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Saturday, 20 May 2017

Sing out on Blu-Ray and DVD #singmovie

SING IS AVAILABLE ON 4K ULTRA HD™, BLU-RAY 3D™, BLU-RAY™, DVD AND ON DEMAND  On 22ND MAY 2017

From Illumination, the studio that brought us The Secret Life of Pets and Despicable Me , comes an animated comedy about finding the music that lives inside of all of us. It's an all singing, all dancing spectacular starring the vocal talents of lots of Hollywood A Listers.

Sing


SING stars Matthew McConaughey as Buster Moon, an eternally optimistic, showbiz obsessed koala who puts on the world’s greatest singing competition in an attempt to save his failing theatre. Unfortunately a typo on the competition flyers offers a grand prize worth much more than Buster Moon can afford. This sets in to motion a chain of events, bringing together a host of animal characters trying to win the cash, find fame or find themselves.

Reese Witherspoon stars as the housewife Rosita, an overworked and under appreciated mother of 25 piglets desperate to unleash her inner diva and escape the drudgery of everyday life. Scarlett Johansson voices Ash, a punk rock porcupine with a beautiful voice behind her prickly exterior and with a cheating porcupine partner. Taron Egerton is Johnny, a young gangster gorilla looking to break free of his family’s life of crime through music. Other characters include a crooning mouse who is wanted by gangsters, an extremely shy but talented young elephant and a rather flamboyant pig called Gunther.

The Golden Globe nominee for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song, SING features more than 65 hit songs. Everyone will be singing along to all the familiar tracks as well as to the brand new song "Faith" recorded by Stevie Wonder and featuring Ariana Grande.

We loved this film, especially the heart warming ending! The catchy songs and funny dance routines play out alongside humorous scenes and truly touching moments. From the youngest to the oldest, we all enjoyed sitting down together to watch this movie. There are some real memorable moments and the soundtrack is fabulous. It will definitely have you singing along.

The Blu-Ray has loads of bonus features including three mini movies (Gunter Babysits, Love At First Sight and Eddie’s Life Coach), music videos, behind the scenes footage, character profiles, interviews, a dance along video and a comedy mash-up as well as a digital download to play the movie on mobile devices.

Here's a behind the scenes video clip showing some of the stars of Sing recording their characters' lines for the film.

      


SING is out on Digital Download, Blu-ray™ and DVD from 22nd May, courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Website: www.singmovie.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SingMovieUK
Twitter: https://twitter.com/universaluk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/universalpicturesuk

Hashtag: #SingMovie

Friday, 19 May 2017

Super Geek Heroes Animated Series - a mission to learn

The SUPER GEEK HEROES are a unique group of super-kids who are having fun in turn with a mission to learn! With their own YouTube channel and website, the Super Geek Heroes videos provide an excellent resource for young children to learn about the world around them in an interesting and exciting way.

Their seven friendly ‘super-powers’ are derived from the Early Years Foundation Stage framework  and focus on Personal, Social & Emotional Development, Understanding the World, Communication & Language, Literacy, Numeracy, Physical Development, and Creative Arts & Design.  

The seven characters are very engaging, leading children on a mission to learn in a fun and friendly way. Children can relate and interact more effectively with the EYFS as they understand the meaning of the key areas, within the context of these bite size videos. 

Super Geek Heroes


Here are the seven Super Geek Heroes characters and the development areas within the Early Years Foundation Stage that they represent; 

Jake Jotter (Literacy), Mille Maths (Mathematics), Peter Planet (Understanding the World), Ant Active (Physical Development), Vicky Voice (Communication & Language), Ronnie Rock (Expressive Arts & Design) and Suzi Smiles (Personal, Social & Emotional Development.

Some of the subjects covered include healthy foods, weather and seasons, shapes and numbers, phonics, telling the time, the continents of the world and high frequency words. Children can interact with the characters and the information is repeated to help them understand and consolidate skills. There is plenty of praise and encouragement given by the characters and children will feel like they have the superpower of knowledge, supporting their learning in an entertaining way.

You can find the YouTube video channel at  https://www.youtube.com/supergeekheroes where you can subscribe and keep up to date with all the latest episodes. The website has additional learning resources, print outs and character information to accompany the videos. To find out more visit the parent section of the website at: http://www.supergeekheroes.com/parents.html.

Super Geek Heroes is a really impressive learning resource that will be perfect for sharing with little ones. For this September's school starters, the Super Geek Heroes can give them a head start on the EYFS, boosting their confidence. I really liked that each individual video was quite short so you can pick and choose which ones to watch, focusing on specific areas of the EYFS. I loved that the characters were voiced by children making them friendly and easy for kids to relate to. The 3D animation is simple but cute and colourful. As a parent, you can confidently leave your child watching the channel on an iPad, knowing that the content is safe, appropriate and educational. Our favourite character is Peter Planet who helps us understand the world around us! Who will your children's favourites be?

Visit www.supergeekheroes.com and start your child's exciting adventure into learning with the Super Geek Heroes!


