Bloomon giveaway 

Published March 16, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Last week I posted images of the beautiful bouquet I received from Bloomon. I’m pleased to say that the flowers are still in the vase and still blooming well even after two weeks. 

And now it’s the turn of one of my lovely readers to win a months worth of bloomon flowers. This includes two bouquets which will be delivered fortnightly and include a hand blown glass vase.

To enter simply follow the link below. 

ENTER HERE!
This giveaway will close on April 6th 2017. Entrants must be uk based residents and have valid email, Facebook and twitter accounts. One winner will be chosen at random and emailed. Winners must reply within 10 days. 

Mother’s Day with gel-a-peel

Published March 15, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Gel-a-peel is still a fairly new type of craft material. It is a gel which comes in squeezy pens and can be used to make various things. The gel sticks once dry and it comes in lots of colours with many design ideas. We have had quite a few packs and our latest one is this one. 

Our pearly pastel gel-a-peel set contains 3 gel tubes all in shiny pearly type colours. Along with templates and a few other bits. 

This set was sent to my children so that they can create cards for Mother’s Day and that is exactly what Jordanna has been doing. The gel is quite easy to use and patternsare simple once we got used to it. The letters can be a bit more tricky. Sometimes we do need to squeeze the tubes quite hard to get a bit out. Anyway here is an early Mother’s Day card made with gel-a-peel.

I really like the shininess of these pearly colours as they seem to catch the light and look really effective. I think Jordanna has done a fairly good job here as it can be hard to write with gel-a-peel.

Jordanna also made this little bracelet too. 

The bracelets and other types of jewellery can be made using the included templates, left to dry and then worn. Gel-a-peel has endless uses and is not too messy providing it’s done on a mat or in one area. 

Packs vary in price and are sold at most toy shops. 

 Gel-a-Peel is recommended for children aged 8 +

Kinetic rock crusher

Published March 14, 2017 by Bizzimummy


If you have children who are familiar with kinetic sand then this set is similar. Kinetic sand being the all new sand that you can mould and shape with minimal mess. This set uses kinetic rock, which does the same thing as the sand, just a gritty rock version.

With the kinetic rock crusher set we got a bag of kinetic rock, a digger truck, cement turning type device, a Lego man, fold out play area and the odd few other small parts.

The box doubles up as a mini cardboard construction site and even has its own sign. The truck needs assembly, the wheels and digger part all need attaching and there is a bucket/tipped which sits on the back of it. 

The little lego type figure is pretty useless. It’s like something found in a kinder egg that you put the arms, legs and head on. The arms constantly fall off and it’s so small that it will easily be lost. 

The kinetic rock does feel rather strange. It is rough and gritty in the hand yet soft enough to squish and mould into shapes. There is one small mould included to make a boulder, would of been nice to have a few more. 

Any moulds made with kinetic rock, or even sand; stays in shape until broken apart. This is the good thing about the kinetic stuff, unlike other sand products it doesn’t get everywhere, (tho it’s not completely mess free) and it stays in the shape you mould it to.

The digger truck can be used to transport the sand just like the real thing. Unfortunately the digger part does have to be moved manually by hand, there is no button and no batteries or controls to operate the truck so it is just a play accessory. The mixer turns by a handle and the rock can be placed inside and churned out, but it does sometimes get stuck. 

This kit is suitable for children aged 3 and over. I was not too sure if this would be Izebellas thing as she is more into dolls, dressing up and girly things rather than digger trucks but she absolutely loves it and always wants it out. 

The rock can get in the carpet and it can stick to socks which gets quite uncomfortable. The best way to pick it up before the hoover gets it is to form a ball of the rock and stick it to the loose bits in the carpet. I do find it comes up fairly easily so the mess is minimal.


As for the price – I have browsed a few online toy stores plus Amazon and the price tends to be the same throughout from £18 – £20. If I’m being totally honest I do think this is slightly overpriced. The bag of kinetic rock is not huge, Izebella will get a few plays from it but the amount gets smaller with each play due to spills. The accessories are all plastic toys which could easily be bought anywhere and the box play scene is just cardboard which won’t last long. If I was to consider buying this set as a present then I think £12.00 would be more reasonable for this. 

