Spreading The Joy Of Reading This Christmas

I have always loved to read and reading was my favourite thing to do as a child so I love the idea of spreading the joy of reading this Christmas by giving 3 amazing Penguin Random House Children’s Books (teamed up with Britmums) I received to Izzy as Christmas presents.

Izzy is really enjoying reading books with all of us and as we did with Eva, we intend to encourage her love of reading. We sometimes go to baby rhyme time at the local library and always come back with a stack of books which we read over and over at home. The girls have an ever growing book shelf too & these books will make a lovely addition!

Max & Bird

Max & bird looks like quite a funny book about a kitty who wants to be friends with Bird. He also wants to chase and him as a tasty snack . But that’s not what friendship is all about… is it? I can’t wait to read this to Izzy, I know she will love the illustrations as she loves cats!

 

The Little Elephant Who Wants To Fall Asleep

 

The Little Elephant who want to fall asleep is a the latest book from the author of The Rabbit who wants to fall asleep which is a global best seller! It’s aimed at helping children fall asleep.  Following Ellen the elephant on a journey through a magical forest that leads to sleep! This sounds like a brilliant book and I’ll definitely be trying it out on those nights the girls just can’t sleep.

 

The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas

 

I can’t wait to read the dinosaur that pooped Christmas! We’ve read the dinosaur that pooped the world which the girls absolutely loved. This time Danny’s new dinosaur eats Christmas!! I wonder what happens next!?

 

 

They all sound like brilliant books, I can’t wait to read them to Izzy!

I loved books growing up and The Secret Garden was always my favourite as a young child! I have saved a copy for the girls to read. Hopefully one day it becomes a favourite for them, getting lost in the beautiful secret garden and storyline.

What was your favourite book as a child? Do you read it or plan to read it to your child/ren?

Are you giving books as gifts this year? Which ones?

*I’ve been sent these books by Britmums and Penguin Random House as part of their children’s books Christmas present challenge.

A Replacement Backpack for the Mr

I promised to review the replacement backpack we got the Mr for his birthday and as it’s been a few months. (Oops!) I figured I should probably get on to it!

Searching for a replacement backpack

We spent so long on our desperate backpack search but as I mentioned previously we finally gave in and accepted it wasn’t possible to find an identical copy of the Mr’s old Surfanic backpack. We decided to have a look around and see what else was out there.

It had to be big enough and sturdy enough to carry heavy shopping like bottles of coke, milk, juice. It’s more to satisfy the Mr’s needs as he prefers to carry most of the weight on his back (I generally can’t pick his backpack up when its full as it’s so heavy!) so we really had a challenge finding one a decent size that didn’t cost the earth.

Ordering a replacement backpack

After looking around for some time the Mr finally decided on an Under Armour backpack being sold on Ebay for £26.99 which arrived within days.

 

Replacement backpack - Under Armour

 

Izzy was quick to help get it unpacked check it out when it arrived. She seemed fairly impressed. The Mr eventually got round to using it a few day’s later and has since retired his surfanic bag.

There are 2 large compartments and a rather large bottom zip pocket along with 2 mesh drink bottle pockets & a smaller zip up pocket at the top of the bag.

We hadn’t realised when ordering that the bottom zip pocket is a long square that reaches to the back of the bag. This is something we have never seen before and it is pretty cool! The Mr has used it daily for the last few month’s and hasn’t had any problem’s. He finds it pretty comfortable on his shoulders which is great for heavy loads. He the handy little pockets for things like his keys, sunglasses, phone etc.

The Mr is surprisingly still happy with his replacement. Although it does carry less than his last bag as it still carries what we need.

 

 

August MS515B Bluetooth Speaker Review

You may have spotted my post offering a one day only early Christmas deal with a 40% discount on a set of August MS515B Bluetooth Speakers. Sold on Amazon for £29.95.

For sharing August Lab’s early Christmas deal I was given an awesome discount on the bluetooth speaker myself & ordered them first thing Thursday morning when the discount codes went live.

Friday morning we received our email letting us know our parcel was being delivered later that day!

This made me pretty excited as A) I LOVE opening parcels 😂😂 & B) I love listening to music! Especially when cleaning & these can easily be moved around room to room without disturbing the music!

