#Review: DK Carol Vorderman Workbooks

DK Carol Vorderman WorkbooksBuddy loves school and learning – I’ve never met a child that when he goes to the childminder, he asks if he can do his homework. I am so lucky! It’s never really chore!

I suppose he’s like me and loves learning – every day’s a school day, isn’t it?

These new DK Carol Vorderman workbooks are fabulous, some of them at the even have a timer at the top that you can time them for 10 minutes to help bring on their maths and spelling.  To find out more about 10 Minutes A Day Spelling Fun and 10 Minutes A Day Vocabulary and further education titles by Carol Vorderman, visit DK.com.

The ones that we reviewed were these ones and I thought it was really easy for Buddy who is 6 to work through and enjoys that it is 10 minutes:

– 10 Minutes A Day Spelling Fun (ages 5-7) (DK, £5.99)
– 10 Minutes A Day Maths (ages 5-7) (DK, £5.99)
– Made Easy Spelling Punctuation and Grammar (ages 5-7) (DK, £3.99)

I thought that the timer would be a bit of a gimmick, but he enjoyed the fact that he had to start the timer and try to work through it in a set time, this kept him focussed on the task in hand, I think also it means that you are not leaving them to work through the book endlessly – he probably would finish it given the chance.

If you want to find out more about these workbooks, please visit DK.com or follow them on Twitter

Disclaimer: We were sent these workbooks for the purpose of this review – all opinions are our own.


Top 5 Parenting Hacks

Family PortraitTop 5 Parenting Hacks
You can read various parenting guides from a bookstore, but nothing can ever fully prepare you for what’s to come when you actually become a parent. Luckily, plenty of us have figured out a few things that made the toughest job in the world a little easier. Here are five useful hacks for raising your child.

Bring the kids’ inflatable pool indoors
Popsugar found a new use for your inflatable kiddie pool by taking it indoors and using it as a playpen. Turn it into a ball pit, or simply place blankets and toys in there to keep the young ones entertained. This is especially handy in keeping your kids busy while you finish up that last bit of laundry, have one more room to vacuum, or briefly step away for a phone call.

Pair medicine with a strong-flavoured drink
Trying to convince your children to take medicine is a nightmare. To help wash down the gross taste of cough syrup or whatever they have to take, chocolate-y drinks or Kool-Aid work well according to Babble. As they said in Mary Poppins, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!

Teach your kids the value of money
Giving your kids monthly allowances and rewarding them with money for completing a chore are just a couple ways that you can teach your children about money management. By doing so, they’ll learn that earning money requires hard work and feel the satisfaction from having the means to pay for something, especially when they use their allowances on other people, whether that be through a present, a tip jar or a small donation to a charity. If they ever complain about not having enough money, you can put things into perspective by mentioning that there are children who live off one euro a day which is enough to pay for their school fees and basic health care in third world countries.

Harness their creativity
Children are much more imaginative than adults, so before you hand them your iPad when they are bored, give them an arts and crafts project to work on. Provide them with the supplies and your kids will create something out of nothing. Paper boxes, origami, crayons with paper, and even kitchen activities can open up their imaginations. Lifehacker shares with its readers, “one of the best parts of being young it the freedom to experiment. It’s how we learn who we are and what we love.”

Make fridge magnet cups
After a while, it’ll get annoying when your kids keep asking you to grab for their cups in the cupboard. One solution would be to move their cups to a lower shelf that’s within their reach or place a small stool in the kitchen. But one mother eventually got tired of her daughters constantly using a new cup every time they wanted a drink, so the blogger of Dana Made It fashioned a DIY magnet cup that kids could stick on the fridge and reuse whenever they want to hydrate. Check out the extremely easy tutorial here.

Disclaimer: This is a featured post.