The Pink mouse company:  Mother’s Day gift ideas

Published March 14, 2017 by Bizzimummy

If looking for a special Mother’s Day sweet treat this year, the head over to The pink mouse company website where you will find a whole host of yummy sweet treats.

Now I’ve been treated to a rather early Mother’s Day gift by The pink mouse company. First there was this yummy sweet tree. 

The one which I had; (and I sat had, as it’s all been eaten) is a chocolate m&ms tree but the sweet trees can be made with many other well known chocolates and sweets. They arrive presented in a lovely hamper style basket and wrapped with a big ribbon ready for gifting. 

The majority of these sweet trees even come in 3 size choices – small, medium and large. I think the large one would probably be too big as a solo gift and more suitable to parties or weddings, which The pink mouse company also cater for. 

Our M&ms tree was thoroughly enjoyed by us all. The sweets stay on the tree really well. I think the chocolate binds them together but once we managed to pick the first few off, the rest came off easy enough.

And if our sweet tree wasn’t enough of a chocolate fix, we also got this lovely Chocolate hot shots hamper.

This also arrives with beautiful presentation and contains a cup 6 chocolate hot shots and marshmallows. The hot shots and big blocks of chocolate attached to a wooden spoon. They get dipped and stirred into hot milk to melt into a hot chocolate drink. 

Add marshmallows which also melt in the milk and it’s just delicious and especially good just before bedtime.

Perfect chocolate gifts that any mum would love to receive. 

Juratoys: Traditional playthings, just how toys are meant to be. 

Published March 13, 2017 by Bizzimummy

If I cast my mind back to my early childhood, I remember a fair few things. Such as things I did and things I had or didn’t have. When I was little a tablet was something you took when you was unwell. A phone was walking to a phone box or if you was slightly privelaged you may have a home phone attached to the wall. We had a video player eventually but not when I was really young. Listening to music meant placing a needle onto a vinyl disc or putting a cassette tape into a player. There were no mobiles, no games consoles (not until I was slightly older) and toys back then were real toys. Toys without plugs and without the internet and I don’t remember ever being bored playing with the toys I had. 

It’s a shame that things change so much and even children as young as Izebella seem more reliant on technology and devices. So when an opportunity comes along to try out more traditional type toys with my children, it’s always a good thing.

Izebella has been playing with two different toys from Jura toys. The first being a very traditional “old fashioned” style toy for little ones. The Janod story box circus. 

It contains 19 pieces in total, all of which are made from solid wood. It includes many familiar circus characters and props, including – elephant, tiger, clown, trapeze artists, ring master and even a monkey on a unicycle. 

There are no rules to play by, it is purely up to the child to use their imagination to create their own circus. 

All the pieces stand up and the sturdy strong box is also used as part of play as well as being used to store all the parts. The pieces are all really colourful and well designed. The horse even fits a rider and characters balance on the high beam. 

Izebella really likes her new circus set. She has been to a real circus show and remembers it well. She puts on voices for the characters and moves them all around.

This really does remind me of the type of toys I had when I was her age. 

This set costs about £21 and is currently selling over on Amazon.
As it’s almost Easter (next month), Izebella has also had an early Easter gift in the form of a very cuddly rabbit.


Our new cuddly bunny friend is the Kaloo rouge sandy beige rabbit. It comes in a few sizes and rabbit is very cuddly and fluffy and makes a good bedtime companion for Izebella. 

Cuddly toys always seem to make my little girl happy. It’s a good job she is soon upgrading her toddler bed to bunk beds so she has more room to put her new cuddly bunny, she does like him to have his own cover and little pillow at night time and she has named him “Mr Bunny”. 

Kaloo rabbit toys are also being sold on Amazon as well as a few other places and start from £20.00.

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. 


Snack time!

Published March 10, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Here are a few treats we have been trying out over the past few weeks.

Crabtree & Evelyn – All butter rose & white chocolate biscuits.
 

Crabtree & Evelyn are more well known for their luxurious beauty and bathing products. I had no idea that they even had a food range before getting these to try. I would describe the biscuit as a cookie, and a posh one too as these certainly do not come cheap. They cost £5.00 per tin but I guess the tin is reusable at least. They do sell many other varieties of the biscuit tins but this unique rose flavour is a limited edition tin. The biscuits are great, they actually taste like freshly home baked cookies rather than something that’s been sat on a shelf for ages. Very creamy, good enough for dunking and they really do taste of rose which is unusual. They don’t taste at all like Turkish delight which is a good thing as I don’t like the stuff but yes a good treat overall. 


