Num Noms – Karl Borowy
Stamptastic – Anna Brown
From the outset and seeing the image of the rooster in the unopened box, the puzzle looks very easy and I did initially think that it would be a bit too easy for Izebella. However once we unwrapped the packaging and took out the cubes, I noticed its perhaps not as easy as it first looks.
There are 16 blocks and each block has 6 sides. Each side forms part of a farm animal and there are 6 animals that can be made in this one puzzle.
Therefore it’s not just a case of finding which piece fits where but also finding the right side of the cube per animal and also determining which side the cubes need placing. Even I got slightly confused at times.
It makes things easier for Izebella if I can sort out the pieces first, like if making the sheep I sort the cubes so they are all sheep side up. The tricky bit after this is arranging the blocks on the correct sides so they all match correctly. S
Izebella soon got the hang of it and she really enjoys this farm puzzle because once she has finished putting one animal together she is able to choose another one to make and does not get bored. She loves puzzles and jigsaws anyway and anything with animals on is always a bonus too.
I managed a short video of her trying to put the puzzle together.
Each puzzle piece is a generous size for little hands allowing them to look and examine each piece easily before placing it. The puzzle helps develop dexterity, matching skills and concentration and provides a chance for positive parent and child interaction.
It can be purchased for £9.99 directly from Bigjigs and comes with a wooden storage tray to keep the blocks in.
It’s that time of month once again to reveal the contents of the monthly Degustabox.
“Starting with some tasty snacks”
1) Bebeto- Made with real fruit juices, this pack contained 7 individual packets of fruit strings which taste just like sweets. My 3 year old loves them. Each bag comes with a day of the week but being 3 she did not take much notice.
3) Parle – Parle G is the biggest selling biscuit brand in the world apparently, but I have never heard of it. The Parle rusk are like crunchy sweet pieces of toast, quite a unique flavour with Cardamom.
4) Milkybar/ Smarties – my kids were extremely happy to see thaw chocolate bars. The new Milkybar is called milk & crunchy and has a crispy centre surrounded by white chocolate. The smarties sharing block combines milk chocolate with mini smarties making it also a crunchy bite.
“For the food cupboard“
5) Canderel – I would not normally bother with sweeteners as some of them have a strange taste, but Canderel is just like sugar in both taste and appearance. It can be used anywhere that sugar is needed and less quantity is needed too. It comes with zero calories.
6) Veetee – I love this rice. I already had some of this in my cupboard but it has a good shelf life. The reason I like it so much is because it’s so easy to make. It goes in the microwave for a few minutes. It tastes lovely, probably the best easy rice out there and it comes in many varieties and flavours.
7) Levi Roots – I remember seeing Levi Roots on Dragons den a few years ago. He is now famous for his range of Jamaican inspired sauces and here is just one of them. Coat n Cook jerk sauce can be poured over chicken, ribs or fish.
8) Thor – Thor dry Apple spritz are a refreshing sparkling bottled apple drink. In the box were two drinks – Apple and Apple & mint. I loved the Apple one but not fond of mint so I gave it Ryan who seemed to enjoy it.
10) Green Lady – This drink sadly did not go too well with my tastebuds but I’m not really a lover of cold tea drinks which is what this is. It’s sparkling tea with a variety of added healthy ingredients.
DISCOUNT BOX – If you want to try Degustabox then it usually costs £12.99 a month which includes anything from 10-15 full size products and delivery. Using the following code means you get £6.00 off your box meaning it costs just £6.99.
Find Degustabox on their website and on Twitter @DegustaboxUk, also Instagram @degustabox_uk and #degustabox_uk.
Have a browse at my previous Degustabox posts.
Essential oils have been around for thousands of years and if you have no idea what they are, then here is a brief description.
“An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, aetherolea, or simply as the oil of the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove. An oil is “essential” in the sense that it contains the “essence of” the plant’s fragrance—the characteristic fragrance of the plant from where it comes from”
Essential oils can be found in hundreds of fragrances, many of them can be rare or hard to find. Each one brings its own uses and benefits. Many beauty products that we use contain one or more essential oils and home made products are made using the oils. The majority of the oils come with health and medicinal benefits, these benefits differ per oil and include relaxation, stress and depression relief and even soothing properties for aches and pains. And of course they smell great to simply add to a bath too or burn with an oil burner.
