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Project Mc2 dolls with experiments: Camryns tie dye

Published June 23, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Project Mc2 is a team of smart and very cool girls who use their love of science and their spy skills to complete missions for secret organization, NOV8. They’re real girls with real skills ready to take on anything. Each doll comes with fun experiments so  young girls can conduct their very own experiments at home!

This is Camryn, one of the MC2 girls members. 

Camryn Coyle comes complete with tie dye pens and a pipette. This experiment is all about dying and trainers in particular according to the box and instructions.

If you don’t have a spare pair of shoes to tie dye then the pens also work on a cheap or old white t shirt or even a white tea towel. They are fabric pens so I think most types of material would be ok, as long as it’s ok with mum and dad of course. It would have been better if perhaps some sort of fabric was included with the doll to use. The instructions also state that “rubbing alcohol” is also needed for the experiment. I had no idea what this was but a google search bought up isopropyl, ethanol and first aid antiseptics so I assume anything along those lines will do. The doll is aimed at girls age 6 and over so obviously it is important that parents supervise the experiments.

The doll itself is really pretty. Long hair, lovely summer festival type clothes, sandals and a bag too. 

I do find that the limbs on the Mc2 dolls seem to detach and come off very easily and more so the hands. They go back on easily enough but I’m unsure if this is part of the doll design. 

Izebella is too young for the doll experiments just yet so that is left to big sister Jordanna. Izebella seems happy enough undressing and redressing the doll over and over again. 


The Mc2 dolls with experiments cost between £20-£30 each. 

Dessert making with Opies

Published June 16, 2017 by Bizzimummy

One of the brand stalls at the Blog On conference last month had some rather tasty looking treats. These treats were made using Opies jars. Opies are one of the oldest private family owned companies in the UK. They are well known for many family favourites such as their jars of pickle onions and cocktail cherries. Opies sell glass jars of meal accompaniments and ingredients.

I have been sent a big box of Opies goodies which I will certainly be making good use of with a few food type posts over the next few weeks.

The first two products I used are these! 


Cocktail cherries and the luxury Summer berry compote. 

The cherries are part of the Opies cocktail range and can of course be put on one of those little cocktail sticks which then gets added to a drink. But they are also great for cooking and baking with. 

At Blog On I got to try a cherry and almond cake which was delicious and I knew I just had to try to make it myself at home. This recipe can be viewed on the Opies website along with many others. The ingredients are basic, the usual things found in a cupboard (flour, eggs, sugar, butter etc) and a bag of chopped almonds plus almond essence which are both inexpensive. 


The cherries needed cutting in half and then everything mixed together just like a regular sponge cake. Izebella was so happy to be helping mummy make this. 

And then we baked it for 65 minutes until it was golden and ready for eating.

It’s a delicious cake to make. It tastes a lot like the cherry Bakewell tarts/cakes that can be shop bought and following the online recipe and ingredients gave us a pretty large cake to enjoy.


The cherries are quite chunky and juicy, even when sliced in half. I think next time we make this, we will try to cut the cherries a little smaller if we can. It is a really nice cake and makes the perfect afternoon tea.
The Summer berry compote is a blend of British berries together (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc). It looks like a rich jam but it is intensely sweet. This can be used for many things including adding to breakfast, yoghurt, on toast, pancakes, or in a fruit salad. It can even be used in cakes or for baking. I decided to use a little with my favourite dessert – meringue. 


Here I used shop bought meringue nests as I have no idea how to make my own. A pot of whipped cream (I whipped myself) and a drizzle of the compote. These went down extremely well with my children, so much so that they were asking me to go and buy some more. The compote adds that bit of sweet tangy flavour to break up the cream taste.

With the meringue, cream and compote I also made sundaes in sundae cups.


These were easy, using crushed meringue for the base, adding cream and the compote and slightly blending in. A perfect Summers dessert. 

Opies products are available in most good stores and supermarkets and I will be posting more Opies products and recipes in the next few weeks.