             

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Disney Crossy Road Toy Review

Crossy Road is the iconic game, where you try to cross a busy road without getting splatted by oncoming vehicles. Whereas the original game featured a chicken, the Disney version stars favourite classic Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Buzz Lightyear and Daisy Duck, trying to get across the road. Based on the Disney Crossy Road game app, Character Options has released a collection of mini figures and plush toys.

collectable toys UK


The Disney Crossy Road toys are made to look pixelated like the game characters and are great to collect, swap, display and play with. There are over 40 mini figures in the Series 1 range including Mickey and friends and characters from Toy Story, Big Hero 6 and Lion King. They are a new way to enjoy your favourite Disney characters.

Freddy was sent a plush Simba figure (£9.99), a Mini Figure 4 Pack (£10.99) and two Mystery Figure packs (£3.49).  The Mini Figure 4 pack has three visible figures and one hidden mystery figure. The Mystery Figure single packs come boxed so it's a completely blind choice.

Like most 7 year olds, Freddy loves collectible toys. He enjoys opening the mystery packs to try to find the characters he wants and likes to display his collection in his bedroom. The Disney Crossy Road toys combine the fun of collecting with our love of all things Disney, which makes them extra special!

Disney


Each character comes with its own rarity rating status such as classic, rare, epic, secret, legendary and limited edition. This makes collecting them all the more fun, as you try to complete your collection while hunting down the super limited edition metallic figurines.

The mini figurines are designed to be really simple, like an 8-bit pixelated game character, yet the attention to detail is spot on. From Goofy's teeth to Woody's hat, the essence of each character is perfectly captured. Each comes with its own plastic stand making them easy to display.

Disney Crossy Road


The 6" plush toys really bring the Disney Crossy Road characters to life. They are super soft and detailed and there are six to collect in Series 1: Minnie, Mickey, Simba, Baymax, Woody and Buzz Lightyear.

The Disney Crossy Road items are available to buy from Tesco, Asda, Toys R Us, Smyths and Argos. To see the range and to watch some great product videos, visit www.moosetoys.toys/disney-crossy-road.

Here is Freddy's unboxing video (including me mispronouncing the name of Emperor Zurg! Oops).


         


Monday, 15 May 2017

A Vegetarian Barbecue with Yutaka #nationalvegetarianweek

Yutaka Gives Summer Barbecues a Japanese Flavour

Give your veggie barbecues a Japanese zing this summer with these  recipe ideas given a contemporary twist from Yutaka – Marinaded Tofu Kebabs and Red Bean Panko Burgers.

Yutaka means ‘good harvest’ in Japanese and that’s exactly the aim of the company: to create authentic Japanese food products made in the traditional way. Their ethos ensures their products are of the highest quality and feature a lot less additives compared to some other brands on the market. I received a lovely hamper of goodies from Yutaka so I could try out some barbecue recipes with a Yutaka twist.

Yutaka, vegetarian


BBQ Yutaka Marinade

Sushi ginger, rice wine and miso are among the ingredients that make this marinade uniquely Japanese in flavour. It is so easy to create authentic cuisine using the Yutaka products.

The Yutaka Marinade can be used to marinade bite size pieces of  firm Tofu to make some delicious kebabs that can be served with Yutaka sushi rice and a sheet of Nori to make your own sushi style barbecue meal.

vegan, tofu, marinade


Ingredients

2 tbs Yutaka Yakiniku Sauce

1 tbs Yutaka Miso Sauce

2 tbs Yutaka organic Tamari Soy Sauce

2 crushed garlic cloves

1 tbs chopped Yutaka Sushi Ginger

1 tbs Yutaka Mirin

2 tbs Yutaka Shaoxing Rice Wine


Tofu, Yutaka


Method

Mix together the marinade ingredients and cover bite-size pieces of Tofu making sure they are coated well in the marinade and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. I use a lidded Tupperware box to marinate my Tofu so you can give it a regular shake or turn it upside down to ensure all the pieces get properly covered during the process. Remove from fridge at least 30 minutes before you are ready to BBQ.

Making the Marinaded Tofu Kebabs

Soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least 4 hours.

Make the sushi rice – wash 250g of rice 3 or 4 times with cold water. Drain rice with sieve. Add 330ml water and the washed rice to a saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. Turn off the heat and leave to stand for 25-30 mins. Do not open the lid.

Take a bamboo skewer and build the kebab using bitesize pieces of courgette, peppers, red onion, mushrooms and the marinaded Tofu pieces. Brush with marinade sauce and barbecue, turning occasionally. When cooked remove from heat.

Serve with the sushi rice and if desired, roll the veggie, Tofu and rice into a Nori sheet.



Panko Burgers

Many of the boutique burger restaurants use Yutaka’s panko to give their burgers extra bite. This vegetarian burger is really delicious and holds its shape well. It is incredibly simple to make using canned beans.