Essential oils can be purchased at many places and one of those places who specialise in the oils is Buff & Butter. They have a vast selection of oils, with the majority costing just a few pound per bottle.
I was able to choose 5 of Buff & Butters essential oils. These are all 10ml bottles. Larger bottle options are available too.
The 10ml bottles seem small but only a few drops of oil is ever required at once (too much can be dangerous) so they last ages.
Bergamont FCF helps with anxiety and depression which I suffer from. It’s often found in soaps and bathing products. Sweet, fruity, almost citrus smell which is quite pleasant.
Black Pepper – At the time of choosing this, I was experiencing bad backache which is very unusual for me. The heating effect of the black pepper oil makes it perfect for relief of aches and spasms. The scent is unusual, tho definitely hints of pepper. And after just 2 days of bathing with this oil my back ache was gone. I’m not saying it’s a miracle cure but it certainly must of helped.
Eucalyptus – This has to be my favourite scent overall, think Vicks vapour rub when you have a cold. It’s string fragrance is distinct and helps to ease congestion.
Frankincense – Yes it’s not just Jesus or churches who use this oil. It helps to clear the mind and AIDS relaxation and yes it definitely does what it says. The aroma is strong and rather strange. It’s probably best to use minimal amount of this as it can be a bit over powering.
Rose Geranium – Geranium oil is often compared to the rose essential oil because they share almost the same therapeutic traits. In fact, geranium is considered the “poor man’s rose” and its oil is often the alternative to the more expensive rose oil. Rose geranium has many benefits and uses including both pain and depression. It’s also found in food products, perfumes and beauty products, tho I can only think that the more high prices rose products contain rose oil rather than geranium. It has a lovely sweet scent of roses and actually reminds me of my childhood days attempting to make rose perfume with rose petals.
All of the above oils which I have can be used in a bath. No more than 5 drops at a time and if using more than one oil at a time then it is 5 drops between the amount of bottles. The oils can cause allergic reactions just like the products they are used in, using too much can also cause various problems as they are very strong and pure. It is best to do some research on them before using if unsure.
I often consider myself lucky that my one and only son is not into football. I could never imagine being sat freezing watching football each weekend of even standing up and screaming my head off. Rather than sport, Ryan loves technology and gadgets; so I knew that he would like this new and rather unusual subscription box.
Creation crate brings a monthly box of electronics and gadgets each month.
The box comes with electronics, wires and devices to build a new project each time. Our project is to build a mood lamp.
On first inspection of the box contents my first thoughts were “oh my god, this looks complicated” but on reading the guide we found its just a simple case of connecting up a few wires for the hardware part. These kits are designed for beginners so it’s not too hard. Ryan seems to find this stuff easy too.
The more difficult part is the programming bit. There is a large code to programme in to make it all work. The code is given in full along with the website. Programming code is quite time consuming and small errors can me very frustrating, but it’s great for Ryan as it introduces him to more advanced computing.
The kits obviously have many educational benefits and I think it’s a great idea for teenagers who enjoy technology and gadgets and even adults too. To be honest it all went a bit over my head so I’m glad my 12 year old is loving it.
The projects are different every month. Prices are in dollars but they ship to the UK. It starts from $22.49 a month. I think this converts to about £16.
When it comes to special gifts I don’t think there is anything as nice as something personalised. It shows time and effort have gone into finding something just for the recipient. I think personalised jewellery is lovely and I’m lucky enough to already own a few pieces. The problem with most personalised jewellery is that jewellery is small, so it can be difficult to find somethng that will fit all the names of people that mean something to me.
“Until I came across Hand on heart jewellery that is!”