Tokyo Trove 

Published June 12, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Tokyo Trove is a brand new subscription box. Being called Tokyo; you would be correct to guess that the contents inside come from Japan. 

The boxes are quite small but will contain between 5-7 items each time. It’s a monthly subscription starting at $23 (dollars) per month. 


The contents are a mixture of products rather than the boxes being based on one theme such as snacks or kawaii. There is a snack item in the box and a few Japan kawaii products plus a t-shirt so it gives a good mixture of Japanese products.

Rather than simply adding photographs to this post, Jordanna really wanted to do her own unboxing video this time to show the contents in our box. 

In our box was –  a curry crisp type snack, a pen, key ring doll product, sticker, t-shirt and a cute pea shaped green case with fluffy emoji balls inside it. Six products in total although if I add the emoji balls as well then it’s more like 9 products. 

I do think that the box we received is probably aimed more towards a girl than a boy but other boxes may be different and it is just my opinion.

Tokyo Trove also help local businesses plus donate to the whale research and conservation. They also have a special whale watch subscription box.

Subscriptions to Tokyo Trove can be started over on their webpage and they can be found on Facebook too. 

Degustabox May 

Published June 7, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Our Degustabox box arrived just before half term began and with it came a picnic theme. 

I did like this box this time round and would put it midway amongst  the top ranking boxes I’ve received (in my opinion)

And onto the goodies! 

Snacks

Kicking off with this mammoth size chocolate bar from Cadburys. No explanations needed with this one except that it’s chocolate with peanuts and caramel crisp and lots of it. To buy this in the shops it can cost up to £3.49

Next it’s those tiny sweets; Millions. Two new flavours here – chocolate and sour strawberry and just 50/60p each packet. 

And if that was not enough sweets for us then I found these too! 


Now these are new to me and really sweet, tangy and full of flavour. Candy Kittens are gourmet sweets and come in 4 flavours. The sweets are cat face shaped jellies and we all loved our sour blueberry cat heads. These cost about £3.00 per 150g bag.
Yet more treats and munchies courtesy of portlebay popcorn. These are one of my favourite popcorn brand and I reviewed them last year in a separate post. I think this is a new flavour as it’s not one I have previously tried. A small bag of popcorn will cost about 79p. 


Chippeas seem to be one of those more healthier alternatives to crisps. The baked puffs are made using chickpeas. To me they just taste like regular puff type snacks. The £1.50 price tag is a little too high for a small snack I think.

Cupboard items

Now onto the products which I often refer to as “cupboard items” meaning products such as tins and cereals which have long shelf lives and usually get kept in a cupboard.

First is the Deli Kitchen Skinni Wraps


Wraps always go down really well in our house as they seem to be one of those foods that we all eat. I usually make chicken and add a sauce or batter of some sort and add salad. 

There was 6 wraps per packet which were in an unusual envelope shape. They did seem thinner or skinnier than regular wraps but still just as good. These cost £1.25 per pack of 6.
Cereal lovers crunch time nuggets 


Unfortunately these did not go down to well. Jordanna normally enjoys most types of cereal but not this one. It could possibly just be this particular flavour which contains orange, nutmeg and ginger. There are 2 other varieties to try. These are granola nuggets to enjoy with milk or alone straight from the packet. Each pack is £1.59 each. 
A much nicer box of cereal was also in our May box. 

This is MOMA cereal in a tasty raspberry and coconut. £3.20 per large box.
Homepride is a well known name in baking. They have been making flour for over 50 years. And I have one of their products in my box this month.


This strong bread flour will come in useful as my son is taking cooking as one of his school options and flour seems to have a really good shelf life. £1.50 is not a bad price either.

Drinks

Finally onto the drinks. It’s always good to find a nice refreshing fruity drink in my monthly box and this time it is a can of fruity Zeo.


Zeo is low calorie with fruits and botanicals mixed with spring water and costs £1.19 a can. Again a bit too pricy to drink daily but quite nice anyway.


It’s crabbies ginger beer and the alcoholic version so no passing it onto my kids this time. It’s not my thing. I’m more of a wine, vodka, or baileys girl. I’m sure I’ll find someone who wants it. Only £1.89 a bottle.

