In approximately 2 hours all my July competitions will end and winners will be chosen. Any entries after 9pm will not be counted.
Still a good 2 hours to get those entries in.
This months Foodie parcel came from Pami at the other end of the country in Kent. Pami has a blog too at http://acrusteaten.wordpress.com/.
My parcel came fairly early this month which was a lovely surprise and full of some local Kentish goodies.
I hope Pami got a lovely package too.
My parcel went to Joan in Glasgow and I had a lovely email to say she loves it.
Join in the fun at foodie pals free of charge. Head over to This is rock salt to find out more.
Feet aren’t a nice subject and especially not toes and toe nails. I hate my feet. I hate cutting nails. I am always scared cutting my children’s nails incase I hurt them with cheap “not so good” clippers.
When I got asked to try out the Clyppi toenail clippers I was a little unsure if it was really something I would want to use, but decided to give it a go anyway.
Unlike other nail clippers, the CLYPPI feels and looks very sturdy and strong. There is a good weight to them which says to me they are top notch of the range. They are made high quality stainless steel and finished with Matt brush steel. Nothing is added to these clippers that could fall off. There are no cheap plastic parts it’s just pure steel throughout.
The Clyppi comes with a very useful nail file which is integrated into the lever, thus saving the hassle of trying to find a separate nail file.
The clipper is designed in a way to fit comfortably in the palm of the hand. It is vert easy to use and cuts with ease and precision. It trims the nail at an even clean length reducing the risk of cracking and splitting.
Ryan has slight problems with ingrowing toenails. I am thinking this is due to his nail being cut wrongly or unevenly in the past, albeit not by me. He is therefore extremely wary about people touching his feet and toes and more so when it comes to his nails being trimmed. I was therefore a little surprised when he asked if he could use the Clyppi clippers on his nails. I sat down and showed him what to do and supervised to make sure he didn’t harm his self. As the Clyppi clippers are much better quality than anything he has used before I am hoping these may assist a little in his toenails getting better.
Although the Clyppi is designed for toenails. I don’t see any reason why they can’t be used on fingernails too.
The Clyppi toenail clipper can be purchased on Amazon for £12.47 and is eligible for free super saver delivery.
Yesterday me and the three took a trip to Heaton Park in Manchester. It’s a place I used to love visiting as a child. It’s a huge park, the biggest in Manchester and the largest municipal park in Europe. There is lots to do and see and always something happening during the school holidays. The park is free to enter. I was recently quite shocked to find that some certain parks charge an admission fee for general entry.
The weather was having a rather funny turn (usually happens when I decide to go somewhere) one minute it rained the next it went sweaty hot so it was a case of coats on one minute and off the next.
Regardless of the strange weather it was still a lovely day and a nice yet tiring walk around. My friend and her child also came along.
The park is really easy to get to with regular bus services from Manchester centre plus there is also a very quick tram on the metrolink and only took us 10 minutes from Manchester and we was there.
In the park and also free of charge is a small farm with animals such as pigs, goats, horses, rabbits and birds. This was Izebellas first time at a farm and she seemed quite curious looking at everything.
There are a fair few old architectural buildings and monuments across the park. The main one being Heaton hall which unfortunately is now shut to public viewing. I loved walking around the inside when younger. It is still good for photographs tho.
There are two adventure play parks for children (possibly more I’m not too sure). We went on the larger one which has lots of equipment for children of varying ages. There is a huge metal snake slide which looks a little scary, not something I would attempt to climb but Ryan and Jordanna loved it. Also a sand pit which we avoided with the drizzle.
Next to the park is a huge picnic area. I had made sandwiches and remembered the picnic blanket, nothing worse than grass stains on white pants or grass up your bum ha.
The picnic area is really large. Lots of room for playing football, walking dogs or just sunbathing after eating. As Izebella found out, also room for running off from mummy.
There is even a boating lake. You do have to pay for the boats and I didn’t think it a good idea taking 3 children out onto a deep lake. I used to have fun on these boats years ago tho.
