bat decorations as seen here and a pumpkin decoration I have used: Jet wide duck tape (£4) and Glow Pumpkin Tape (£7.99).

Both Duck tapes are self- adhesive and mess -free and were super easy to use.
To create a bat: I have found bat pattern online and printed it afterwards; cut the pattern and used it as a stencil for a cardboard sheet; once the stencil was transferred into the cardboard I cut it and applied Jet Duck Tape layers one by one cutting the excess. With the leftover Duck Tape I was able to create a little curling string.
It may seem like I have created all of these without L's help, but she actually did take part in the process. L was cutting pieces of paper to support me and share responsibilities as well as tried to apply Jet Duck Tape and get to know how sticky it is!
To create glow-in-the-dark pumpkin I have followed similar routine as with the bat decoration. It was really quick and easy to apply, even felt quicker than with Jet Duck Tape. 
Both of the decorations then were applied to the wall and L was absolutely mesmerised to the glowing pumpkin! 

Disclaimer: We were sent some Duck Tape materials to create Halloween decorations. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Halloween themed treats from Choc on Choc

With Halloween and half term fast approaching I started to look into booking some themed activities for myself L to do. Unfortunately some places have very limited availability or a little too far for us to travel without a car so we have opted to celebrate Halloween low-key with dressing up and eating some themed chocs.

L doesn't really know much about Halloween, she would repeat the word itself, but she mainly associates it with the party and dressing up, which is fine by me.

So, in time to celebrate Halloween we were sent Ghost chocolate bar (£5) from Choc on Choc- a British chocolate company.
"Father- daughter team creating colourful and unusual shaped chocolates, made from high quality Belgian chocolate, have flown off the shelves of high street retailers like John Lewis, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Waitrose".

Choc on Choc ghost chocolate bar comes in a branded box with a cut out window at the front of the packaging and will make a great present for someone spooktacular with a little personalised message (personalisation service available at Choc on choc).

The Choc on Choc description of this chocolate bar speaks for itself:

"This tasty chocolate bar with its ghostly decoration makes a lovely little treat to have up your sleeve for those trick-or-treaters at Halloween. Lovingly handmade from a blend of luxury milk and white Belgian chocolate, this is perfect for any little monsters at your door".
We haven't tried it yet, as I am hoping it will survive until Halloween itself, but I can tell you it smells very "chocolatey", hoping it tastes as nice if not better! Those those who like variety of designs you can pick between ghost, spider and day of the dead chocolate bars.

If this Halloween you are attending or organising your own party Choc on Choc has something spooky up their sleeve: chocolate spooky teeth, chocolate eyeballs and a variety of chocolate skulls, sounds and looks pretty scary, don't you think?! 

Disclaimer: I was sent Choc on Choc ghost chocolate bar for this Halloween feature. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

#EcoverLaundry Challenge: Inspired by nature, recommended by mums

Buying the right type of a laundry detergent to wash our clothes has always been a priority as my husband suffers with eczema and L has generally dry and sensitive skin. When buying laundry detergent I normally would look at the price, it's properties such as non-bio, suitable for sensitive skin and only then what brand it is.

This method worked well for us until recently when my husband had suffered with terrible allergy reaction from one of the cheaper brands. We had to reconsider what we buy and how I wash clothes.

When we were asked to take part in Ecover non-bio laundry detergent challenge I was elated to try something that was recommended by 89% of mums according to Mumsnet.

'Natural born innovators since 1979, we unlock the power of plant-based biodegradable ingredients to bring you a cleaner clean'...

Ecover’s new Non-Bio Concentrated Laundry Detergent delivers a powerful clean and features a new delightful naturally-inspired fragrance, Lavender & Sandalwood. From your baby’s first wash to the average bedding load, this dermatologically tested, plant-based Non-Bio formula delivers spotlessly clean results, even on a cold wash". 

For our challenge I have received: 
- a full size (875 ml) sample of lavender & sandalwood non-bio laundry detergent from Ecover worth £6.50
- exclusive laundry bag designed by the on-pack botanical illustrator Freya Morgan

I have waited until I have a large load of washing to do including some clothing with stains. I would normally do a large load of bedding every 2 weeks with a full cap of laundry detergent on an Eco setting allowing to wash bedding on 50 degrees, followed by a long drying setting (depending on the weather and the load it could be between1 hours to 3 hours).

When I have opened the cap for the first time I expected a really strong Lavender scent but to my surprise it was quite the opposite. I don't actually know how sandalwood smells but it's not off putting and rather pleasant scent.

One of the garments was my daughter's dress which she wore at pre-school meaning it had stains and didn't smell too good.

As you can see from the picture Ecover does what it says on the tin 'tough stain action', but not only it got rid of the stains, the washing had a very light, settled smell of laundry detergent which is just perfect as I'm not always sure how L would react to 'smelly' clothes or bedding.

Overall, after using the product my family has rash-free, happy skin and our bedding and clothes look much cleaner/stain free and even brighter than before!

This post is an entry for BritMums #EcoverLaundry Challenge, sponsored by Ecover.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Gift guide: 'Off to the gym' kit from Men's Society

Even though it's only autumn I have started to plan what presents I'm going to buy for my husband and our families for upcoming celebrations.

Few weeks ago I came across Men's Society- a name speaks for itself and thought that it could be the right place for quality gifts for my male relatives.
"Witty, sophisticated design with a twist of British quirk are the hallmarks of Men's Society London.

Every area we enter, our British style and approach is evident - from Grooming, barware to tabletop and gifts".

I have opted to review 'Off to the gym' gift set(£25) as I thought it contains the most suitable items for a person who is either frequently goes to gym or goes on trips away.

The kit contains:
- cleansing face wash 50 ml
- shampoo and body wash 50 ml
- hair wax 15ml
- toothbrush
- toothpaste 30ml

The gift set comes in a nice tin that can be placed in almost any wash bag or suitcase, can also be used afterwards as a storage for other bits and bobs.
Upon opening the tin I was 'greeted' to a cute cardboard card saying 'Hello Handsome' which brought a smile to my face and I am sure will bring lots of confidence to a man using the kit.
Hair wax doesn't seem to have any obvious smells which is great as I personally and I know my husband would agree, don't like overpowering odours.

Shampoo & body cleanser has a very strong minty, Mojiti alike scent and becomes soapy once mixed with water.

Cleansing face wash smells of orange peel and mint.

The toothbrush comes in a little clear tub and has the same phrase as the card inside the package- 'Hello Handsome', complimented by a strong mint toothpaste which may last a while depending on the amounts used.

'Off to the gym' kit seems to have a very unique odour palette comparing to the usual high street gift sets for men. I must admit I have very mixed feelings about it- it's a great gift by itself and could be a great stocking filler but it may take a while to get used to such unusual smell.

If you are a little bit intrigued and want to know more about the brand, do not hesitate to visit their website where you will find a variety of kits starting from bear bottle openers and Handsome hand creams to tin kits and nail care kit.

Disclaimer: I was sent the item mentioned above for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.