And finally – a very surprising item indeed!


Yes it’s coffee bags. Just like tea bags but coffee version and from Raw Bean proper coffee company. I can use them just like I would a tea bag and they make a lovely cup of coffee too. Not too strong and not too weak and less mess as it’s all in a bag. 

What an amazing box this month, just bursting with some lovely stuff. 

These boxes are mixed, some will contain alcohol and others won’t. I get all the items in my box as it’s a review box. However the subscription boxes usually contain 9 items or more and are delivered once a month. 

The cost of a Degustabox subscription is usually just £12.99 but they have a really good offer for new customers and are offering a box for just £5.99 giving a huge £7.00 off. You can see by my contents above that the products are all worth more than what the box costs. The box price also includes UK delivery. Sign up today at Degustabox UK.

Blackpool tower visit 

Published June 7, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Last week we made one of our yearly visits to Blackpool tower. I say yearly because we have been going there at least once a year since starting this blog. 

We chose a perfect day to go to Blackpool too (Wednesday), the sun was scorching and the day was just lovely. We set off early at 9am and got to the tower for 10.30am just after it opened.

As we were spending the night in Blackpool this time, we managed to get round all seven attractions connected to the tower – Tower eye & 4D cinema, Jungle Jims, Dungeon, ballroom, Sealife, Madam Tussauds and the circus and all in that order too. 

Our first stop was the tower eye and Izebellas first time at the top of the tower. This was also my first experience of the 4D cinema which I have not been able to visit previously due to time or Izebella being too young. Unlike other 4D cinemas you stand up in this one and lean against a bar. It doesn’t last too long and the effects are really good. Then it’s onto the lift and up to the glass floor. 

This can be a daunting experience as it does feel like your going to fall through it. However the glass is really thick and safe to walk or sit on. The views were amazing and especially so with the nice weather that day. 

The lift does not go to the very top of the tower. It stops at the glass floor level. There are another 3 staircases to climb to the maximum public height which is very close to the very top. These are spiral metal staircases and very narrow and it did make us tired climbing all the way up, but we made it. 

Then down to Jungle Jims for an hours play. This place is probably older than me. Tho it’s been revamped and redone many times over the years. 


After a quick lunch break it was back to the tower, round the back entrance and straight in the dungeon. We had been to the dungeon a few times before so knew what to expect but I did notice a few more scares and people jumping out had been added. Unfortunately no pictures or videos are allowed in the dungeon so no actual pictures by myself from this part. It is worth a visit, nothing too scary, odd few jumps but it’s more of a tour through the dark ages with some great acting. Jordanna was scared, Izebella was brave and poor Ryan got picked out but the judge to go on trial. 


As both my girls love dancing; a brief visit to the tower ballroom was in order. The tower ballroom has also been an attraction at the tower for many decades and still retains its original features. 


The dance floor is huge but gets filled quickly and they often have various shows and entertainment on along with the organist and free ballroom dancing. 

A short walk from the tower is Sealife which is part of the tower attractions. My kids love this place. It’s a great opportunity to see different species of fish and marine life and they are always adding new things to it. There are opportunities to touch star fish, crabs and even giant snails. Walk through a shark tunnel with sharks and huge fish swimming above and around, see jellyfish, seahorse and other amazing creatures and even stand and crawl through marine tunnels. 


And a few minutes from sealife is Madam Tussauds, the famous wax works. My kids were really excited by this place and spotted a few new celebrity additions. As well as a few old favourites such as this guy. 


Bear Grylls even got me a rare nice photo of all my children together.


Some of these figures look so real and alive that you half expect them to jump out at you. There are many sections of Tussauds to see and it’s easily an hour all round in there. 

At 7pm we went back to the tower for the 2 hour circus show. Again just like the dungeon photography and videos are forbidden. It’s a great show with trapeze artists and acrobatics and Mooky the clown and Boo are still going strong making everyone laugh. 