If you take a look at their website you may just be amazed as I was. The personalisation options on their beautiful pieces are so much better than what I have seen elsewhere, add to this; there is so much to choose from. Hand on heart jewellery sell necklaces, bracelets, cuffs, earrings, charms, keyrings and much more. Personalisation is available with many of their pieces and many come with options of child hand and footprints too, and even pet paw prints.
The jewellery is all in sterling silver and prices vary from under £50 into the hundreds.
I spent quite sometime browsing for the perfect piece, and it sort of jumped out at me. It is a Family tree necklace.
This beautiful silver necklace bears 2 pendants on an 18″ chain. One pendant is a family tree image and the other can be engraved with up to 8 names on each side (72 characters) that’s 16 names in total. As you can see one side of mine is so far blank, but that’s because my family is not overly large just yet. I have 7 names so far on the other side. Including mine, my children (including Keira) and other people in my family.
I am really impressed with it, it’s beautiful and everyone else seems to love it too.
This necklace arrived within just 2 days. It was made for me very quickly and will make a wonderful gift for any mum or grandmother (expect tears of joy!)
I would also like to add that the jewellery arrived in a cute little gift box wrapped in ribbon, to give that extra special touch.
And the best bit, and quite a surprise is that it only costs £45.00.
Hand on heart jewellery are giving away £50 to spend on any piece of jewellery on their website. Therefore you could get yourself a family tree necklace or something else.
To be in with a chance of winning this amazing prize, please click the button below.
(This competition is open to residents of the U.K only and will end on May 23rd 2016. Winner will be contacted by email)
Izebella was recently sent over a huge box of toys from Bigjigs.
Bigjigs started out in 1985 making traditional wooden toys and has since expanded its range to include toys made with other materials such as their “Green toys”. Green toys are as they sound; environmentally friendly and made from recycled plastic and other environmentally friendly materials. The box they come in is also fully recyclable too.
One of Bigjigs green toys is this lovely airplane.
It resembles a glider plane rather than a big passenger version but is a perfect size for toddlers, far from tiny and not too large either. It has 2 front wheels, wings, a spinning propellor and various plane markings on all sides.
There is a cockpit space, there was not any figures of any type included but Izebella has a box full of figures and small dolls from various playsets so has been attempting to put them inside. It’s a fairly small space so needs be something small to fit in.
She was very excited at the prospect of having her own plane. Bigjigs toys are natural and original so do not use or need batteries. This did not bother Izebella as she has a very vivid imagination and likes to invent stories and games. She will put her characters in the plane and roll it on the ground to take off and then spin it around in the air, making her own sounds like a real plane.
Purple plane costs £13.99 and suitable for little ones ages 12 months and over. But directly from Bigjigs.
I am back to trying to get fitter, now that the sun is out, as the last thing I want is a huge belly for Summer. Yes I know, I am by no means overweight but anything that helps keep the flab off is a bonus. I have started back at the gym once again and have also been trying out some meal replacement shakes from Forza Supplements.
I recieved a box containing a weeks worth of the shakes and a rather cool looking shaker cup. The cup is quite tall with a locking cap so the shakes can be pre made and taken to the gym. It also has a ball inside it which helps speed up yhe shaking process somehow. There is a measuring guide on the cup too so no need to raid the cupboards for a jug.
The box contains enough shakes for 7 days, 14 in total in 3 flavours – vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. They come in pre measured individual packets which can be mixed with water. They already contain milk powder along with 22 different vitamins and minerals. Each individual serving of shake contains 204 calories.
The way it works is to replace 2 meals with 2 shakes each day and eat one healthy meal. Once weight loss is achieved this can be changed to two meals per day and one shake which is meant to keep the weight off.
The shakes do taste good, just like drinking milkshake and it’s about 300ml each time which is roughly half the cup. I was quite sceptical beforehand being that water, rather than milk is used, but they don’t taste watery at all and quite flavoursome. Mixing is easy too and quite fun with the ball in the cup.
I replaced my breakfast and lunch with a shake. To be honest I rarely eat breakfast anyway, so tw morning hunger was not an issue. I tried it for a week and by the end I was 3lb down. I think it does work if you stick to the plan and also do some exercise. I could not find much information about inbetween healthy snacks such as fruits etc, tho I can’t see any reason why healthy snacking would affect this diet plan.
