Jokers Masquerade: Kids costumes

Every child loves fancy dress and mine are no exception. They have a fair few outfits with the odd yearly addition of a new Halloween one.
Jokers Masquerade is an online store selling a huge variety of fancy dress outfits for both adults and children for every possible occasion. The children’s outfits are available in many categories such as fairytales, animals, clowns, Victorian age, Tv & film, angels, pirates, super Heros and many more. The fancy dress outfits come in all sizes starting with the very young toddlers up to teenagers and then onto adult sizes. The costumes are all good quality and not the sort you will find in any old bargain shop which will tear and rip within a day or so.

This time it was Ryan’s turn to test out a product for me which he was more than happy to oblige,
Jokers Masquerade sent Ryan this costume.

20140423-180033.jpg
It is of course an Anakin Skywalker child’s costume.
It comes with all Ryan needed to turn into a Jedi master. The costume comes in a resealable PVC bag which is handy to keep everything together when it’s stored away. The costume consists of a dark printed shirt and matching trousers plus a belt and of course the mask.
Here is a rather scary looking Ryan wearing his.

20140423-180758.jpg
When Ryan first came in wearing the costume it made me jump. He looks so different and the mask has a rather eerie feel to it. It’s certainly not the sort of thing I would like behind me whilst watching a horror film. However it is a very good quality costume. The mask is not one of those cheap plastic flimsy things either. It’s quite an effective look which will certainly get people talking when he wears it out.
All he needs to complete the look is a light sabre which does not come with the costume. A blue light sabre can also be purchased separately from Jokers Masquerade.
The costume itself is currently available at a very reasonable price of £19.99. As it’s good quality materials it is sure to last a long time until he outgrows it.
The costume is available in sizes from 3 years upwards and can be purchased here
Of course if your child or even yourself are a Star Wars fan then perhaps you would rather be another character. Maybe Darth Maul or Princess Leah or even Jabba the Hut. You will find almost every character from Star Wars at the click of a button.
A selection of party wear, jokes and other accessories can also be purchased from Jokers Masquerade.

20140423-195208.jpg

Eisberg Alcohol Free Wine

20140418-150234.jpg
If like me you love the odd glass of wine, but for whatever reason find you cannot drink alcohol: then fear not because you can get an alcohol free version with the same great wine taste.
Through our lives there may be situations where we are not able to drink alcohol. Be it pregnancy or other health reasons. Eisberg has a selection of wines in four different varieties which contain no alcohol.
The wines are made in the exactly the same way as normal varieties.
The Eisberg grapes are selected from specific vineyards for their ability to maintain the true taste of the grape variety after the alcohol has been removed.
Made in the exact same way as your favourite tipple, it is only after the wine is finished that the clever bit happens.

The Eisberg grapes are selected from specific vineyards for their ability to maintain the true taste of the grape variety after the alcohol has been removed.
The alcohol is removed using one of the world’s most advanced techniques to ensure that as much of the original character and flavours of the wine are kept intact.
The result is an alcohol-free wine containing less than 0.05% alcohol, only 34 calories per 125ml glass and keeping a real wine flavour.

Varieties of red, rosé, Chardonnay and white are available, just like the alcohol versions.
My favourite wine is rosé and that is exactly what I am sampling for this review.

20140418-151042.jpg
The wine comes in glass bottles, again just like any other wine. I was happy to find a twist off cap on it, rather than a popper or an annoying cork. I always find wine tastes of wood when a coke is used. The twist off caps make it so easy to open.
The rosè is a refreshingly juicy, non-alcoholic wine with succulent aromas of ripe strawberries and a hint of cherries. It’s light, fruity, quite sweet and yes it certainly has a similar taste to versions of rosè wine which I have tried in the past.
On the website; there is of course more information, both about the drinks and about alcohol.

20140418-151602.jpg
This is a great alternative for all the pregnant ladies out there this Summer.