Kind snacks bars



I’m always up for trying new foods but always a little wary with these sort of bars . Mainly because I have had a few of them which come packed with dates, currants or figs, none of which I particularly enjoy. Anyway Kind bars did not disappoint at all, not a single one of the eight varieties. Some of them come coated in chocolate. All of them contain nuts, so not great if your allergic but luckily I’m not. Many of them do contain fruit but it seems to be cranberries, cherries, and coconut which I don’t mind at all.
My children also enjoyed them, which meant bad luck for me as I had to share them; but they are called “Kind snacks” after all. 

Yazoo!

Yes it milkshake from our favourite brand Yazoo. These bottle packs have no added sugar and they are great for packed lunches and general snacking. We received a fair few bottles which also come with straws. Banana, strawberry and toffee and if I had to choose a favourite then banana wins.

And of course they aren’t all meant for me!

 

Optiwell

These arrived at the same time as the Yazoo shakes so double treats for us all. Optiwell are delicious healthy yoghurt drinks. Currently in two flavours – strawberry & raspberry and Apricot & peach. All in individual bottles. Great for breakfast or taking one to the gym.


 

We do love our treats in this house!

Infinity crates: A geeky subscription! 

Published March 10, 2017 by Bizzimummy

For those of us (like myself) who like collecting lots of strange and rather geeky/nerdy type items; there is Infinity crates. And yes it’s a subscription box service, you all know how much I love them. 

There are a few box choices including one just for kids. Each one comes filled with all sorts of geeky things and if your not sure what I mean by geeky then think retro, superheroes, computer game characters, heroes, villains, princesses, movies that sort of stuff that straange people like me love to get. 


As for the actual items – there is usually a t-shirt of some sort in every box and you can choose the size too. Also products such as key rings, figures, stationary, toys, clothing, posters, cups etc. The boxes are always a surprise but the contents are pretty good. 

These are the contents insife our Infinity crate.

 

We got a Dark energy t-shirt, an apron, Spider-Man mug, poker card game set, a pop vinyl figure and some picture cards so not a bad box at all. I absolutely love the pop figures, and have started a small collection. Ryan also loves this type of stuff and talked me into giving him the rest of it including the t-shirt. He loves cooking too so also wanted the apron as well as the mug. I have no doubt he will also learn how to play poker soon too. Therefore happy faces all round. 


And I’m just happy with my daredevil figure which will be staying in its box! 

And if you like this sort of geeky collectors stuff as much as we do, then maybe grab yourself a few boxes over at Infinity Crates. Prices start from £7.99. 

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.

Robinson’s fruit drop

Published March 9, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Robinson’s (the well known drinks company) are piloting a new home delivery service called Fruit drop. This service is being designed to help families #EnjoyMoreWater. 

In the U.K. alone ,  85% of a cross section of adults reported they drink less than the recommended 8 glasses of fluid and 72% of 5-12 year olds don’t drink the recommended intakes of fluid. Whilst surveys show that 47% of parents worry their children don’t drink enough water during the day and yes I’m one of them. 

My children won’t drink water on its own, water is flavour less and a little boring, milk on the other hand; although healthy can fill them up to much if they have too much. I don’t let them have pop or sugary drinks often so I do find that Robinson’s range of no added sugar squashes work best. 

Robinson’s squash do contain real fruit and no added sugars. Only a small amount of squash is required with water so in a way it’s just like flavouring the water. The flavour obviously encourages my children to drink it more.


The fruit drop packages arrive in wooden crates and contain 3 x 1L bottles of Robinson’s squash in 3 different flavours and also 3 x 66ml Squash’d bottles. These are smaller bottles of juice and these can be taken on trips or days out as the bottles easily fit in handbags. Only a few drops is needed of these in a cup of water. 

Drinking Robinson’s juices has certainly increased the amount of water my kids normally drink and these bottles really do last ages. 

The delivery service seems to be in its very early stages so I don’t have any information on cost or when it may actually start properly. Keep an eye out on the Robinson’s website for more news.

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