Finally we walked back down to the funfair which is on throughout the school holidays. Wristbands were £7.99 and Ryan and Jordanna went on about 10 rides each so certainly got their money’s worth.
We found a lovely cafe in the park which is next to the farm bit. The cafe sells hot food, sandwiches, snacks and drinks and I found it very reasonably priced. Just £1.50 for a coffee and £2 for a latte. Hot meals start from £3 upwards. I had bought packed lunch so didn’t bother buying food. I probably will next time now I know costs and what they sell.
We also spotted a colourful long wagon train that goes around the park. I am not sure if this is free as we did not go on it.
There is much more that we did not explore at Heaton park including I believe a tram museum and several other gardens. We were out a good 8 hours including travelling time and had a really good day.
I even managed to get a photograph of me and the three altogether.
Heaton park has it’s own website here where more information and history about the park can be found.
Marzipan always went down well as a lovely treat when I was younger. Over the years I have not seen it about so much.. until now that is.
The Neideregger brand started in 1806 in Lübeck Germany by confectioner John Georg Niederegger.
Niederegger is now a successful family run business which is now in it’s 7th generation. There aim is to produce the best marzipan in the world.
The secret of the Neideregger marzipan is a closely guarded recipe which has been handed down over the generations. It contains a mixture of almonds, sugar and a secret ingredient which is believed to be similar to rose water.
Of course only the highest ingredients are used and the nuts are still roasted in traditional cauldrons as they were in the early days.
The marzipan is now enjoyed all over the world. Neideregger produce a large variety of tasty marzipan products. Luscious cherries, chocolate, fruity varieties, Summer tablets and even a Marzipan cream Liquer can all be purchased. All of which make excellent gifts throughout the year and especially at Christmas time.
I am very lucky to be sampling some Marzipan goodies myself. Luckily they have survived the hot weather too.
First is the Marzipan assortment box containing 14 individual delicious pieces. Chocolate coated marzipan hearts, mini loaves and fruit filled marzipan pieces make up this delightful box.
The first thing that stood out with this box and my other products is the packaging. It is very bright, bold and shiny with trims of gold and deep red. Yes it certainly reminds me of Christmas.
Also in my lovely box of treats was this 16 piece classic box. It contains 16 gourmet mini marzipan loaves. Each one covered in a layer of thick dark indulgent chocolate. I believe the boxes come in 8 piece too as well as mixed loaf varieties.
Then finally a 200g Marzipan loaf.
I had not tasted marzipan for several years and had forgotten just how good it tastes. Especially so when it’s wrapped in thick dark chocolate, just heavenly. My children like it too which is no big surprise so I have to hide them away until they are tucked up in bed.
Niederegger marzipan products can be found in many good food shops and department stores. They can also be purchased directly online at Chocolates Direct UK. Prices for these luxury delights remain fairly low starting at just £1.18 upwards when purchased online.
Tomorrow we will be hosting our Zelicious Zelfs party.
You can join us and see what we are up to on Twitter by using #zelicious and #zelfs.
The fun takes place tomorrow (July 30) between 2-4pm.
I am expecting a total of 7 children including my own so am keeping it fairly simple. Izebella is a little unwell too so I’m hoping she perks up a little for our party.
I have my groceries and party food ordered and yesterday I received my massive box full of Zelf party goods.
Wow just look at all the lovely items. A huge “12” Zelicious scented Zelfs. I think a few little girls are going to be very very happy tomorrow. Along with the Zelfs I also have some hair pieces and bobbles, pencil crayons, cakes, candy floss, cake icing, sweets, posters, party bags, balloons, invites and lots more. Along with some useful instructions and ideas for games.
Going to be a busy day here tomorrow. Please tune in on Twitter
Well my kids are enjoying the school holidays so far with lots of sunshine and places to go.
In the evenings just before bed they can get a little fed up and tend to moan they have nothing to do.
