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Our thoughts on the October Degustabox.

Thursday 27 November 2014

This month we were very lucky to receive a fabulous box of treats from the lovely Degustabox.

After confirming my delivery details I was advised that I would be contacted with a two hour delivery window on the day of delivery which was very helpful and also sent my excitement through the roof!

Here is a sneak peak inside the packed box - excitement by now is off the scale!

 Enough teasing - here is the total contents of the box. A really good mixture and some products I have not seen before which I love.

So here we go, these are our thoughts on the products we received.

Special K cracker crisps RRP £1.29

Usually in our house, when you want crisps you get crisps because every low fat version we have tried have been nothing like the real thing. these however are so yummy we have bought them ourselves since. A hit with Mummy, Daddy and Liv.

Jelly Belly RRP £2.50

Yummy slightly sour jelly beans in 5 flavours. Liv actually ate these and she never eats any kind of sweets!

Solo Marshmallow Crème RRP £1.99

I really didn't know what to expect when I opened this pot! Sticky, sweet marshmallow crème was a perfect filling for a "no bake cake" Available from www.americansoda.co.uk.

Liv used a scone cutter on a piece of brioche bread, spread marshmallow crème on, she cut another piece, popped that onto then topped that with a chocolate spread and sprinkles from the cupboard.

Brioche Pasquier sliced Brioche loaf RRP £1.69

This brioche loaf was amazing! It almost has a cake sponge like texture and the lovely sweetness made for requests of "more toast please Mummy" at breakfast time.

Brioche Pasquire pain au lait with choc chips £1.60

These little brioche rolls were delicious (for the five minutes they lasted in the cupboard!) They have a lovely moist texture and the chocolate is ever so slightly bitter so it isn't too sweet. Perfect slightly melted after 10 seconds in the microwave.

Get buzzing flapjack £1.30

This lovely flapjack was packed full of nuts, moist and very moreish, I instantly regretted sharing it with my Husband! Available at www.getbuzzing.co.uk

Enhance drinks £2.49

This handy pot is filled with fruit juice ready to transform your water into a delicious drink. These juices are aimed at Adults, contains no added sugar and roughly 1 calorie per squirt. While this is a fantastic idea to pop into your handbag, we found the Orange & Passion fruit quite bitter but I would definitely try a different flavour.

Bear paws fruit snack £0.55p plus (Plus Alpha bites cereal sample)

The bear fruits snacks contain no added sugar or concentrates but were still very flavoursome and sweet. Definitely a healthier option for Childrens treats. The cereal went down without any coaxing so I assume that was tasty too even without any refined sugar or salt!

Blue Dragon sweet chilli sauce 2 x £1.39

We are big fans of Blue Dragon, especially this sauce. We love to add it to stir-fry's for an extra zing and I also use quite a lot of it while making pulled pork in the slow cooker  delicious.

DR Oetker premium 90% extra dark chocolate RRP £2.49 and DR Oetker fine dark cocoa powder.

I love DR Oetker products for baking, they are definitely number one on my list. I had hoped to make a cake to show these products but sadly I haven't had time. I will update when I have made one but I know from previous experience that these products are lovely. I will be visiting www.oetker.co.uk/chocolate

Kent's kitchen £2.50

This little Jalfrezi kit was definitely my favourite item in the box. I didn't follow the instructions on the packet (makes the meal in 20 minutes) but instead added the chicken and oil to my slow cooker for 30 minutes then added the spice pot, onions, tomatos and pepper for another 30 before adding the paste pot and leaving for a couple more hours.

My Husband mouth started watering the moment he stepped in the door as the house smelled amazing! It was a tiny touch too hot for me but a splash of cream would have made it perfect.

We definitely be buying this and the other flavours.

Also included in the box was a voucher to get 4 Benecol Greek style yoghurts from a participating retailer. We haven't exchanged our voucher as yet but will definitely be giving them a try.

We have thouroughly enjoyed receiving and reviewing the contents of the October box and hope to continue bringing you these reviews.

If you're like me and get tired of cooking and eating the same meals out of habit - why not get spice things up? A Degustabox can be yours for just £12.99 a month including delivery!

You can find out more about Degustabox on their website and contact them on Facebook or Twitter.

Disclaimer - I was sent the box and contents for the purpose of the review, however all opinion and images are our own.

Introducing Livs Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse - review.