The circus does need booking on arrival with 2/3 sessions per day and is a 2 hour long show with a break.

We had an amazing but tiring day at all the tower attractions. We took a lot of photographs but far too many to show here individually. So instead I’ve made this video slide. 

Blackpool tower have many ticket options including the “Big ticket” which gets you into all seven attractions. These cost £45.00 per adult and £32.50 for a child over 3 years. There are other ticket options if you only want certain attractions. Booking online is cheaper than paying on the day and tickets can be booked directly on the Blackpool tower website.

Ivy kids Scientist Academy 

Published May 30, 2017 by Bizzimummy

This book is part of the new Autumn collection at Ivy kids books. This won’t be released until September so I’m really happy to have a copy before release. 

Any child who has an interest in science will like this book. The pages are full of interesting science subjects and facts and there are a fair few pull outs and things to make. 


Each page comes with detailed images making the book more fun to read. 

The pull outs include a sun dial, periodic chemical symbol chart and a brief science history poster. 


The book is aimed at science lovers aged 8 and over and should be in stores September. 

Fuss free fresh vegetables from Mash Direct 

Published May 25, 2017 by Bizzimummy

I do love my big roast dinners with mash, vegetables, meat and sides but it’s such a pain in the butt preparing and cooking it all from fresh. All the peeling, slicing, drizzling, chopping, boiling, steaming etc it just takes too much effort and the kitchen gets all hot and sweaty. 

Mash direct provides a fuss free solution to this problem by selling fresh vegetables pre cut and peeled and packaged and in many cases pre cooked too . They started with mash but now have a long list of fresh vegetable products.

Here are just a few of them! 


And yes they even have their own mugs too, so I can have a brew with my dinner. 

Mash direct grow all the vegetables and make the products on their own farm and many of the products can be found in Morrisons.

I have never heard of or tried a potato rosti. It is lightly fried potato with shredded onion formed into a round Pattie. 


I enjoyed the rosti, it certainly makes a nice alternative to the usual chips or roast potatoes and the onion gives it a natural flavour.  

Another alternative to chips could be the carrot & parsnip fries. These were lovely, with a natural sweetness and pre fried ready to go in the oven. 


I remember being given potato croquettes when younger which were quite nice. Since then the varieties of croquette I’ve tried have not been that nice (always frozen varieties) but Mash directs version are fresh and so taste just like the ones I had when younger. 


I was slightly unsure on the crispy vegetable bakes. I had tried some vegetarian veg cakes a few years back and was not too impressed but yet again Mash Direct proved us all wrong and again they are really tasty. They contain a fair amount of mixed vegetables – cooked potato, broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, spring cabbage & parsnip all of which is coated in a crispy golden crumb. 


The taste actually reminded me of a well known childhood dish – bubble & squeak. My dad would always make too much mash and veg on a Sunday and we usually had bubble & squeak for supper or as part of a meal the following day.

Finally we have the Cauliflower cheese gratin.


I don’t like or eat cheese so I didn’t eat this one myself. My daughter Jordanna does eat cheese and cauliflower and enjoyed it very much. 

These fresh prepared vegetable products are really good. Obviously just as healthy as preparing my own but totally fuss free. They just need putting in the oven or under a grill. Some of them come in foil trays so the tray can be placed straight in the oven. They taste great, save time and generate less rubbish and mess. 


I think I will definitely continue to buy and use mash direct products as my two girls also seem to enjoy the vegetables too. I am hoping they will be sold in more stores and supermarkets soon. 

Xupo review & giveaway 

Published May 24, 2017 by Bizzimummy

This is Xupo (pronounced Zupho) 


It is a really basic device that comes in useful for finding possessions such as lost keys and precious lost toys. It is really small, just a small plastic disc shaped device with a hole to put a key ring through. 


They are probably designed with lost keys in mind but I think they could be used on anything that a keyring clips on to. 