Well these passed few days they have been rather busy in the evenings making cards for various people thanks to their Very Hungry Caterpillar Card Making Kit
This card making kit was kindly sent to us by Not the Usual who sell a wide variety of quirky, fun and unusual gifts with a varying selection of themes and well known brand names.
This card kit is part of a big “Very Hungry Caterpillar collection” of gifts.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is of course a rather famous children’s story book by author Eric Carley. The book is actually 45 years old this year and a variety of products featuring the well known loveable Caterpillar can now be purchased.
With this kit comes enough bits to make 8 cards. Inside the box are the cards, envelopes, sticker sheets and push out card shapes with sticky pads.
We have a few birthdays coming up including my mothers and my children’s Aunty. I always think home made cards are much nicer than shop bought and especially when it comes from a child. They are like little unique “One offs”. The lettered stickers mean children do not need to write on the front of the card, they can if they wish or they can just use the stickers. The envelopes give the cards the finishing touch and the cards look really nice once finished.
And yes I know, I just didn’t have the heart to tell him that Grandma has no R at the end.
The Card making kit costs £8.95 and you will beable to find and purchase this at Not the Usual as well as view the other products from the same range.
Elektrokidz are music inspired collectables. There are 6 different ones to collect. They dance to the beat of the music that your listening to.
The Elektrokidz look a little like the retro troll dolls from the 80s/90s era but with a more updated funky look. They stand bold like little cool dudes. They all have brightly coloured funky fab hair do’s which stick up and out, a little like Jedward.
Here is our little dude. He has a gold body and bright pink and blue hair.
Ours came with pre installed batteries which go inside the feet. They take 4 small cell (watch type batteries) and a further extra 4 batteries are also included.
There is an on/off switch and once switched on it’s belly button is pressed to activate. Once activated and put close to a source of music, the figures hair will go a little wild and start moving about in all sorts of directions to the beat of the music.
To see what I mean, watch our video clip HERE
The Elektokidz in my opinion have a retro appeal to them. They remind me of the troll dolls combined with one of those dancing flowers or dancing coke cans of the 80s/90s era of which I’m sad to say I had both.
I have given our new little Elektokidz guy to Ryan and he loves showing his friends what it does and how it’s hair bobs about to his tunes. He keeps it on his desk next to his stereo. It’s quite a novelty thing and good fun.
Elektrokidz are part of the WowWee you group
For information about Elektrokidz and where to buy them. Visit the website.
Look at our brand new books, arrived just in time for the long Summer holidays and all from Buster books.
When I was a child, I too had lots of books. Lots of stories and teen novels but what I really enjoyed was the non – fiction books. The books with strange facts, poems, books with puzzles and brainteasers and books packed with ideas and things to do. Buster books have a large catalogue bursting with books such as these and lots more besides. Of course they also have a fair few good fiction reads too. If I had seen this catalogue of fun books as a child then I would have been in pure book heaven.
We were sent a package containing 4 books in total. Ryan and Jordanna were really excited at their new books. They are fairly good at sharing when it comes to books and tend to take turns in reading and swapping.
The Owl and the Pussycat
This lovely little book contains hundreds of poems for children to treasure. It is a mixture of modern classics with well loves favourites and even contains a few from Shakespeare plays. Some of the poems have short informative introductions. I think this book may come in useful helping Ryan with any homework he may have which involves poem writing.
The Owl and the Pussycat is paperback and is currently available at a reduced price of just £6.99. I am unable to find any information on age suitability so am assuming it’s fine for all ages. Parents can always read poems to younger ones from the book.
The Cute Colouring Book
Yes quite simply it’s a colouring book. It features artwork by French illustrator Emile Jadoul and contains many pages of delightful critters waiting to be coloured in or painted. Simply txt introductions appear on many of the pages. The drawings are really simple and the theme is around a host of cute and cuddly toys having fun in a department store. Lots of fun on the rainy days.
£7.99 and with an age guide 3-6 years.
