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Greggs: Caffeine fueled taste test

Published March 11, 2017 by Bizzimummy

The fair trade fortnight began February 27th and ends this Sunday (March 12th). Fairtrade Fortnight is a fun-filled highlight of the year, when campaigners, businesses, schools and places of worship show their support for the farmers and workers who grow our food in developing countries.

I was asked to take part in a coffee taste challenge by Greggs, who are probably better known for their pies and cakes. The challenge involved being sent vouchers to buy coffee from Greggs and other well known coffee outlets and comparing them all, rating and seeing which I liked best.

I could choose any type of coffee I wanted and chose Latte at Greggs and three other coffee shops – Costa, Starbucks and Cafe Nero. Latte being my favourite coffee as it’s quite mild, and creamy. 

Starting with Greggs: I found a Greggs in my local town centre with a “sit in” option rather than taking it away. Greggs Latte costs £1.80 and contains 111 calories. There is an option of vanilla syrup for a small charge (which I had) 

Greggs Latte looks like a regular latte, creamy on top mixed with steamed coffee. It comes served in a throw away cup which is no doubt down to the fact that Greggs is more of a take away venues rather than eat in. Unfortunately this does let the drink down a little on the whole visual appearance. The aroma was fairly strong for a latte and I do drink a fair few of them. Now for taste – I did find this Latte a little on the strong side for my personal taste. I am sure that if you prefer a stronger coffee then this will be fine but I found I had to add extra sugar just to sweeten it up a little, even with the vanilla syrup. 

I thought the coffee was good value and seems reasonably priced at £1.80.

Each coffee bean from Greggs is 100% fair trade. The information van be found easily on their web page.


Costa – Caramel Latte. A while after Greggs I went to Costa and got myself one of their caramel lattes. 

Costa have both sit in and take away options. If you sit in, you get a latte glass and take away a cup like this! 

Yes I had one for the bus home too. Costa latte costs slightly more than Greggs. They do 3 sizes and for a medium latte which is a similar size to Greggs its £2.85. There are a few other flavour options here including amaretto and hazelnut. 

The latte does vary in appearance depending on whether you stay in or take it out but I did notice that the milk did not look quite as frothy as Greggs. 

The aroma was also fairly weak. The taste was much milder than Greggs and no sugar was needed but I thought it was perhaps a little too weak and flat for a proper latte.

Costa coffee is Rainforest alliance certified. Costa has its own independent charity – Costa foundation which aims to relieve poverty in coffee growing countries. Again this information was easy to find.


Cafe Nero – At cafe Nero I ordered their salted caramel latte. This cost £2.95 for a regular (stay in) cup. 

I really liked the whole appearance of this one. Although not in a tall latte glass, I do think this resembles how a proper Italian style latte should look. Very creamy with swirls of coffee on top and the creamy texture stays until the bottom. 

The aroma was fairly strong but the whole of Cafe Nero does have an overall coffee aroma in the air. 

Taste – I was slightly let down by the taste of this one. It was not awful and quite sweet whilst being a bit stronger than Costa. However it seemed to have an almost burnt type flavour and I’m not sure if this is down to the salted caramel flavour or not. 

I managed to find that Cafe Nero also works with Rainforst alliance but there does not seem to be much other information about their coffee.



Starbucks – Here I ordered one of their medium size burnt caramel lattes. 

Starbucks was the most expensive, costing £3.55. They also gave me the option of whipped cream on top which none of the other venues did. The coffee came served in a take away type cup, even tho I did state staying in so maybe this is just the norm.

The visual appeal of this one is extremely tempting, it looks very upmarket and even a little festive. 

Aroma – I could smell a lot of cream and caramel. The coffee aroma seemed mild.

Taste – I cannot fault this one at all. Perfect latte taste for me, not too strong and not too mild and the cream adds an extra layer of sweetness on top of the already sweet flavour. 

I really enjoyed this one but at £3.55 a go, it’s a dear do for one a day and also loaded with sweetness and sugar. 