This two-story Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse can only be described as magnificent! It truly is a dream house - I feel terribly deprived that I didn't have one as a Child! Complete with lovely details that are easily recognisable to anyone who watches "Barbie Life in the Dream house" like the pink double doors and "B" logo/Barbie silhouette. 
On the ground floor you will find the grand double doors allowing access to the hallway - complete with chandelier of course!

To the left of the entrance is the living room with accessories like a table lamp and telephone - Liv loves sitting her dolls on the sofa and engaging in some comical role play.

When relaxing time is over, to the right of the hallway is a lovely kitchen. Both the fridge and oven have working doors allowing items to be placed inside. The kitchen has every accessory your little one could imagine, from cutlery and crockery to pans, bottles of milk and orange juice and pizza fresh from the oven. I have great fun watching Liv playing in the kitchen especially and it is heart warming hearing her repeat things I say to her like explaining why we have to wash our hands before cooking and only Adults are allowed to touch the oven because it gets very hot - adorable! 
Once Barbie is relaxed, full up and the kitchen is clean, she can travel up to the second floor in grand style via the working spiral staircase complete with an "aquarium" column (TIP when attaching the stickers use the pulley to move the clear part of the pole upwards. I stuck the fish on this part so when the doll is travelling upstairs there appears to be no fish in the bottom half of the aquarium, oops!). To allow Barbie to use the staircase you simply clip her in by the waist and use the tab on the side to take her up or down the spiral staircase.
Upstairs is what Liv used as a play room complete with a TV - this can be made even more special by popping a smartphone (not included) into the wall mounted TV/smartphone holder. There is even a tiny remote control!
The very glamorous bedroom has a large bed complete with two pillows and a lovely soft blanket, but that's not all. Lift up the bed to reveal a wardrobe including coat hangers on the left and a shower on the right. Once out of the shower, Barbie can head to the bathroom to finish getting ready at her dressing table full of accessories (including toothbrushes and paste) and even a toilet with a working lid.
Below is the Dolls house all folded up, complete with all furniture for storage. We were very pleasantly surprised at how compact it actually is once it's closed up. 
It's clear to see that there's been a lot of thought put into this house, the little things like the grooves on table tops to allow the lamps/glasses/flowers to "plug in". It has made playing far more enjoyable for Liv because she isn't constantly knocking things over.
Everything you need is in the box - apart from the Dolls. If you are buying this for a Christmas gift I would recommend assembly before the big day if possible as it took me around 45 minutes to assemble and I imagine would have been longer with an excited 3 year old "helping" on Christmas morning!
TOP TIP! - Attach the stickers to the outside of the house before assembling otherwise it can get a bit fiddly.
I can honestly say Liv absolutely adores this House, she plays happily with it for hours and seeing her act out bedtime is simply priceless. I would definitely recommend this house, I think it is really good value as the house is very sturdy, great quality and packed full of accessories for hours of imaginary play.

I have found the Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse on sale here for £55 - a huge £44 saving! 
Recommended for age 3+ Please note no dolls are included with the house, each doll is sold separately.
Disclaimer - we were sent the Barbie Malibu house for the purpose of the review. However, all opinion and images are our own.

The Christmas Boutique - see what goodies we were sent!

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Recently we were very lucky to be sent a box of beautiful Christmas goodies from the lovely people over at The Christmas Boutique

Now if you ask me there isn't many things more exciting than opening a box full of Christmas goodies *excited face*
This is what greeted me inside:
How lovely? 
My favourite is the Soft Light Brown Fabric Moose Draught Excluder (£19.99) 

I'm going to struggle to put him away in January I can tell, although how much time he will spend on the floor I can't say as Liv has taken to trying to wear him as a scarf! 

We also received this beautiful Silver Cluster Bell Heart Shaped Hanging Decoration - Medium (3 sizes available) - £8.99. 

This is makes the most beautiful jingle sounds when moved and will look lovely hanging in our hall.

We FINALLY have out own advent calendar! I've been meaning to get once since Liv was born but now we have this lovely Extra Long Fabric Star Advent Calendar with Felt Numbers - (£19.99) 

It is the perfect colouring for our teal and neutral living room. I also love that there are 
different sized pockets, some big enough for a small gift as well as a chocolate in the 
smaller pockets.

The White Cotton & Silver Jacquard Floral Pattern Table Runner - (£18.99) is beautiful but quite short (140 x 40 cm) It doesn't run the length of our table so we have had to use it width ways instead which still looks lovely.