20140424-153710.jpg

Red Box Jigsaw Puzzle

20140418-152811.jpg
The Red Box Jigsaw Puzzle comes from Ravensburger. It is designed in mind for adults rather than children and has been keeping me busy in the evenings.
It contains a massive 1000 pieces. The pieces feature the “soft click technology” which results in an absolutely smooth puzzle. (Rather than one full of bumps)

The puzzle has a very fascinating and intriguing design with an obvious oriental feel to it. It’s almost like a box of oddities. If you can imagine a magic oriental puzzle box with all sorts of weird and wonderful things inside then this puzzle captures that.

20140418-153331.jpg
It’s like a true masterpiece in it’s own way, of course it has to be built and put together first and with a 1000 pieces this takes a lot of time.
The puzzle features various windows and boxes. Each has something different inside. Chinese lanterns, Buddhas, parasols, masks and lots more can be found. A whole host of strange creatures are just waiting to be put together along with a glimpse into another world. There is even one of those impossible staircase pictures which always fascinate me.

20140418-153709.jpg
The jigsaw art is by Colin Thompson and once completed you won’t want to break this puzzle up again but rather glue it together and put on a wall.
I have seen this remarkable puzzle in a few shops whilst out and about including The Entertainer and even Asda. It can probably be purchased from most good toy stores and comes with an RRP of approximately £20

My Carry Potty

Now Izebella is 18 months and at last walking around. I am starting to consider how I’m going to go about potty training. Even though I did it all with Ryan and Jordanna: my mind seems to have gone a little fuzzy when it comes to how I did it.
I have had a potty for her since she was very young which came as part of a bathing set and have been leaving it around the house, but she doesn’t seem to want to sit on it just yet.
The Summer months obviously are the best time for potty training, but no one wants to be sat in a house on a beautiful day, toddlers included.

My Carry Potty is a great solution for potty training when out and about. It is of course a potty, but with a difference in that it’s portable.

20140419-133919.jpg
When the Carry Potty is closed it looks like a little suitcase. It has it’s own carry handle and made from high quality, very durable plastic. It is also very light making it easy for little hands to carry.
The potty locks together via a clip shut lid. When opened up it reveals the little potty itself.

20140419-134208.jpg
The potty needs no assembly nor any plastic bags. It is completely leak proof as fitted with a rubber seal and clip shut lid.

20140419-134404.jpg
Izebella was very curious when she saw her new potty. She enjoys it being opened up and closed again and I have even managed to get her to sit on it,both with and without her nappy.

20140419-134509.jpg

She seems to like it more than the other one. She has even managed a few pees and a poop on it. She actually enjoys sitting on it.
These potties seem a great solution to travelling with toddlers who are potty training. Whether out on day trips, shopping or visiting relatives. They will know the carry potty belongs to them and so won’t have the awkward situation of using unfamiliar facilities and huge scary big toilets.
The potty comes in 3 bright colours. Pink, blue and yellow. They are also perfect for just using at home too.

My Carry Potty is the idea of Amanda Jenner.
More information about My Carry Potty can be found on their website . The potty can be purchased from Cheeky rascals for £24.99

The potty also came with a little book with a story and a pull out reward chart with stickers so children can be rewarded.

20140419-161528.jpg

20140419-161546.jpg

20140422-230706.jpg

Illuminasia Blackpool

Illuminasia is a brand new attraction in Blackpool. It opened to the public last Friday. We had the pleasure of being one of the first to view it as we were invited to a special preview the day before it opened.
illuminasia is located inside the Winter Gardens in the centre of Blackpool. It is just a short walk from the north train station and a few minutes from the Tower.

Illuminasia is an amazing indoor light display. Almost like bringing the illuminations inside. Illuminasia has a very oriental inspiration, blending the Chinese craft of latern making with modern day technology. Thousands of square feet brimming with illuminous colourful exhibits.

20140419-141915.jpg

We arrived at the Illumiasia entrance about 10.30. As this is a brand new attraction, they were not quite ready for us. We returned a little later and were greeted by a “Glow bot” who seemed to keep the kids entertained whilst waiting.

20140419-142058.jpg
We were led into a large room contains lots of brightly lit up Chinese soldiers. On the ceiling were hundreds of Chinese lanterns. There was a short talk and then onto another room where we were greeted by a big Chinese emperor.