Our parcel arrived around about 4.30pm and we quickly got the box opened up to have a look inside.

August Bluetooth Speaker

I checked the manual and got them plugged in to charge up & was really impressed by how easy they are to set up. They come with a USB lead with a split lead to charge both speakers at the same time. The speakers connect by a lead included in the box. They also have an AV in lead so you can plug them in to devices without bluetooth. So you can literally use them with anything!

I quickly got my phone connected via bluetooth to test them out and was amazed by the sound quality. They are pretty loud too! For small speakers they really do have some power. Anything with bass (when up loud) makes them jump across the side a little which really amused Eva.

We had them set up in the kitchen and the sound filled the room & we all ended up dancing in the kitchen whilst I cleaned & the Mr cooked for the girls. 

The Mr loves music too and has play-lists saved on his youtube. He eventually got bored of typing in each song on my phone. He decided to connect his phone to the speakers instead and took over with his play-lists for a good hour.

We are seriously impressed with the quality of the bluetooth speakers. Especially for only £29.95 (Unless you used my discount code 😉 ) delivered the next day even though we chose the free delivery option!

I can see these becoming one of our new favourite toys. As Eva has seen them I cant give them to her as a present. Instead I have said we can all share them.  I can see the girls using them in our room and me using them around the flat when cleaning to save having the sound system on which we currently have no remote for & have the bass up high which can be a bit much at times! 🙈🙊

I love that the girls can connect using the Tablet as well as us using our phones & pc/laptop and as they are rechargeable we can take them anywhere. I’ve yet to find a problem with them. I like that I can skip forwards and back a track using the button on the back of the main speaker.

*This is a sponsored post & I received a large discount on the speakers in return for sharing the 40% off discount post and an honest review.

Cat Food Delivery From Petshop.co.uk

Some of my reader’s (especially those that follow my Instagram) will know we have 2 cats, Batgirl & Freyr. Since getting them 2 years ago for Eva’s 4th birthday they have been rather fussy cats, perhaps it’s the Bengal in them but they really are quite particular.

When it comes to food they know what they do and don’t like and can sniff out a change of ingredient instantly and will refuse to eat it if it’s not something they like so when Amy from the Petshop.co.uk offered us some products to review I couldn’t wait to find out what their reactions would be!

When the parcel arrived Batgirl was instantly sniffing around to see what was inside.

petshop.co.uk delivery

We received:

  • Symply Cat Turkey Dry Food – 1.5kg
  • Dreamies Chicken Cat Treats 60g
  • Almo Nature Jelly Chicken Cat Pouch – 70g
  • Almo Nature Jelly Tuna& Sole Cat pouch – 70g
  • Almo Nature Classic Chicken & Whitebait Cat Pouch – 55g

Having only ever heard of Dreamies before I was even more interested to see how Batgirl & Freyr got on with the samples. The Almo Nature pouches are very different to the Felix pouches they usually eat so I was keen to see how they got on with them.

Almo Nature cat food & dog food offers some of the highest quality dog food and cat food tins, pouches & dry food made with human grade, natural ingredients. Almo Nature dog and cat food offers both complete dry and wet food with added vitamins and minerals to keep your pets healthy.

Both cat’s love their biscuits and currently eat Wagg or Brekkies so I looked up the Symply Cat Turkey Dry Food and they sounded quite impressive although slightly pricey compared to what we pay.

Symply recipes contain only the finest natural ingredients for the balanced and complete diet your pet needs to stay in top condition. All Symply products are free of artificial colourings, flavourings and preservatives. Formulated with wholesome ingredients and natural antioxidants rich in vitamins to enhance the immune system.

Surprisingly although both cats were interested in the Symply Cat Turkey dry food to begin with after a day or so they began to eat less biscuits across the day than they usually do and began leaving over half, I wasn’t sure if this is because they are more filling or they aren’t keen. The biscuits are a lot smaller than what they normally have and don’t seem to be as crunchy either. We decided to try them back on their normal biscuits for a day and they demolished them all but then refused the Symply biscuits again so I’m guessing they weren’t too keen.

When it came to the pouches we decided to let them have a 70g pouch each for dinner and the smaller pouch split between them for breakfast.