Meal Planning Monday – 3rd August 2015

Meal Planning Monday

This week I am doing a pot luck meal every evening. Both of my freezers are packed full with different tupperware boxes and I haven’t labelled them, so every morning Grim and I will have a look at what is there and decide which box takes our fancy. This could be disastrous, but equally something quite nice about it. This week as our meal plan for part of the Meal Planning Monday linky, here is our plan:

Here are some of the things I know are in the freezer, that might just make it to the table for either one of us this week:

Ragu – This is a staple in our house, I make a massive batch once a month and we have this weekly, so I know this is definitely in there (somewhere)

Fish pie – I made a Hairy Bikers’ recipe for fish pie after seeing one of their shows recently and you don’t make the sauce the normal thin consistency, after you make it into a roux you ad some milk, but it’s still thick, the fish let’s out some water when cooking and this is what makes it perfect – Who knew?

Lasagne – The boys love this too and I made a big one recently and froze half of it, so we’ll enjoy this one night, I’m sure

Aldi Meatloaf – this is so tasty, so looking forward to that dinner!

Pork in BBQ sauce – This was the end of some Jack Daniels BBQ sauce that I’ve been testing and I made it in the slow cooker and we ended up heading out that day so I froze it – I plan to have this this week so that I can also make my blog live about that – It was amazing!

Chicken & Chorizo stew – I have a confession to make, this is actually just chicken stew as the chorizo is still in the fridge as I forgot to add it – I will reheat this in the oven adding the chorizo to the bottom and then stir half way through to maximise the flavours.

And that’s us for this week. If you have any suggestions on other things we should try, comment below and let us know, I love hearing what other people have it gives me real inspiration.


#Review: Sure Deodorant

Recently, after a few disappointing experiences of deodorants, I have returned to using spray deodorants and I have to say I’m not that picky on them, I usually buy what’s on offer as most of them I feel are much the same. I didn’t think it would be up to much. I usually pop on deodorant in the morning, then if I’m heading out or whatever, I usually reapply. I was getting ready for a night out of Friday and when changing my clothes I realised that the nice smell was actually the deodorant I had put on that morning. I had obviously released the scent and reactivated. Wow, well impressed.  The whole ethos of the Motionsense technology means that Sure contains microcapsules that burst with friction so the more you move, the more it protects.

I also noted the compressed packaging, I presumed this meant that it didn’t last so long, but no, they seem to have managed to really fit it all into a smaller container. Impressive cause now you can even fit it in your handbag (although not sure you’ll need that, as I said it’s extremely effective.) The compressed nature of the can doesn’t mean there is less protection, the antiperspirant is executed in a smaller can that releases less air, but the same amount of product with each spray.

Sure MOTIONsense comes in two scents – cotton fresh and shower fresh and I tried the shower fresh, it was extremely fresh and as I said, it kept on releasing the scent when you move. I was really impressed and did feel that as a deodorant it worked very effectively.

If you are looking for an effective deodorant that has a nice smell, then this might just be the one for you to give a go. I will certainly be getting this again, next time I need a spray deodorant.

Disclaimer: I was sent the Sure deodorant for me to test and review. All of the opinions are my own.

Meal Planning Monday – 27th July 2015

Meal Planning Monday

This week as our meal plan for part of the Meal Planning Monday linky, here is our plan:

Monday – Meatloaf – I did the shopping in Aldi last week and they do a fab frozen meatloaf in tomato sauce.

Tuesday – Chicken in a bag – this sounds so wrong but it’s so tasty. It’s by Maggi and you put in 4 chicken breasts to a bag, put in the seasoning & seal it. We have garlic chicken this week and it’s so tasty.

Wednesday – ragu – this is a staple and I didn’t have any white wine so this time I made it with red and it is so much richer. Love it!

Thursday – Shepherd’s pie – easy weeknight meal that the boys will love too!

Friday – Chicken Curry – We have lots of Chilipapas sachets in the house and they are so easy to make and very tasty. The spice mix is just right!

Weekend – Pork Stir Fry with Green Beans – This is a bit fiddly to make which is why I’ve left it for The weekend. That said the flavour of this dish is amazing even if it does smell like wet dogs when you are
cooking it.