It works via a mobile app which is free, and by Bluetooth connection. Setting up takes seconds. When keys are lost with a xupo on, A button can be pressed on the mobile device which will start a sound on the xupo. The sound doesn’t stop until the button is pressed again. It also works the other way around too. If I misplace my phone which happens often then I can press the xupo button on my keys and a noise will sound on my phone until I locate it. 

I have tested Xupo both ways with both xupo keys and my phone in different rooms and upstairs/downstairs and it works really well. How well, depends on the Bluetooth range on the mobile device I imagine. 

No more lost keys or phone for me now! 

Xupo is a new product and was featured on Dragons den earlier this year. Therefore it is not widely available in stores just yet. I’m not too sure on price either at the moment but I can’t see it being expensive. More info can be found on the UK website. And there is also an opportunity to win your own xupo.

GIVEAWAY 

Yes Xupo are giving away one of their devices and all you need to do is CLICK HERE! to take part.  This giveaway will end June 21st.

Brownie bar Yum Yum! 

Published May 22, 2017 by Bizzimummy

After a hectic few days, it was time to put my feet up with a nice hot cup of tea and a big gooey yummy brownie from Brownie bar

The brownie bar is a unique subscription box which I came across over on Cratejoy. It is a monthly subscription which starts at £14.50. Each month bringing a selection of delicious brownie to your door. Each month with a new delicious flavour too. 


And there is my large bar of brownie. Baked to perfection just as a brownie should be – like sponge cake on the top and all soft and gooey in the middle. We got 8 smaller individual slices from this. 

Brownie bar must have read my mind as they sent me salted caramel flavour which happens to be one of my favourites. The top even came sprinkled with gold. 


And just look how thick these brownies are! 


And they are so filling too. Just one of the slices was enough to fill my belly for a while. They are very sweet, very gooey and just incredibly delicious. What more can I say? 

The brownie subsctipton can be ordered via Cratejoy or directly from the Brownie bar website. They deliver to addresses in the U.K. They have a choice of normal brownie box or gluten free and nut free boxes. If you don’t want to sign up for a subscription straight away then individual brownie bars with 8 square pieces can also be purchased. 

You can also find Brownie bar here on Facebook.

Father’s Day photo gifts from Snapfish 

Published May 19, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Snapfish is the home to personalised photo gifts and I have been a customer of theirs for many years. They sell all sorts of photo gifts including cups, cushions, phone cases, place mats, keyrings and so much more. They also do a photo print service and photographs can be uploaded via a mobile phone. 

As it’s Father’s Day next month. I have been asked to come up with some personalised gift ideas from Snapfish. 


I love my wall art and I’m sure most Dads would also love a nice canvas of their children to hang up, especially so the Father’s who don’t live with their children, so this was the first thing I chose to create. 

This photo was taken at Blackpool beach a few weeks back. I’m unsure where Ryan was but I think it’s a really good picture of the girls together. 


Snapfish have many different types and sizes of wall art such as canvases and posters. 

This one is a slim canvas and measures 12×8″. It was really easy to make, I just uploaded the photograph, did a bit of cropping and the canvas arrived within a few days. It is quite small, there are bigger sizes. It can be hung on a wall (hangers not included) or stood up on a unit. 

I think most Dads would love a gift like this for Father’s Day.

And if Dad likes having a lot of memories in one place, and he’s the sort of person who takes photos of the kids but never prints them off then photobooks also make really good gifts.

The smallest photobook starts at just £6.99 for a 6×4″ size. This one has 20 pages which can hold more than one photograph per page. For 8 more additional pages it’s just an extra £1.99. 


Many of the photobooks allow for text and greetings, making them even more personalised. These photobooks mean all Dads favourites pictures are kept in one special place rather than having multiple photo prints which usually end up in a cupboard somewhere. 

Again the photobook creation process is fairly straightforward. It can take a while for multiple photographs to upload depending on the size of the book chosen. Options include colours, texts and fonts plus deciding on the layout of photographs on each page. If like me you can’t be bothered adjusting page layouts then snapfish will do it for you and arrange the photographs on each page and if it does not look right then you can manually change it. 


Visit the Snapfish website for lots more Father’s Day gift ideas.

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