Freyr had the Almo Nature Jelly Chicken cat pouch and Batgirl had the Almo Nature Jelly Tuna & sole pouch. When I opened them up instead of chunks of meat which we usually see the meat was shredded and the jelly seemed a lot thinner than the Felix pouches. Both cats seemed a little confused when we first put their bowls down but tried a little bit. Batgirl had a few mouthfuls but seemed more interested in what was in Freyrs bowl whilst Freyr seemed to be happy with her’s. Unfortunately Batgirl decided to scare Freyr away from her bowl in an attempt to try it herself which meant Freyr stayed away from her bowl for quite a while but she did finish it off slowly across the night whereas Batgirls bowl stayed untouched.

image

 

When we gave them the Almo Classic Chicken & Whitebait Cat Pouch Batgirl quickly demolished her bowl but Freyr had a taste and refused to eat the rest. I dont think Freyr like the Juice the meat was in as she isn’t keen on gravy either and prefers meat in jelly.

The Dreamies Chicken Cat Treats however they couldn’t get enough of! They scoffed them down so fast and instantly wanted more when we put the packet away. We have previously bought them other varieties of Dreamies and both cat’s absolutely love every one they have tried so far and always want more.

It was really interesting trying these products out and seeing how they both reacted a little differently with the pouches yet both seemed to feel the same about the biscuits and both most definitely loved the Dreamies without a doubt!

* Please note I received these products free for this blog post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Weekend Box Fun

We were lucky enough to have the chance to review a brand new mini Weekend box this weekend. These mini weekend boxes contain 2 full themed activities and all the bits you need to complete them.

A weekend box is an awesome little box of crafts to do with your child over the weekend that arrives via 2nd class (Posted on a tuesday) which we recieved on friday morning. Each box is themed and we recieved the rainforest theme.

We love crafts and Eva was really impressed when I showed her what had arrived for her.

weekend box fun

Eva loved the colourful box and found it funny that it matched her special My little pony rainbox dress haha! I thought it looked really fun and loved how excited Eva was over it.

We couldn’t wait to open it up and see what was inside to keep us entertained over the weekend.

Eva really enjoyed reading about each of the character’s and seeing which characters were on the packets which she thought was really cool. We decided to spread everything out on the table and see what this weekend box was really about.

There were 2 activity packs as promised along with any card needed, some collectable cards and even some vouchers to hand out to our friends for a free box!

The 2 activities stated they were of medium difficulty and would take 40 minutes to complete. Awesome naptime activities for me and Eva to do across the weekend. One activity wasto make a parrot mask and the other to grow a rainforest!

Inside the box itself there is also a certificate for the child to colour in and write their name on and keep too!

download (3)

Eva couldn’t wait to get stuck in and decided to do the mask first. I helped her cut out the mask and attatch the beak using the glue supplied then Eva got busy following the instructions making ‘feathers’, ‘gems’ and then decorating it with the crayons.

Eva spent hours flapping around the flat wearing her mask so I know she really enjoyed it and having everythting we need to hand was really helpful.

Grow a rainforest was up next. I cut a bottle in half and Eva peeled the pellets that were supplies and we soaked them in water in the bottom half of the bottle.

 

We then had to make a hole in the bottle lid and thread the string through the lid then screwed it back on the bottle. We then had to transfer the soil into the lid half of the bottle, Eva sprinkled in the seeds and we popped the lid half into the bottom of the bottle which we had also filled with water making sure the string dipped into the water.

77c98d211ff341e39c596cc2e1af7c8f

We completed both tasks a little quicker than 40 minutes but it was really fun doing the activities. Eva really seemed to be enjoying herself and it was so nice to just pull out the box and get going with an activity. We have a ton of craft stuff but it can sometimes be difficult to find everything we need (mummy’s poor organizing!) so I can really see the appeal of these boxes!

When I asked Eva her opinion on the activities she said ‘It was all fun, I liked making the rainforest because it was messy and I liked making the parrot mask because it was fun making it colourful and drawing rainbow’s on it’.

Mini weekend boxes usually cost £4.95 however we recieved ours free in exchange for an honest review. If you’d like to try one yourself for free then use the promo code EMBER298 when you sign up at https://www.weekendboxclub.com Please Note Future boxes will be £4.95 for Mini Box and £7.50 for a Bumper box, but you can pause or cancel your boxes if you’re not completely satisfied at any time.