And that’s us for this week. If you have any suggestions on other things we should try, comment below and let us know, I love hearing what other people have it gives me real inspiration.

via PressSync

#Review: Collins Big Cats Books

Buddy only started school last year, so he’s 6 years old and I can’t believe how well he has learnt to read. We get reading every night here in Scotland and then a special book to read over the weekend, so they are big into it in terms of education. I actually went into the library about a month ago and asked what types of books will suit them best. I want to encourage his reading without forcing him to read something too hard that would then put him off.  When Collins asked if we wanted to read and review some of their reading materials, I thought it would be a good way to get age related books for Buddy to try.

Collins Picture Atlas


When this atlas first arrived, one of my friends had popped round and saw it and said ‘wow, what a lovely atlas’ and yes it is indeed, I love the way this takes different areas around the world, telling to pockets of interesting information from that area. We especially like it as my Mom lives in Italy and Grim grew up in Africa and Israel so it’s nice to show the boys these places and read up on all the interesting places around the world and the illustrations within the atlas are stunning, bright illustrations that attract the children’s attention and keep it. This is perfect for 4-8 year olds which is perfect for my boys just now. I think this is a lovely present for children this age to help them to learn but to also develop their essential reading skills.

Practise at Home Books Set

We also looked at the Phonics Level 2 – Practise Reading at Home.  There are six books in the box that you get and it’s again Collins Big Cats Reading Lions.  Within the box there are three fiction and non-fiction books.  This was great, as I was able to explain to Buddy what both of these mean. He really enjoyed reading the books himself, telling me all about them when he was finished. He started reading them out to me, that is the point and then he informed me that now he could read in his head so that was the way forward.

These books are widely used in schools and you can see why, they are easy to understand, well written and interesting to the children’s age. There are all different levels depending the the ages and stages your child is at in terms of reading.

The books cost £24 for all six and because they are all developed with your children’s age and stage in mind, all six are relevant to them.  Buddy’s favourite one is the Sun and Moon as this is what he is really into at the moment and is desperate to learn everything about it.

For more information about these books visit Collins Big Cat Reading Lions and Collins Picture Atlas.

Disclaimer: We were sent these books for this review.  All opinions are our own.


#Review – Peanut Hottie

Peanut Hottie Muffin


Peanut Hottie is a new drink for all of those who absolutely love peanut butter. It smells and really tastes of it. My children absolutely love the Peanut Hottie Milkshake:

add in 3 tsp of Peanut Hottie (Original or with Chocolate) and as in 200ml of milk, we generally use almond milk as this is what Bubbles drinks, but you can add in whatever you chose.

I personally love peanut butter but the drink isn’t for me as it is too sweet, the boys love it and ask for it daily. If I’m just wanting to give them a little, I’ll add 1 tsp to an expresso mug, top up with recently boiled water and then add a tiny splash of their milk. It goes down a treat and they call it their chocolate coffee!

At only 83 calories, it’s low fat too and not any of the nasties in it, so I do think it’s great. I recently decided to try it in cooking as I am trying to lose weight and so can’t add in real peanut butter. I added 2 tablespoons to my usual banana muffins. It was great and the Peanut Hottie really added a nice sweetness to them and they were still good a couple of days later. They also freeze really well so can be taken out in the morning, popped in a lunch box and they’ll be defrosted by lunch time.

Here is my recipe:
75g melted butter
250g Self raising wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp of all spice or cinnamon
115g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large ripe bananas
2 medium eggs
2 tbsp Peanut Hottie

Mix all together in a large bowl (don’t overmix as it doesn’t need it, just until it’s all combined) the spoon into muffin cases and bake in the oven for 20 mins at 190

– for little ones you can make mini ones like I have in the picture above, these are adult bite size and take around 15 mins to bake
– when bananas start to turn and you realise that no one is going to eat them, pop them in the freezer, these are perfect for banana muffins or banana bread, just take out of the freezer a couple of hours before baking. they go all squishy but save you lots of pounding!
– You can easily freeze these for later

Disclaimer: We were given Peanut Hottie for this review. All opinions are our own.