Starbucks coffee is ethically sourced and accredited by Conservation International Their coffee is also accredited by Fairtrade and the information is easily found on the internet. 


Overall coffee ratings!

I am marking each coffee out of 5. 5 being the highest score (superb) and 1 being the lowest (poor).

Greggs – 3

Costa – 2

Cafe Nero – 3

Starbucks – 4

Therefore in my coffee taste challenge Starbucks wins it for me and would have been given a 5, had it not been the most expensive one. The coffee from Greggs was just a little too strong for my palate but I’m sure strong coffee lovers will enjoy it and it is the least expensive one. 


Special photo gifts this Mother’s Day from Supersnaps

Published March 9, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Mother’s Day is now just weeks away and it’s time to consider gifts for that special lady in all our lives, be it mum, or gran or the one who is always there for us, just like a mum.

Flowers and chocolates are always good but gifts like that just don’t last. Photo gifts are perfect for a lasting, more personal touch.

Supersnaps have many types of photo gifts for all the mums out there. You can make a mini scrap book online using all your favourite prints, meaning lots of memories to keep and treasure. There are also mini magnets which are great for sticking on the fridge meaning mum will see them each time she needs something and packs of retro prints which can even be personalised with messages such as “Happy Mother’s Day” .

So this Mother’s Day it’s time to make it more personal with a gift from Supersnaps.

Young driver experience 

Published March 3, 2017 by Bizzimummy

My 12 year old son is constantly talking about driving and having a car when he is old enough, so when the Young driver opportunity arose, I just knew I had to get him involved. 

Young driver gives children ages 10-17 the opportunity to learn how to drive a real car. The legal driving age in the U.K. is 17 years and young driver enable younger children to prepare for when they can legally drive on the road. Of course they can’t drive on the real roads yet but Young Driver has many specially set up venues across the U.K. where they can learn. We chose Manchester Ethiad.
The lessons are not a daily event, but rather specified dates and times. When we arrived there were a fair few people there already so it does seem to be popular and gets busy.

After signing Ryan in, he was greeted by his instructor and straight away placed on the driving seat. There was literally no waiting around, he was straight in a car to get his full 60 minute experience. 


Parents can travel in the back of the car with a child on a lesson. I chose not to as I had both girls with me and I thought me being there may put him off a little. They did provide a few chairs for parents to sit and watch and also sold hot drinks which is a good idea as it was freezing the day we went.

Although I was not in the car with Ryan, I was able to observe and watch what his car did. Each car has a number printed on the side so that it’s easy to spot which one your child is in. 

In just the space of one hour, my son had learned how to start a car, drive a car, reverse, parallel park and much more. It seemed to be a really informative lesson and he seemed to take it all in.


He got given a progress booklet in which his instructor recorded his progress and added notes on what needs to be improved. The lessons can be a one off experience or a continuous thing just like proper lessons for adults. Ryan can now drive better than me as I have unfortunately not had a single driving lesson in my life.


He did really well for his first lesson and is already asking to do another one. 

There is an option to purchase a recording of your child driving. This costs £15.00 but the staff kindly did ours for free. The recording is put on a USB stick to watch/download onto a laptop or compatible television/device.

Here is a short recording from Ryan’s experience. It shows two screens, one of him in the car and one of the road in front of him.

The lessons start from £34.95 for 30 minutes. Some centres also provide lessons for much younger children aged 5-10 years in special “firefly” 2 seater cars. 

Once a child has had a few lessons, they can then go onto a skills day where motorway type training can be learned. 

Winter wonderland Manchester 

Published December 10, 2016 by Bizzimummy

It’s here once again, yes Winter wonderland has landed at Event city and officially opens to the public today. With lots of rides, shows, and stalls there is something for all the family.

Last night we attended the charity night and we all had an amazing time. This is our 3rd year attending and the best so far. Lots of new additions including a lovely walk through grotto done up as Santas house. I won’t say much about that but I think it’s fair to say it’s probably one of the best grottos I have taken my children to so far. 