It adds a touch of festivity to the otherwise undecorated table and could be used all year round.

These Set of Three Silver Glitter Star Mobile Decorations - (£9.99) are really lovely.

They are quite big and will look lovely hanging from a door handle or on a cabinet.

We really love the Silver Snowflake Christmas Tree Topper Decoration - (3 designs available) - £12.99. 

Last year we changed our colour scheme on the tree but couldn't find a silver star we liked so I ended up spraying the old gold one silver, I was dreading what it would come of the box looking like 12 months on but now I needn't worry :)

I plan on using these Set of Three Small Clip On Dove Christmas Decorations - (£4.99) in some Christmas flowers. 

I want to get a twig or something similar to sit in the centre of a bouquet of flowers with one of these doves clipped to it. It's nice to add that touch of luxury.
I plan on adding this Silver Snowflake & Jingle Bell Christmas Garland - (£6.99) to a wreath I made last year. It will really give it a lovely finishing touch.

A little about the company:

"The Christmas Boutique was started to offer a great selection of Christmas Ornaments & Decorations available in once place with easy delivery options..
Our buyers search the globe to find exciting and often exclusive items for our Christmas st which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year offering amazing decorations for your home.

We have designed the store for easy shopping and browsing and have also put together great collections of decoration ideas for Christmas, so if you have a theme for your home you can easily find a range that would complement what you have already or simple choose a new collection to decorate this Christmas."
I strongly recommend you pop over to www.thechristmasboutique.co.uk I can guarantee there is something for all tastes.

While the products are a little more pricey than you would find in a typical high street shop, they are of high quality and you also have the bonus that you are highly unlikely to be decorating your house with the exact same items that several of your friends have bought too!

I would definitely recommend the company to Friends and Family and will be purchasing some more items before the big day. 

With FREE standard delivery (3 - 5 working days) what have you got to lose?!

Disclaimer - we were sent these items for the purpose of the review, however all opinion and photographs are our own.

Christmas at Poundland.

Monday 17 November 2014

Who doesn't love a good Pound shop? I know I do! We are very lucky that our local store is quite big and has a fair few tills too so you have hardly any wait time, even when it is really busy.

So when I was asked to  take part in the Christmas Blogger challenge I excitedly accepted. The Challenge was to simply spend £20 in your local Poundland with a Christmas theme.

As I am in the store at least once a week I had already bought a lot of items including tree decorations, colouring books, chocolate coins and 2 DVD's for Livs stocking (Mr Men and Thomas the Tank Engine) I decided to try to come up with more helpful/practical items.

This is my haul:

Here is how we spent our £20.

Firstly, I paid £4 for 6 selections boxes for my nieces and nephews (3 for £2).
I was so pleased to find these at such a bargain price as they have all had money this year but I also wanted a little something for them to open, I still remember the excitement of opening a selection box as a child so I hope they like them.

£1 for 3 rolls of wrapping paper - I ALWAYS run out at the last minute and end up with a hideous roll for about £3 from the local shop, not this year!

£1 for a pack of three scissors because if you are anything like me the scissors seem to grow legs and walk off when you are wrapping gifts.

£2 for some yummy Cadbury hot chocolate and mini marshmallows to warm us on the cold days

£1 on a box of PG tips to make sure we always have a brew ready for any unexpected guests.

£1 for some after eight mints for when you can't quite fit in a dessert but can squeeze in a little treat!!

£1 on three small tins of beans to make sure there is an emergency lunch in the cupboard - we tend to dash in and out to various Family and Friends over Christmas so these will come in very handy.

£2 for a doggy toy and treat - because he deserves some presents too.

£2 for a tub of vapour rub and menthol oil in preparation to send off any colds that may strike before the big day.

£2 on some paper plates and napkins to minimise the washing up where possible- does anyone enjoy that job?

£1 for some bin bags for the humongous clear up on Christmas morning.

£1 for some raisins for Liv - they are perfect to bribe her into her pushchair or the car and keep her happy on the journey - result!

And lastly I bought a pack of  30 tea lights for our various tea light holders. 

= £20 :)
All practical items and as usual an awful lot for the small price paid.

What is your favourite buy from your Poundshop this year?

Disclaimer - I was sent a £20 voucher for the purpose of the review however all opinion is my own.