Monday, 29 September 2014

Our Haven Holiday

Last week we headed off on a Haven break, this year we decided to go back to Primrose Valley(we also went last year) which is on the east coast near to Filey and is a pretty big park. 
This year we opted to stay in a Summer House and i have to say i was really impressed with it, immaculately clean and lots of space. It was great choice for a family with small children as there are radiators throughout(it gets chilly!) and the layout meant the kitchen was tucked out of the way. Seb thought the van was so exciting, through the eyes of a 3 year old it must be pretty amazing!
Sadly the weather wasn't on our side and we didn't get any sunshine at all(lots of mist though!) but it didn't stop us from having fun and exploring the park. 
In the day we swam(there are 2 pools), walked around the lake, fed the ducks and used the play areas. We even found a teepee to explore.
  In the evenings we headed to the amusements,soft play area and Jesters(the bar) where there is live entertainment. I will say i was a bit dissapointed with the amusements as quite a few of the machines weren't actually working and there was only one working machine to count tickets and that was constantly breaking too, Haven could definately do with replacing them to be honest as it was quite annoying.   Having said that the staff were friendly and quick to solve issues if they could.
Overall we had a fab few days, perfect for a short break with very young children. Seb is already asking to go back.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Ella's Kitchen Little Speakers' Corner

We all know that toddlers have strong
opinions(mine certainly do) and Ella's Kitchen have been asking them to
#StandUpForGoodSnacks by transforming Hyde Park's Speakers Corner into a
Little Speakers Corner.
Armed with megaphones, placards and toyboxes to stand on they took over and shouted about what matters to them when it comes to snacking, take a look at this (very cute) video!
Ella's Kitchen have a brand new range of snacks out for toddlers aged 12 months +, and my own little speakers will be giving you their opinions on these very soon.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

PicStick Review and discount code

I love taking photos, I use Instagram every day and our camera gets alot of use. I also love having photos displayed throughout the house.
PicStick gives you the chance to transform your favourite photos into magnets. Perfect to buy for yourself or as a gift these cute magnets are great to stick on the fridge or anywhere else that needs livening up.

The website was easy to use, you create an account, choose your photos(9 per sheet)then upload your photos from your computer, tablet, phone, Facebook or Dropbox and then simply checkout. My magnets arrived 2 days later which I thought was a really good turnaround time, they fit through the letterbox, so no worries about waiting around for a parcel. The magnets come as one sheet which can then easily be separated into your 9 magnets ready for sticking, each individual photo is 50mm by 65mm. 

The quality of these was good, i used a mix of pictures that i had taken on my phone and some from the camera and both came out fine. Seb found seeing himself on a magent pretty amusing.

With Christmas looming, I think these would be a great personalised stocking filler for partners or grandparents or even older children and teenagers.

PicStick magnets are priced at £9.50 for a set of 9 magnets with free worldwide shipping, however i have been given a discount code to share with my readers giving you 25% off, making a sheet just £
Simply use the code Grow

For more information and to order visit the PicStick website, follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook.

**I received a free set of magnets for the purpose of this review but all opinions are my own**

Mission Deli Play Challenge #OnAMission

We were very lucky to recently be chosen to take part in a Mission Deli Play Challenge and those of you who follow me on Instagram may have seen our recent delivery of a giant bean bag to help us along with that challenge.
Mission Deli are celebrating the launch of it's Super Soft wraps and we were sent the beanbag along with some tasty Mission Deli goodies and given the challenge to enjoy ourselves playing.

In our house play is top priority, having 2 small and rather energetic boys means we are playing from the moment we wake right up until bedtime.
The importance of play is something I am pretty passionate about and I could speak for hours on the subject. Play is a childs work and it's how children learn about the world around them, an essential part of childhood. The benefits of play are huge from developing motor skills, discovering how things work, learning language skills, dealing with emotions and developimg social skills, play covers it all. 
This doesn't change as we grow up either, research shows that play is still important for adults helping us to relax, stimulating our brains, helping us to be creative and improving our mental health. So with all those benefits it seems a shame that sometimes as adults we forget or don't make time to play! 

We all threw ourselves into this challenge, piling onto the beanbag en masse, tickling and reading books, making hills on it to drive cars and of course seeing who could do the best run and dive onto the beanbag! It is so relaxing and fun forgetting about the million and one jobs that need to be done and to just play and laugh. Here's a few photos of us enjoying our playtime. 
Of course after a hectic play session, we needed some food, what better than some Super Soft wraps! 

Thank you Mission Deli for our challenge!

For more information about Mission Deli visit their website, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter

*We were sent a giant beanbag and some mission deli goodies to help us create this post but all opinions are my own**

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Top homeware picks from Matalan

I can't seem to stop looking at homeware at the moment. I am desperate to liven up our lounge a little bit as it's pretty bland so have been browsing for inspiration. 

Matalan have some gorgeous bits on line at the moment so I thought I'd share my favourite bits.
Home Sweet Home cushion £10, LED heart decoration £10, Alphabet mug £2 each, Chunky knitted throw £50, Spiced Cinnamon candle £3, Floral doormat £5

I've ordered the cushion for our sofa and the light for our room, too pretty to resist! 

Monday, 15 September 2014

Updating my wardrobe for Autumn

These days I don't buy myself loads of clothes. Apart from anything else, I don't often spend my days wandering around the shops as it's not particularly relaxing with 2 small people in tow so I tend to order bits online. On Friday I got to head out for an afternoon of shopping on my own and found so many things I liked. I ended up getting 2 new dresses to update my wardrobe for Autumn.