The shows included Basil brush, Cinderella and the new Jedi. There were many more stalls and new food outlets. The Xmas hot barms are especially good. 

And now for some photos to show you all the amazing time we had last night. 

And our santa visit! 

Tickets cost £19.50 each per adult and child. Children under 3 go free. Included in ticket price are all the rides, shows, beach sand pit, character meet & greet and children can visit santa free but gifts and photographs are optional paid extras. The stalls and food are not included in the price.
There are many options for food.Expect to pay about £4.50 per burger or hot dog, £3.00 per tray of chips, and £2.00 for a bottle of pop. 

Most game stalls such as hook a duck cost £2-£3 per go. If you have a large family this can get expensive.

Event city is located next to the Trafford centre. For directions and opening times see the website where tickets can also be purchased.

Blackpool tower party package

Published November 15, 2016 by Bizzimummy

Last month we celebrated Izebellas 4th birthday. My lucky little princess had two parties, one at home on her birthday and the other at Blackpool tower the weekend before. 

Jungle Jims in Blackpool tower offer two party packages, monkey and lion. Included in both is the following.

The Monkey Package – £9.95 per child
One hour play in Jungle Jims with reserved table and refreshments
World famous fish and chips options from Harry Ramsdens for all children served in our jungle themed party room

A choice of fantastic party games

Jungle Jims goody bag for every child

Your own dedicated party host for the duration of your party

5 adults FREE with the party (extra adults £2 each)

Downloadable party invite


The Lion Package – £12.95 per child

Everything in the Monkey Package
PLUS: The Blackpool Tower Circus OR The Blackpool Tower Eye tickets for each child

2 adults FREE for Circus or Eye (extra adults £4.95 per attraction)

Downloadable party invite
Izebella was given the full Lion package for her birthday and in total there were 9 children and 3 adults.

On arrival to the tower there was some confusion about the party and so a bit of waiting around whilst the correct person was located. Once they found our details we were taken straight to Jungle Jims where the party began.

You do get a choice of what you want to do first, such as play or eat or circus. The children started with an hour play in Jungle Jims and jugs of juice were provided at no extra cost 


Once play time was over, the children were all taken to a special party room with music and games. Whilst at Jungle Jims the children were all given a choice of food available from Harry Ramsdens and whilst in the party room their food was bought to them. I had bought Izebella a cake and candle from home as cakes aren’t provided. We all did the birthday cake, song and candles after the food.

The food was really good and all kids enjoyed it. The portions are pretty big for kids meals too so they should not be hungry after them.

Once finished at the party room, the kids went up to the circus. Unfortunately we were too early for a showing and rather than waiting around, the tower staff allowed us to go back to Jungle Jims and play again. 

We did go back to the circus and watched the full show. It is forbidden to take photographs in the circus so I can’t really show any, but it’s certainly a good show.


My children and especially Izebella enjoyed the party at Jungle Jims but ad adults we do see flaws and things that could be improved. The staff did seem very disorganised and not just when we arrived. I was told by a staff member that they were very short staffed and especially so for parties. The food was lovely and free juice a bonus but I would of liked more party games and better prizes especially for a four year old. Also perhaps some party decorations for the party table in Jungle Jims would of been nice and a present for the birthday child too. The children were given goody bags but again I think these need improvement. I was lucky to get Izebellas party for free, she had a good day as did all her friends but if families have a similar experience then they may just complain about the lack of organisation.

To find out more about the party packages, visit the Blackpool tower website.

Npower Superpowers campaign 

Published November 4, 2016 by Bizzimummy

In celebration of the bizarre and brilliant everyday super powers, leading energy provider npower conducted a survey to investigate what makes Brits tick. The polls show that an amazing 79% of us have a secret everyday super power, with dad dancing topping the polls for the most popular talent.

Independent survey carried out by One Poll, polling 2,000 UK parents and children aged 6-16 years old

In response to Brit’s show-stopping talents, npower wants to celebrate each and every unique super power us Brits have to offer with their new Super Powers Campaign. To launch the campaign, npower will embark on a nationwide tour with TV Presenter and family man, Peter Andre. The road show will look to encourage Brits across the country to showcase their super power at dedicated npower ‘super power’ booths for the chance of winning a home gadget package worth £25,000 to super power your home.