Sure Maximum Protection Sensitive Dry

Being a Bzzagent means I get sent products to test & review from time to time & last week I received my latest Bzzkit to review.

Sure Maximum Protection Sensitive Dry
My Bzzkit

This time I am testing an anti-perspirant stick. I was sent the Sure maximum protection sensitive dry anti-perspirant stick which just so happens to be…PURPLE! Oh yes!

I am a fan of Sure in general I have to admit. Before testing this stick I was previously using the Sure motion sense cotton dry stick along with the Sure long lasting protection fragrance collection spray with scents of peach & wild raspberry.. My absolute favourite spray! Again the spray is purple.. Extra win for me!

image
My current Sure collection

Since I am already a Sure fan I couldn’t wait to test this new product and see what was inside the lovely little box and was pleasantly surprised by the new shape of the stick itself.

I love the purple of course but I also like the general design too. Then when you open it up it gets even funkier!

The applicator has lots of little holes the anti-perspirant stick comes up through when you turn the wheel at the base which clicks as you do so. Sure recommends 2 clicks per under arm which I gave a go and it glides nicely as you apply it and covered my armpit nicely.

I absolutely love the long lasting fresh scent it leaves when you use it. I’ve been using it for a few day’s now & even wore a knitted jumper & thick winter coat to really put the anti-perspirant to the test. I sweat quite a lot in my coat usually but was surprised when I got home & realised my pits were still dry and I still smelt fresh & lovely even after a panic attack.

Overall I love this new Sure anti-perspirant & my old cotton fresh one has been pushed to the back of the cupboard as a back up as I much prefer the one I am currently testing. I would definitely say this is the best one I have tried yet!

*All comments, views, opinions & photo’s are my own however I did receive this product free to review from Bzzagent.

Samsung SmartThings win

Over the last few months I’ve been posting about the Samsung SmartThings Starter kit I received to test and review in a word of mouth campaign thanks to The Insiders.

 

Throughout the campaign there were a few challenges to make videos, unfortunately due to my anxiety I was really struggled to participate in these challenges and contacted The Insiders to apologize. In the last few weeks of the campaign The Insiders added a challenge for those that reported conversations, posts etc the most so they could also win their starter kit.

Luckily I’ve spoken to a good few people about the starter kit as well as posting about how I have used it on-line and reported back several times.

A few days ago I received an amazing email from The Insiders and I was one of the lucky few that gets to keep their starter kit & I will receive 3 extra sensors including the Motion, Presence & Multi sensors!

 wpid-wp-1446292619750.jpg     

To say I am over the moon would be an understatement. I thought all the challenges were over and was gutted I would have to send my starter kit back as I couldn’t afford £99 to buy it but getting to keep it along with 3 extras is awesome and I cant wait to receive them and put them to good use!

Along with the LGG4 campaign I have thoroughly enjoyed being an Insider and can’t wait to see what campaigns are coming up next!

Can you phone the fish?

I hardly expected ‘ Can you phone the fish ‘ to be something I’d hear twice a day. Thanks to the Samsung Smart Things Power Outlet it is now a regular occurance in our home.

 

To be able to put up our Christmas tree this year we had to rearrange the living room, as part of this we moved the fish tank onto a bigger sturdier table as I was beginning to panic daily at the way the smaller table bowed in the middle especially with both girls constantly leaning on it! Having moved the fishtank and bigger table the Mr realised it was going to be awkward to turn off the fish tank’s pump whilst the fish were fed and begun trying to think of a way to solve it.

Eventually I realised the Smart Things Power outlet could come in useful here allowing us to keep the new changes as I can turn the pump on and off via the Smart Things app as needed. I told the Mr he could do it on his phone too since the app allows you to share your account with several devices.

Can you phone the fish?

The Mr isn’t a great fan of technology though and still hasn’t installed the app, admittedly I keep saying I will install it and set it up for him but keep forgetting to do it! Instead every morning and every night the Mr turns to me and says ‘can you phone the fish’ 😂 it makes me giggle every time he says can you phone the fish as well as making it easier to turn the pump off and on.

