31/12/2015

Final Project 365 of 2015!

Well what a great year it's been for us! New job for hubby meaning holidays and a new car for us. Weight loss for me resulting in great opportunities for the blog and member of the year at the gym for me to name just a few things. Little monkey started school and big monkey started junior school! Its been fab and here's hoping next year is just as good! 

Here's our final 365 round up post for 2015, this the 2nd year I've taken part in project 365, it's been tough and times and I've almost stopped more than once but I like having the memories to look back on! 

See you next year for more project 365! 
Day 354. Monekys in bed and hubby at the cinema watching Star Wars so a little bit of me time! 
Day 355. At the local soft play we visited Santa. 
Day 356. A great evening at Westminster Abbey for their Christmas Inspire Carol Concert then onto this impressive venue for mulled wine and mince pies! 
Day 357. I treated myself to a Christmas bouquet. Sadly they did not look this good for long! 
Day 358. Christmas Eve and all aboard Santa's Express at Audley End Miniature Railway. A rare photo of us all!
Day 359. It's Christmas! Dinner out and the monkeys were allowed their new iPads and football kits.
Day 360. A Boxing Day walk for us which really blew the cobwebs away.
Day 361. An afternoon invite to a friends open house meant a quick change for the monkeys. I love dressing them the same from time to time! 
Day 362. Mad for fresh food after party food I sent Hubby to M&S for a quick fix!
Day 363. The Christmas Tree is staying until after January the 1st! I'll miss it.
Day 364. OMG, I'm loving my new toy which arrived today! It's awesome.
Day 365. A lovely sunny clear day for the final day of 2015! 

Happy New Year everyone!





 

Snapfish Cushions - Review!

I love an opportunity to create photo gifts for the family. Usually they consist of photo's of the monkeys which we then gift to the Grandparents at Birthdays or Christmas. 
I've created a little something different this time though and think we'll be keeping my creations ourselves! 

New to Snapfish are photo cushions. Available in two different sizes (small 11x11 and large 17x17) I've created two large personalised sofa cushions just a little bit different to usual! 
I used the two recent 'arty' photo's we took of the London Eye during our recent visit to create two eye catching cushions. I particularly liked the deep blue sky in the right hand cushion and the twigs in the foreground of the left hand cushion. 
I thought they would make nice alternative cushions for our sofa in the conservatory during the springtime! 
The cushions are a great size, thick, plush, puffy and fantastic quality with a plain fawn coloured faux suede contrasting back. Each cushion cover has a hidden zip for easy removal to wash. The cushions in my opinion look very striking! 

At £24.99 each I think they would make a great addition to the home or as a gift for someone and of course any photo would suit! There are numerous possibilities.
The photo quality on these cushions is great. The photo side is made from a heavyweight canvas feel material. Very quick and easy to create too! I'm really pleased with the overall look and quality of these cushions and would recommend cushions from Snapfish to friends and family looking for a slightly different photo gift. Made in the UK.

We were given credit to create these cushions for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.





 

30/12/2015

Imginary Zoo & #NeverRunOut

Kids love a good story don't they! Even better when they can be part of the story making, telling or even the illustrations! 

HP, along with others have created a story book called Harrison and Hugo's Imaginary Zoo.
The story book is about Harrison who has an imaginary friend called Hugo, a huge blue and white panda. He is part of a zoo which is packed with all sorts of imaginary animals like a popcorn breathing dragon and ballet dancing rats. 

#HPInstantInk gave us the opportunity to inspire us to #NeverRunOut of imagination and tasked big monkey to create his own imaginary animal for the back page of the book! They sent everything he would need to take part in the task. He was keen to take the challenge! 
Practising first on paper he decided pretty much straight away that he would create a giraffe! A Blind giraffe with lots of friends who look up to him! Then he drew the giraffe in the book and wrote down what he is.
I love his drawing (and spelling!). Seven year olds have such imagination don't they! Big monkey and I loved the book and have very much enjoyed the task set by HP! 
HP Instant Ink ink replacement service uses original HP ink, ordered by your printer, delivered to your door, saving you up to 70% on ink meaning you #NeverRunOut.

Watch out for a review of the moderate printing plan service we will be reviewing very soon! 




 

29/12/2015

We're Teletubbies Bloggers!

How many of you have ever watched the Teletubbies? Back in the 90s they were on TV all the time whilst I worked (with children with additional needs). Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa and Po were everyday names and the theme tune stuck in the heads of children (and adults) everywhere! 

Imagine our delight to be chosen as Teletubbies bloggers for early 2016 with a review post of the contents of this special delivery due early January 2016! 

We can't wait to share with you what's inside. Pop back on January 11th when our review will be live!












28/12/2015

Star Wars - The Force Awakens - Disney Store

Have you seen the new Star Wars Movie yet? The Force Awakens - not that you need me to tell you the title! Hubby has seen the film and absolutely loved it.

The Disney Store have launched 11 new exclusive to the Disney Store Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys!