If you share a video of you or a family member and their super power via video then you’ll be in with a chance to win a gadget bundle worth £25,000 to super power your home.. People can also enter online by visiting http://www.familysuperpowers.com.

The roadshows will be coming to London, Manchester and Newcastle and was in Birmingham end of October. For us the closest one is Manchester and this takes place between November 11th – 13th at Manchester Arndale and you may just spot me there. Other dates and venues are..

Birmingham – Grand Central – Friday 28th to Sunday 30th Oct. 

London – Bluewater – Friday 4th to Sunday 6th November 

Newcastle – Metro centre – Friday 18th to Sunday 20th November 

Now SuperPowers don’t just need to be limited to flying or invisibility or even superhuman strength. It can be anything you want to do or be. Here is a little list to give a few ideas.

– Juggling – kitchen utensils or ingredients

– Balancing plates on arms

– Perfectly lip syncing to the latest hit

– Walking on hands

– Ventriloquist (using hand puppets)

– Splits whilst doing homework/making calls/working

– Impressions – especially to make the children laugh

– Dancing 

And before I share a few of our family superpower videos with you, I would like to share a video about this campaign featuring Peter Andre his self. 

And now for a few superpowers videos of our own featuring my two girls (Ryan did not want to do one unfortunately) 

First up is Jordanna proudly showcasing her musical talents on stage with a pretty well known children’s celebrity.

Did I mention Jordanna can also sing in front of hundreds. Bottom row second left. This girl is full of super duper talents.

Jordanna has so many SuperPower talents that she even helps out as a magicians assistant too.


And of course little sister Izebella wants to be just as talented with superpowers as big sister and is quickly catching up with her dancing by herself. 

So there you go and I’m sure my super girls are exhausted after their superpower talents, and now it’s your turn. Get down to a roadshows and don’t forget to upload those videos to Npower family superpowers.

Helping families stay together with McDonalds

Published October 20, 2016 by Bizzimummy

Everyone knows of McDonalds. The fast food restaurants that kids love and can be found in pretty much every town. However what many people know little about is some of the charity work that McDonalds does. 

The Ronald McDonald house charity  has been helping families for over 25 years. They are the UK’s leading provider of free family accommodation at NHS hospitals. The charity provide families with a free ‘home away from home’ which enables them to stay close by while their child is in one of their partnered children’s hospitals. Families can stay for as long as they need to.

There are 14 Ronald McDonald Houses across the UK, all located close to specialist children’s hospitals. The Houses are open 365 days a year and are equipped with everything you would find in a family home. Families can get a good night’s sleep, prepare their own meals and feel at home, knowing that they’re only a moments away from their child. 


McDonalds restaurants across the country are hosting a charity event this weekend (Saturday 22nd October) to raise funds for the houses. The day will take on a jungle theme and cuddly toys with a jungle theme will be on sale. These can be purchased at almost every McDonalds restaurant in the country and 100% of all proceeds will go to the charity. 


So I am asking you all, please pop into your local McDonalds this Saturday, take your family for a treat and purchase a toy or two. No parents ever expect their children to be so unwell or injured that they have to stay in hospital but if it was your child then surely you would be extremely grateful for a charity such as this. I know I would. 
As well as buying the toys, most restaurants also gave donation boxes to pop any loose change inside. 

Here is a video starring Jeff Brazier  who is the “Help keep families close” ambassador as well as a celebrity dad. This video shows exactly where your donations will go and the work the charity does.

I will most definitely be having lunch at McDonald’s on Saturday. The longest any of my children have spent in hospital is two nights which was hard enough. I cannot imagine the thought of my children having to stay alone in hospital which is why this charity deserves the support.

( #spon. This is a sponsored post)

Num Noms at Bella Italia 

Published August 10, 2016 by Bizzimummy


We were invited to Bella Italia in the Manchester arndale last Thursday. An event was held to celebrate the new craze Num noms series. 