Floral dresses will always be my wardrobe staple and this one was from Pussycat in Debenhams.
I got this basic black jumper dress in Primark and picked up the statement necklace for a bargainous £2. I think pairing them together makes the basic dress a little more interesting.
I needed a new make up bag and this one is perfect.
I also updated my nail polishes, grey and navy are autumn staples on my nails and I love this mustard colour from Barry M too, along with my Chanel Rouge Noir polish I am set for Autumn nails now!
What have you been buying recently?

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Degustabox August

It's that time of the month again, time to tell you about the August Degustabox. I have to say I genuinely look forward to these boxes coming, I love the element of surprise when I open them up. 

  If you haven't heard of Degustabox before, it is a monthly subscription box containing foodie items so you can discover new flavours every month. This is the 4th box I have received, you can also read my thoughts on Julys box here   

As you can see, the box was packed full of goodies!
It's well packaged to protect the contents and again I cannot fault the delivery service at all. 

You can now choose between an alcoholic or non alcoholic box which is a great idea. I received both options in my box for the purpose of my review. 

Inside this months box was;
Mexican Dave's Lightly Salted Tortilla Chips.  This brand to me but I love tortilla chips so was more than than happy to try them out! I liked that they contain no MSG and they were lovely and crunchy. The at is huge and the RRP is just £1 so it's great value.

Cawston Press Kids Blend Apple and Pear. So I should probably have given this to See to try as it's made for kids but after trying Cawston Press drinks in previous boxes I hid it away for myself. I wasn't disappointed, it was really tasty and refreshing and I love that there is no added sugar. 

Caribbean Twist Strawberry Daiquiri. I am partial to a cocktail so I was very happy to see this included! Caribbean Twist is a brand I know well and i have always enjoyed their drinks and this was no exception. Fruity and sparkling, it was lovely to drink and I will buy this again. This is from the alcoholic box. 
Fever Tree Tonic Water and Ginger Beer. These are the alternative non alcoholic box option. I will be honest, I've not tried them yet but will definitely be having the tonic water with a large dash of vodka. 

Schwartz Flavour Shots in Mexican Fajita and Spanish Paprika Chicken. Schwartz is a brand I know and love and I have reviewed for them before on my blog. Flavour shots are handy recipe bases to keep in your cupboard to whip up a quick easy meal. Both of these are things we'll eat as a family, and I know they'll be as good as the usual Schwartz products. 

Dr Oetker Edible Wafer Cases. These cases are a brilliant idea, Dr Oetker really do have some amazing products to offer. I decided to get Seb baking some fairy cakes and we used these cases. I was worried the cases may leak or go brown in the oven but no they were still perfect. We used various Dr Oetker sprinkles(including the ones from last month) to decorate them. As you can see Seb thoroughly enjoyed using the sprinkles!
Berry White Organic Fruit Drink. These refreshing drinks are made from premium organic ingredients with no added sugar or artificial ingredients. I've not tried mine yet but am looking forward to it. 

Lindt Just for You Heart Chocolate Tin. This small heart shaped tin of chocolate hearts is so cute! Of course the chocolate is lovely, this would make a really sweet little gift for someone(or yourself!)
Brioche Pasquier pain au lait and pain au chocolat. We regularly eat brioche and pain au chocolat in this house so these were great products for us. Baked using authentic processes from the orgiinal Pasquier bakery back in 1936,  these are yummy. The pain au chocolat was my favourite, served with a nice cup of tea for breakfast. 
And finally this month Degustabox introduced Degustabox Fridge which is a 100% coupon to take to the shop and buy a chilled item. This month was Moma Bircher Muesli Multi pack. Unfortunately we haven't been able to try these as we don't have a Waitrose nearby and our local Sainsbury's didn't have them in stock but I have the voucher in my purse to use when we go near a bigger Saintsbury's store. I have tried Mona products before and have been happy with them. 

Yet again I have been so pleased with the Degustabox, I can't really find anything to fault them on. This is a box thay is well worth subscribing too for just £12.95 a month.

The lovely folks over at Degustabox are offering you all £3 off when you register with them. Simply go to their website and use the code 4W8MK

You can also follow Degustabox on Facebook and Twitter

**I was sent this box to review but all opinions are my own** 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Not Back to School

This week Sebs peers are heading back to nursery and preschool. My timelines on social media have been full of photos of beaming children in their uniforms which is lovely to see. It feels odd not to be sending Seb off but we have made our choice to home educate and so we will be carrying on as usual. 

On Tuesday we had a not back to school day. A picnic in the sunshine, exploring the wooded area in the park, getting up close to ducks and geese and buying some new books made for a lovely day and I think Seb looks pretty happy in our alternative back to school photos.

I have recently started a blog Secret Diary of a Home Educator to track our journey. If you are interested head on over for a browse. 

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Easy Homemade Brownies

I have a confession to make, I have never made my own brownies from scratch. For some reason I always thought they were complicated but after really fancying some I looked online at various recipes and made some of my own. They were really simple and tasted lovely. 

100g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
200g sugar
110g melted butter
2 eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
50g chocolate chips or grated chocolate

Preheat oven to 180° and line a tin with greaseproof paper.
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and combine well. Pour into the tin and pop in the oven for around 20minutes.
Serve warm with ice cream. 

The best tip I found was to remember that brownies are different from cake, they should be a little gooey so the knife doesn't have to come out clean!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Meal Planning Monday

Last week we did well on the meal plan front despite me being poorly for most of the week. Macaroni cheese went down really well with Phil and i loved making it is my new heart cookware.
I'm much better now so i am looking forward to cooking again. 

Pork and Apple burgers with wedges and peas
Spanish smoked paprika chicken and rice
Tuna pasta bake
Cottage pie
Hot dogs and beans(Sebs choice)

Linking up with Mrs M's Meal Planning Monday Linky

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