20140419-142329.jpg

20140419-142336.jpg
After seeing the emperor we followed a path round and spotted a few other rooms and exhibits which unfortunately were not quite ready that day. I think the planetarium was one of these rooms which did look quite good from what we saw of it.

Land of the giants, seemed to be the main room and was really spectacular. It was like being in an Alice in Wonderland garden. Huge bright creatures everywhere and massive pretty flowers. There was so much to see and little Izebella kept saying “wow, look”

20140419-143018.jpg

20140419-143029.jpg
Some colourful fish and sharks certainly caught our eye. The whole display was just beautiful.

20140419-143223.jpg

20140419-143228.jpg
This was then followed by some wonders of the world which of course included the Blackpool Tower.

20140419-143415.jpg

At the end of our Illuminasia tour was a spectacular laser show which was enjoyed by all.

20140419-143543.jpg

Illuminasia lasts about an hour. It is certainly worth a visit if you are already in or going to Blackpool as an additional attraction. It opens at 11am daily and closes at 6pm.
We enjoyed our visit despite certain rooms not yet being ready. It would be nice to perhaps return again in a few months to see the other exhibits or any further additions in a few weeks when they are more up and ready.
Details of the illuminasia attraction can be found via their website .

20140419-144020.jpg

20140422-230647.jpg

Marble Racer

Galt toys sent us the marble racer game and we have been trying it out throghout the Easter holidays.

20140418-213546.jpg
The marble racer game consists of 80 parts which includes tracks, marbles, bridges, chutes and wheels.

20140418-213702.jpg
When I opened the box I was a bit baffled as to the lack of included instructions. There is some information on the back of the box telling us we have to build the structure on the front of the box and then race the marbles. I had a look on line and the aim of it is to race marbles and see which is fastest.
The track took us a very long time to build. The picture on the box looked fairly easy to follow but we found once we put a few pieces together it just fell apart which was a little frustrating. The end result will look like this.

20140418-214031.jpg
Of course we can also build our own unique tracks and make smaller versions, putting parts in different places etc.

20140418-214125.jpg
The pieces fit together really easily, they just don’t stay together when other pieces get added and it probably took us at least an hour to build the full track.
Once built, Ryan and Jordanna had lots of fun watching their marbles whizz down the track and spin around the 3 vortexes.
It certainly passed a few evening hours, both building the track and racing a few marbles. Putting it all away only took a few minutes. The game reminds me a little of a marble track game I had as a child tho I cannot remember what it was called. The game does keep children entertained and I’m not sure if perhaps we were doing something wrong or trying too hard to fit all the pieces together, but it just kept falling apart. I almost gave up but got their eventually. We have played it a fair few times now but only built the big track once. Ryan enjoys making his own tracks and seeing how well they work or don’t work and how long they last without falling down. It encourages imaginative play and I now have Ryan asking me to look at his new tracks every few minutes.
Marble racer is from Galt toys. Up to 4 players can play and it comes with an age guideline of 3 years and cost £24.99 directly from Galt. 3 other similar marble games are also available from Galt

20140421-123035.jpg

20140422-230629.jpg

Discovering Goats’ Milk: St Helens Farm products

St Helens Farm is an actual farm in East Yorkshire. They have been around for over 27 years and produce a range of products made from goats milk, many of which can be found in supermarkets across the country.
Before my experience of some lovely products from St Helens Farm. I had never tried goats’ milk. I’m not sure if this is perhaps because of the lack of it or because I thought it would taste totally different to cows milk which is what I am used to drinking and using.

I was sent a box of lovely fresh goats’ milk products last week. The products arrived packed with ice and were still cold and fresh when they arrived.

20140417-211938.jpg
In my box were cartons of goats milk and products made from goats milk – yoghurts, butter and cheeses.

GOATS’ MILK
I found the goats milk a very similar taste to cows milk which I was not expecting. In my past experience, I have found anything that is not cows milk does not taste so good. However goats milk is more or less the same taste. I have been giving it to my children too and they didn’t notice any difference.