Activities there included face painting, guess the food games and colouring. There was also a set out toy area which was just full of Num Noms. 


Of course being held at Bella Italia can only mean one thing for lunch, yes its pizza and not just any pizza but the children had the chance to make their own with a few select ingredients. 


My kids all enjoyed their pizza, even Izebella who was quite unwell on the day. After the kids pizzas, food for mums and dads was served too. 

We had a lovely afternoon and even saw a few familiar blogger faces there which is always nice. 

Finding Dory at Sealife Manchester 

Published July 22, 2016 by Bizzimummy

SEA LIFE Manchester has teamed up with Disney•Pixar to enable its visitors to share in the antics of this summer’s highly anticipated blockbuster, Finding Dory. Visitors will be led on an interactive trail by one of the new Disney•Pixar movie’s star sea creatures, Hank (voice of Ed O’Neill), a cantankerous Octopus and enjoy watching a teaser trailer of the film before it launches in cinemas on Friday 29th July.

Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory tells the story of Dory’s quest to find her own family, with the help of Nemo and Marlin and new characters like Hank that she meets at a Californian marine rehabilitation centre and aquarium. 


Last weekend we got the chance to visit sealife Manchester which is located at the Trafford centre. We spotted many “Finding Dory” posters around the attraction and also got the chance to view many fabulous sea creatures. 

Sealife is divided into many sections and includes stingray bay, an octopus hideout, ocean tunnels, rock pools, sharks, jellyfish and seahorse areas. 


I found the jellyfish tank pretty spectacular. Lots of them and they seemed to illuminate in the water. Izebella loved the sea horses and also going through the various ocean tunnels where you are surrounded by fish.


At the end of the tour we had the chance to touch star fish and crabs in the rock pool too.

And then it was time for Legoland Manchester which is next to sealife.


Legoland is lots of fun too. You get to learn a little about how Lego is made and get bricks to take home. There is a lazer shoot ghost train type ride and lots of Lego models, some of which are amazing like this one. 


There is a large play area and a few rides for kids to go on, lots of rooms full of Lego to explore and even a nice pink room with karaoke. Then a laser trip type game at the end. 


You can purchase tickets for both attractions as a combo package and save money. Buy tickets here.

Chicago town pizza party

Published July 14, 2016 by Bizzimummy

This month the famous pizza makers; Chicago town: have bought out seven new flavours to their pizzas. The new flavours include – Limited Edition The Takeaway Pulled Beef Brisket, The Takeaway American Hot, The Takeaway Four Cheese, The Takeaway Cajun Chicken, Deep Dish Meatball Melt, Deep Dish Mega Meaty and Pizza Melt BBQ Chicken.

My kids love pizza and to celebrate this launch we got to hold our very own pizza party. I was sent some vouchers over to pick up some pizzas, and here are just some of the pizza varieties available.


Chicago town pizza varieties come in various sizes, large, medium, smaller deep dish (2 pack) all with different crust types too. There is also the new pizza melts which are like a pizza sandwich which cooks in the oven.


Ryan ate the pizza melt to himself and the other pizzas and dough balls were used for our party. 


We had our pizza party on Tuesday 12th July which also happened to be Jordannas 9th birthday. The pizzas went down really well with all the kids, of which there was a total of 14 in my house. As well as pizza we also had the Chicago town garlic dough balls which I think are really tasty and full of garlic flavour. 


I also made fries and nuggets to go with the pizzas plus sandwiches, other cold food and of course cake and sweet stuff. Jordanna especially had an amazing day with it being her birthday anyway and everyone loved the Chicago town goodies.


Ryan especially loves pepperoni flavour pizzas whilst Jordanna and Izebella will try any of them as long as it’s not too spicy. Before and after the food, we also managed a few party games and a bit of dancing. I think the kids went home happy and full after our party. 


But Chicago town pizza products from most supermarkets and find out more about the ranges on the Chicago town website.

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