Im absolutely in love with the Samsung SmartThings starter kit from The Insiders and slowly finding more ways to use it around our flat to make our lives easier. Im quite tempted to attach the presence sensor to Eva’s school bag next since it keeps getting lost in school at least that way we can beep it to try and locate it faster and save a ton of stress.

I wish there were more Power Outlet’s too so I could have the Kettle boil when Eva is almost home so the Mr can make himself a coffee without having to call me to put the kettle on… Hmm perhaps 2 Presence Sensors would be better so we could attach it to the Mr’s Backpack as he take’s it shopping.

I seriously hope I get to win my starter kit as I think I could quite easily get carried away buying extra’s for it!

Do you think Samsung SmartThings could be useful in your home?

Ambi Pur 3Volution

I recently signed up to SuperSavvyMe and applied to test the Ampi Pur 3Volution Vanilla latte plug in. Out of over 15,000 applicants 5000 were chosen to take part and I was one of them!

I was quite excited when I got my email confirming I would be recieving my delivery soon. I was even more excited when literally a few hours later the parcel arrived!

Opening the box!

Inside the box was a SavvyCircle bag which was instantly swiped by Izzy once empty to carry her toys around in. Safe to say I wont be seeing that again any time soon!

image

Inside the bag was the Ambi Pur 3Volution Vanilla Latte Plug in & my welcome pack which contained a guide to the project packed full of tips to spread the word, a booklet of research sheets and a booklet containing 15x £2 Off Ambi Pur 3Volution plug in vouchers and 10x £1 Off Ambi Our 3Volution Refills.

Of course I excitedly opened up the packet and unscrewed the caps on the refills and pushed them in and plugged it into my hallway socket straight away! Yes I genuinely do get excited about trying out new things, squeal like a child and HAVE to play with them instantly.. Anyway.. moving on..  I set it to minimum to start with to see how it worked and how strong the scent was.

image

It’s not the ugliest plug in out there but it is quite plain. After a few hours on minimum which was quite pleasant I tried it on maximum but found it far too strong. The Vanilla Latte aroma definately beats the mixed smells from neighbouring flats and any scent the cats have decided to leave by the door! Ive left it plugged in for over the christmas period and hopefully as it is near my front door anyone that visits will notice the pleasant scent of Vanilla latte or spot the plug in itself. Either way I will make sure to bring it up and see what people think about it.

Ive already told my friend Charlotte about it as she loves stuff like this and she is first in line for a voucher or 2 to test one out! I have to say after just a day its made my flat smell gorgeous! I cant wait to see what our friends think of it and I’m quite tempted to get one for each room!

Any other SavvyCircle members blogging about their Ambi Pur 3volution? Feel free to leave a link to your post in comments 🙂

Chicco Deluxe Rain Cover for Strollers Review

I bought a cheap second hand stroller prior to ordering the Zeta citi Stroller but it didn’t have a rain cover, as I knew the stroller we had was a temporary one I didn’t want to buy the matching rain cover so opted to buy a universal one.

The Mr and I decided to head to lakeside one day to find one and came across 2 in Boots we liked the look of.

One had no pockets and looked quite thin whereas the Chicco Deluxe rain cover for strollers was thick, had a pocket on the back and mesh sides to let air in stopping the rain cover steaming up on the inside on a rainy day and stated that it fit most strollers. Surprisingly the Chicco one was cheaper costing only £10 at the time, it seems the price has gone up to £15 since but I am sure I recall it being on offer at the times and receiving double points too.

Chicco Deluxe Rain Cover for Strollers Review
Covers the changing bag nicely too!

We’ve had the rain cover around 6 months now and it has fit both strollers perfectly and unlike previous rain covers I’ve had it hasn’t torn even with Izzy repeatedly trying to kick it. Personally I think even at £15 it is well worth paying out for this if you are looking for a really good universal rain cover. Admittedly the storage bag it came with ripped easily after a few times of use but then that has happened with most storage bags I’ve had. Overall the rain cover fits really well on my stroller and the pocket is so handy. Definitely well worth the money in my opinion!

I did attempt to take a few more photo’s for this post but unfortunately Izzy wouldn’t allow me to and I’m all out of bribes right now. (Sorry for the inconvenience)

image
Buggy love!