20140417-212346.jpg
The milk comes in cartons and in varieties of skimmed, semi skimmed and full fat just like cows milk. I don’t drink a lot of milk by itself so it really doesn’t bother me how much fat or how skimmed the milk is, I can drink and use them all. Just like cows milk, this milk can also be added to hot drinks and I drink a lot of tea and again it tastes just the same when using goats milk. It can be used exactly the same way as the cows variety, drank, poured over cereal and used in cooking/ baking etc. It makes an excellent alternative for those people who cannot have cows milk in their diets and it also contains 20% less cholesterol than cows milk. The skimmed variety contains no cholesterol.

YOGHURTS
I absolutely loved the selection of tasty goats milk yoghurts I received. First were some packs of limited edition fruit flavoured yoghurts.

20140417-213104.jpg
They came in two sweet flavours, in single serve pot. Cherry & Cranberry and Peach and Passion fruit. They consisted of a thick mountain of creamy yoghurt on too with a generous fruity layer on the bottom. We all enjoyed these fruity delights.

20140417-213435.jpg
The yoghurt goodies don’t end there as 3 big 400g pots were also in my box.
Natural, Low Fat and a honey flavour. My favourite overall was the honey. I found the yoghurt had such a lovely creamy taste, add the sweetness of honey and it was just heavenly. The yoghurt was not too thick but just right.

20140417-214001.jpg

20140417-214013.jpg
Using the low fat yoghurt I was able to make a variety of healthy morning smoothies, using just the yoghurt and fruits such as bananas and berries. Both tasted great and it’s a good sneaky way to get those fruits into children too.

20140417-214235.jpg

BUTTER & CHEESE
St Helen’s Farm goats’ butter is made by churning the cream in a large stainless steel vessel, which drains off the buttermilk and thickens the cream. To this, they add a small amount of colouring and salt.

20140417-214405.jpg
I’m more used to using buttery spreads rather than actual butter, not to mention butter that’s come straight from a farm. So it was a very nice treat to be using some real butter for a change. Again I goby it had that rich creamy taste and is just lovely on hot toast. Like most butters it does go hard in the fridge. I think the best way to use this is to just cut off a section of the butter at a time and place what is needed in a covered butter dish so it’s just right for spreading when needed.

20140417-214930.jpg
St Helen’s Farm mild goats’ cheese is, typically, matured for about 3 months. The mature goats’ cheese has a more complex flavour and is matured for up to 12 months.
I don’t eat much cheese myself but found my children enjoyed this cheese both on sandwiches and toast. It’s a hard cheese and so requires either slicing, chopping or grating and has numerous uses both in cooking or just munching on cold when feeling hungry.
In 2012, St Helen’s Farm mild goats’ cheese was awarded a Gold Star in the Great Taste Awards and it is regularly selected by the judges as a winner in the Cheese and Dairy Shows held across the country each year.

MUG
As well as my lovely food products I was kindly sent two mugs. On one side is the St Helens Farm logo and on the other it says “I love Goats Milk” great for pouring in a lovely cup of tea with goats milk.

20140417-215517.jpg

20140417-215522.jpg
The mugs cost £7.95 each and can be purchased directly online from St Helens Farm
A little goat teddy was also in the box which Izebella has now claimed herself.

Goats milk is easier to digest than cows milk as it contains different proteins and smaller fat particles. Goats milk is proven to help with certain health conditions such as IBS, catarrh and many others. It has a deliciously mild taste and is closer to cows milk than any other recipe based options such as soya milk. Many people around the world drink goats milk than any other milk.

St Helens Farm products can be in a variety of supermarkets. To see who sells what, visit the Stokist list page

20140422-230612.jpg

Subscription boxes UK

I have a new page full of lovely reviews of all different types of subscription boxes available in the UK.
I have become quite addicted to these and love the whole surprise of the mystery boxes on my doorstep.
Please take a look here. There are boxes for beauty product lovers, food boxes, gifts and even a few for the kids.
I’m always happy to review others so if you know of any not listed then please let me know.