The Big Book of Amazing Activities
Here is a big fun book packed full of different activities designed to beat the rainy day boredom. The vast puzzle collection includes sudoku, wordsearches, crosswords, number puzzles and much more. As well as all the puzzles there are also lots of doodle and colouring pages, dot to dot and colour by numbers. Towards the back of the book are numerous cut out activities to make things such as planes and animals.
There are over 250 pages. I am trying to teach both Ryan and Jordanna how to do Sudoku and they are getting the hang of it. I’m also teaching Jordanna how to do crosswords. The crossword questions are fairly easy for a 10 year old.
This book certainly keeps them going for a while.
It costs £12.99. Again I can’t find an age guide. I would say for the puzzles alone probably 7 upwards but there are lots of colouring activities for the younger ones too.
Brain Games for Clever Kids
A great puzzle book with 101 puzzles designed to test every part of the brain.
Picture puzzles, logic, mind-benders, maths, battleships, word games and so much more can be found in this. At the top of each puzzle page is space to record how much time the puzzle takes to complete.
The author is Dr Gareth Moore who has wrote many other puzzle and brain training books as well as his own online puzzle site Puzzlemix.
Some of the puzzles are a lite tricky even for myself. I thought this would be a little too difficult for Jordanna and therefore Ryan has it. It does seem to be doing the trick- getting his brain working and thinking to try and work the puzzles out.
All of the above books and many more can be found on the Buster Books website. They have a full catalogue which can be browsed and then a link to your chosen book will take you to Amazon to purchase.
Read with me Violet is a playful interactive pup from Leapfrog. There is a male version too called Scout. The puppy is aimed at children aged 2-5 years and can be purchased from most good toy retailers.
Izebella has been busy testing Violet out. Violet is her new best friend and is so bright and cuddly in a lovely purple colour.
Violet comes with 5 small books. The books are fairly tough, made from hard tough card so designed to be handled by tots. Each book is a short different story.
The books have their own number 1-5 and also their own unique colour. Each book corresponds to a number and colour on Violets collar.
When first switched on to story mode, Violet will give a warm greeting and ask Izebella to choose a story. Izebella will then select a story and press the correct number/colour on Violets collar (with some help from me!). Violet then reads out that story and me and Izebella can read along too from the book. Throughout each story Violet will stop and ask questions or will ask for a pat on the head. Her head also contains an interactive button.
To see Violet and Izebella playing you can view our video here on YOU TUBE.
The puppy also has other interactive features such as the music paw which when pressed will make Violet sing various songs.
There is a cheek sensor too for lots of kisses and patting. I think this is a lovely addition as Izebella just loves to give kisses.
As well as the main story mode switch there is also a Sleepy time mode switch option. This is a more relaxed experience which does not require the books. The other sensors are deactivated in this mode to allow lots of quiet cuddles. Violet will go to sleep once the story is completed unless prompted for a second one. The music switch works in this mode and plays gentle lullabies which differ from the music played in Story mode.
Izebella is loving her new friend. She is not 2 just yet but knows how to press the buttons and make her sing. The puppy is very educational and little ones will love interacting with her. It helps with many areas of learning including – numbers 1-5, colours, colour matching, animal names, reading, songs, story connection and much more. There are over 70 different engagement questions over the 5 books.
The 5 colourfully illustrated board books teach: 1) Rhyming—helps children learn about the sounds of language and build phonological awareness, 2) Learn-about—learn about the world through reading 3) Narrative—learn about how stories are put together, with characters, settings, and a sequence of events, 4) Pattern—learn with rhymes, refrains and repetition to predict what comes next, and 5) Concept—explore concepts like colours to label and classify new information.
The books are very easy to handle with pictures and large text. Obviously Izebella cannot read yet but they probably make really good first reading books too for when she does.
Read with me Violet is a lovely cuddly friend. She can be played with during the day and can be cuddled through the night.
To find out more about Read with me Violet/Scout, visit the page at Leapfrog