Following the release of the critically-acclaimed new movie in the Star Wars saga, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Disney Store has revealed an exciting array of new products inspired by the latest instalment of the series.

Fans can now find new playsets, figures and lightsabers featuring the latest characters, including Rey, Kylo Ren, BB-8, Poe Dameron and General Leia.

From Rey’s glowing blue lightsaber and the deluxe figurine playset, to the die-cast figures of Kylo Ren Unmasked and Rey with lightsaber and BB-8, fans will love the new range of exclusive products only available at Disney Stores across the UK and at www.disneystore.co.uk

New products available are:

Star Wars 6'' Elite Series Die-Cast Figures: Rey with Lightsaber and BB-8 RRP: £18.95

Star Wars 6'' Elite Series Die-Cast Figures, Kylo Ren Unmasked RRP: £18.95

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Lightsaber, Rey RRP: £24.95

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Deluxe Figurine Playset RRP: £20.95

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Chewbacca Talking Action Figure RRP: £20.95

Star Wars 6'' Elite Series Die-Cast Figures, Poe Dameron RRP: £19.95

Rey and BB-8 Limited Edition Figurine, Star Wars: The Force Awakens RRP: £110.00

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Limited Edition Pin Set RRP: £60.00

Star Wars: The Force Awakens 300 Piece Puzzle Tin RRP: £8.95

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Vinylmation 3'' Figure RRP: £8.00


Star Wars: The Force Awakens Dated Ornament RRP: £12.95

We've been reviewing the 6'' Elite Series Die-Cast Figures: Rey with Lightsaber and BB-8 and 6'' Elite Series Die-Cast Figures, Poe Dameron.
N:B Poe Dameron (the ace pilot and Resistance leader) is in the wrong box on the right. These collectible figurines are of superb quality and very heavy! Suitable from ages 3+ (due to small parts) I would suggest they are toys to admire and collect instead if play with! Too precious to risk breaking (certainly by my two).
Hero Rey and Poe Dameron come with their own stands and each has movable limbs and hinged knees and elbows!
Poe Dameron's helmet is removable and so too are the two characters accessories. BB-8 is just awesome too. The detail on these toys is amazing.

We LOVE these Elite series figurines which are in my opinion are fantastic value at the RRP's above. Despite having not seen the film the monkeys knew exactly who they are and are keen to take a look at the rest of the exclusive collection to The Disney Store! 

We shall be taking great care of these Star Wars figures.

We were sent these figures for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.




23/12/2015

World on a Plate - Bulgaria

I do enjoy a bit of cooking but tend to make the same old things that are either quick, inexpensive or what I know the monkeys will eat so when I was challenged by Expedia to take part in their World on a Plate campaign I just had to challenge myself! 

I decided to take a look at the traditional foods eaten in Bulgaria and instantly knew what I would be making. Moussaka! I love it but have never made it and rarely get to eat it. The Bulgarian version is different to the Greek version (which is what I've had), so I was keen to try it and see how it differs. Here's the recipe I followed and how to make it. It really is very simple and takes no more than an hour to prepare and cook. Why I've not made it for the family before I've no idea!

Moussaka
Ingredients for 4-5:


1/2 kg of minced meat (best mix pork and beef but beef only will do too)
1 kg of potatoes, peeled and finely chopped in cubes
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
parsley, 1/3 cupful, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup yogurt
2 tablespoon flour
salt and pepper to taste
oil for cooking
2 tablespoons chubritza (a Bulgarian herb which you could substitute with some Herbes de Provance or Oregano), of course the taste will be different.

How to make it:
Fry the onion and the minced meat in a little oil. The more fatty the meat is, the less oil you need. In about 10 minutes take it off the hob and mix well with the potatoes, tomatoes, and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bake for about 45 minutes at 190C, or until the potatoes are cooked. Stir the eggs, the yogurt and the flour together and pour it over the dish. Bake for 10 more minutes. It's delicious with cold yogurt on the side. Enjoy!
Recipe taken from Altours-bg.com 

I think I may have needed more of the topping on my Moussaka but I must say it was delicious. I love the combination of meat, eggs and potato together.
To add to the Mousakka I made a traditional salad known as Shopska Salad. Again very simple and so easy to make. Very tasty too! The recipe is below is as follows. NB: I did not add Olives as none of us like them.

Shopska Salad (the Bulgarian favourite)
Ingredients for 4:
4 spring onions
4 medium tomatoes
1/2 cucumber
1 green pepper
1 red pepper

Optional:
olives
chopped parsley
grated feta cheese to sprinkle salad
salt, pepper, vinegar and olive oil

How to prepare:
Cut all ingredients in slices or cubes. Season with salt, pepper, add the chopped parsley, 1 tbs. of vinegar and 2 tbs. of olive oil and mix well. Sprinkle with feta cheese and enjoy either on its own or as a side dish.