I was sent the 7 day starter pack to test out. This pack is available in Boots and directly from Forza for £18.99.
Vosene Kids is expanding its product range with the launch of some new and rather fruity hair care products.
These products are not in the shops just yet, so it’s a bit of a special privelage to test them out before anyone else.
There is the Caring Coconut & Mango Hair and Body Wash which is just burstibg with exotic paradise essence, perfect for helping parents to gently nourish their kiddies’ delicate skin. In addition, the Fruity Goodness range welcomes two new products, Pink Pomelo & Vitamin C 2 in 1 Shampoo and Pink Pomelo & Vitamin C Hair & Body Wash bursting with citrus zest and a spritz of Vitamin C, helping to keep your little ones’ hair fresh and energised.
If you don’t know what a pink pomelo is, which my kids did not; then it’s a fruit similar to a grapefruit and the scents from these products are similar to a grapefruit scent too which is just lovely.
Being fruity I would say that the products are probably aimed more towards girls and perhaps the younger boys. Ryan is more into his “real men” products and fragrances now (almost a teenager). My two girls are always so happy with new bath products and loved the new Vosene range. The scents are great. We found the 2 in 1 shampoo really works as a double product this time (unlike others) it has more of a look a texture that a conditioner does and so reduces the need for additional or extra conditioning even on long or thicker hair.
The hair and body washes seem good for children with shorter or finer hair (young boys included) and saves the need for an additional shampoo bottle.
I am sure these new products will be in stores very soon and you can always visit the Vosene kids website for more product ranges.
Interplay’s My Living world range gives children the opportunity to grow real live insects and creatures in their own home or garden and helps children gain a better understanding of nature and the world around them.
I am a bit squeamish when it comes to worms, ants, caterpillars etc so I decided to steer clear of those paticular sets, but Triop world was the kit that stood out for us. No wiggly worms or slime to handle with this one!
Triops come from the Triassic period so we are talking thousands of years ago. They are a species of shrimp which somehow stay alive but dormant and com back to life when added to water.
In the kit is the triop tank which is small enough to fit on our window sill. They work best with plenty of light and therefore in a sunny spot works best. Also in the box is the packet of Triop eggs, food and sand all of which can be bought as replacements if needed from Interplay.
It is recommended not to use tap water, they mention both bottled and rain water but I worked out that boiled water left to cool also works a treat. So first thing is to fill the tank and get the water to the correct temperature, then add the Triops.
As you can see the Triop egg pack leaves the tank looking quite dirty, (I believe the Triops prefer dirty water). After a few days the dirt can be skimmed off the top with a spoon. This is not the easiest of tasks as it’s quite slimy.
Then we wait!
After just 3 days I could see lots of white tiny creatures darting and swimming around, almost like tiny white tadpoles.
Unfortunaly with Triops it seems to be survival of the fittest as many simply do not survive or get eaten by the others so the numbers reduce each day until only 2 or 3 remain.
Triops are not the only creatures grown with the included eggs. 3 other creatures can also hatch.
The Triops and other creatures are still tiny in our tank, they also seem to have a habit of camouflaging and hiding. We har to look very closely or even use a magnifier to see them. They are usually around the top of the tank and as of today I can see 4 different creatures if I look hard enough. We have had our tank up for about 2 weeks now.
We have also added the sand which should somehow help to keep the water a little cleaner. The Triops are tiny and therefore only require feeding a small amount of food 2 or 3 times a week at the most.
The tank does get a bit smelly which is the main drawback, it helps to change some of the water when possible but the risk is losing some of the tiny Triops in the process.
My kids are loving this kit so much that I have ordered another one just so they can both have one each. They cost £9.99 from Interplay UK. It makes a great hobby. I think the Triops last about 2/3 months each maximum and then replacement eggs can be purchased.
I’m not sure who is most fascinated by them, me or my kids!
For recommended ages 7 and over, younger ones will also want to look, but probably best keeping the eggs and food well out of reach, would not want Triops in their tummies.
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