Recipe taken from Altours-bg.com 
The red wine is a Bulgarian red from 2011, full bodied and strong.
A delicious meal that will be replicated again, perhaps when we have family or friends over. I'm chuffed with the results and will be making both dishes very soon again. Next time I shall be trying my hand at some of the delicious looking Bulgarian deserts too. They look fab!
Thanks Expedia, I've really enjoyed this challenge.
This is a collaborative post with Expedia.
 

22/12/2015

Heat Holders - New Products!

We've written about Heat Holders before and now they have some great new products which will make great Christmas gifts!

The new range include the Heat Holders Leather Gloves, available for both Men and Women, Heat Holders Ski Gloves, Heat Holders Workforce Socks which feature reinforced heel and toes for heavy-duty usage, and the Heat Holders Lite Socks, a wonderful product which incorporates Heat Holders 2.3 TOG rating but offers a medium thick profile for use with casual shoes and boots, so you can enjoy all the benefits of Heat Holders warming power every day!

Add a luxury touch to your thermal wear with the Heat Holders Leather Gloves. The real leather exterior feels lavish, and a plush, fur-like lining, which encompasses Heat Holders thermal technology means you don’t have to sacrifice warmth to look fabulous. The gloves also feature a stylish knitted cuff which helps trap heat at the wrist, perfect for the fashion forward and comfort conscious. 
Heat Holders Leather Gloves
Heat Holders Lite Socks are ideal for everyday use, Heat Holders Lite Socks combine the ultimate thermal power of the original design with a medium thick profile for a more lightweight fit. Perfect for wearing with casual shoes and boots, the 2.3 tog rating promises warmness and comfort throughout the day, even if the temperature dips. Available for Men including in Twist variation and Women. Various colours. 
Heat Holders Lites Socks
So what are you waiting for? Why not take a look and so if you can give a few extra last minute gifts!  

Have a great Christmas! 







21/12/2015

The Genuine Thermos® - Review

Using the gym 2-4 times a week requires drinking plenty of water, meaning using a water bottle that I can easily and quickly sip from and one that fits into the bottle holder on the spin bikes! I also need a flask that I can keep hot drinks in on the football pitch side lines whilst watching big monkey play football each week.

The Genuine Thermos® brand have kindly sent me a water bottle to review along with a travel insulated tumbler. I've been putting the two to the test! 
The perfect partner for chilly days, these Genuine Thermos® Brand products will ensure the contents of your flask, travel mug, tumbler or food flask stay hot from 5 to 24 hours.

The double wall hydration sports bottle (530ml in Purple) is perfect for my needs. It fits into my gym bag without leaking and fits on the spin bikes at the gym! 

Durable, hygienic and sweat-proof the hydration bottle is the ultimate go-to bottle for the gym, in the car, on your desk or up a mountain. The push button lid enables one handed drinking making it perfect for all types of sports including cycling. The lock function on the lid also makes it extra secure in your bag. The bottle also features a carry loop to secure onto your backpack or use with a carabiner clip.

  • Made from BPA free, impact resistant & dishwasher safe Eastman Tritan™ co polyester
  • Double wall construction provides insulation
  • Integrated carry loop
  • Silicone spout for comfortable drinking
  • Sweat-proof design
  • Hygienic rear push button lid with one handed operation with locking switch
  • 5 year guarantee
I've been using the sports bottle at the gym and love the flip up lid which is also lockable. It doesn't leak and is easy to hold. It even has a flip up hook in the lid! I dropped it in the gym and am pleased to say there was not a crack or scratch on it but with the 5yr guarantee I was reassured I could get it sorted had it been damaged. 
I love the colour, it's perfect for me and also comes in teal. At £15.95 it's more expensive than other sports bottles I have but so much better! A great gym accessories I would most definitely invest in.

Whether you prefer a hot cup of coffee on the go or a hot tea after a bracing morning walk, choose the Genuine Thermos® Brand 470ml Vacuum Insulated Travel Tumbler for your morning motivation. Standing watching big monkey playing football every Saturday morning means having a hot drink to keep warm is vital!
This great Vacuum Insulated Travel Tumbler is ideal for keeping drinks hot or for summer days keeping cold drinks cold! I put a hot coffee into the tumbler for a game of football and can honestly say after 5 hours it was still hot!
  • Thermos™vacuum insulation technology for maximum temperature retention, hot or cold
  • Durable stainless steel interior and exterior
  • Cool to the touch with hot liquids, sweat-proof with cold
  • DrinkLock™ sealing lid
  • Fits most vehicle cup holders
  • Single cup serve compatible and built-in tea hook easily holds tea bags and most loose leaf infusers
  • 50 year guarantee
I'm amazed but not surprised this comes with a 50 year guarantee! The open/close DrinkLock™ sealing lid is great and ensures there are no spillages or accidents if young children get hold of it. The only thing it doesn't do is keep your hands warm in the cold! I love this just like the water bottle and will be taking it on each outing to watch big monkey play. Well worth the £26.95 price tag.

I had high hopes for both of these products when they were sent to me and they did not disappoint. A great brand that continues to produce great products! 

Both products can be found online

I was sent these items for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
 

We're going on an adventure



 

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