Yutaka Red Bean Burgers


Ingredients

2 small red onions, finely chopped

2  crushed garlic cloves

2 tins of drained red kidney beans

2 tbsp Yutaka Panko breadcrumbs

1 tbsp Yutaka miso sauce

1 tbsp Yutaka Yakiniku sauce

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp Yutaka Tamari Soy Sauce

Salt & pepper



Place onions, garlic, breadcrumbs, beans, sauces, tomato paste and salt and pepper in a food processor until combined. The mixture should be thick enough to roll into balls. If it is too wet add more breadcrumbs, too dry add more tomato puree. With wet hands shape 6 burgers and coat with Panko breadcrumbs. The mixture is sticky enough for the crumbs to stick. Cover and chill.

veggie burgers

vegan, veggie burger


Barbecue the burgers and serve with salad in a bun if desired, with some Yakinuko sauce and mayonnaise to finish. 

veggie burger, bbq


I really enjoyed making the burgers and kebabs using the Yutaka products. They added a really great taste and allowed me to try out some Japanese flavours. I loved the marinade with the Tofu and I'll definitely be experimenting with some more vegetarian recipes using the sauces.

Find some recipe ideas and inspiration at www.yutaka.co.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Food Review - Jack Daniel's Barbecue Sauce and Duerr's Marmalade

Add some sunshine to breakfast with Duerr's Marmalade

Duerr's marmalades come in a variety of flavours and textures, making a marmalade which is exactly how you want it to be. Whether you like your orangey bits thick or finely cut, or if a fine citrus preserve is more to your liking, Duerr's have it covered.

I was sent two of their lovely rounded jars to try out, one with Thick Cut Classic Seville Orange Marmalade and the other with Sunny Lemon Smooth Citrus Conserve.

Ian is a big marmalade fan. He'd give Paddington a run for his money! He loves the chunky marmalades packed with peel spread thickly on granary bread. Whereas I like the smoother conserves with the flavour of fresh, fruity, juicy citrus without the bitter aftertaste. So we were both happy!

Both are suitable for vegans and the marmalade is available from Tesco and Sainsbury's.
Find out more at duerrs.co.uk.


marmalad, Duerrs, jars


Get ready for barbecue season with Jack Daniel's

Jack Daniel's Barbecue Sauces and Glazes are perfect for barbecue season. Bringing the authentic flavour of Tennessee, they come in a range of flavours and have the distinctive smooth taste of Jack Daniel's Whisky. We were sent a Smooth Original Barbecue Sauce and a Smokey Sweet Barbecue Glaze from the range.

The Smooth Original has a rich caramel flavour and is perfect for adding a luxury twist to everyday foods. It's perfect for stirring through Pulled Quorn or jackfruit. It can also be added to gravy for a rich, barbecue flavour.

The Smokey Sweet Barbecue Glaze can be used to glaze vegetables or can be used as a dipping sauce. You can brush it onto veggie kebabs before cooking or add to stir fry vegetables to make a filling for a tortilla wrap. You can even make vegan bbq carrot dogs for a super healthy twist on a classic!

Both are suitable for vegans.

Find out more at jackdanielsbbqsauces.com.

BBQ, vegan, JD, Jack daniels

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Thumb Chucks - the latest fidget toy #thumbchucks

The current trend for fidget toys has taken the market by storm for both adults and children. The latest fidget skill toy on the scene is the addictive Thumb Chucks. The pairs of light up balls (or chucks) are connected together with a cord (or belt), allowing users to master skills and tricks and 'control the roll'. Chucks are interchangeable to create your own colour combos, adding to the fun.

Thumb Chucks, fidget toy


Young children, teens and adults alike will enjoy mastering the skills and controlling the roll of the Thumb Chucks. Whether you're killing time, out and about or fed up at work, Thumb Chucks can help entertain you and focus your mind. There are online tutorials to teach you tricks such as the beginner's Pass, Rebound and Wrap moves. The basics are quite easy to master and you can then elaborate on them adding your own spin or following the advanced tutorials to master some extreme skills. It gets really challenging and uses a lot of co-ordination and concentration. You can submit videos of yourself doing the skills to earn new belts for your Thumb Chucks.

Thumb Chucks


Freddy went freestyle with the Thumb Chucks using them as light up spinners and clackers as well as trying out the basic moves. He also loves making patterns by spinning them in the dark! His hands are quite small, so some of the skills have been a bit fiddly for him to master, but the beauty of the Thumb Chucks is that you can just use them to play with, keeping your hands occupied and having fun. They really are quite addictive. We've all been having a go with them and practicing the moves - they are easy to learn but a real challenge to master!

Thumb Chucks, fidget toy


The Thumb Chucks from Zing Toys retail at £7.99 and are recommended for ages 5 to adult. They are available from toy shops, retailers and online. There is going to be a big social media buzz as players are encouraged to share tricks online. Thumb Chucks are tipped to be 2017's answer to the Yo-Yo!

Take a look at thumbchucks.toys to discover this new craze, learn new tricks and skills and watch the experts in action. There are some seriously impressive skills on show.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Naked Pressed - Bright Greens, Lively Carrot and Bold Beet

If you are trying to up your daily intake of fruit or vegetables, Naked Pressed offers a simple and flavoursome way to do so. The new range is available in three different variants: Bright Greens, Lively Carrot and Bold Beet. Each contains selected fruits and vegetables that are cold pressed with chilled pressure to preserve the flavours, creating a refreshing and authentic tasting juice drink.


juiced, juicing, Naked


Bright Greens contains seven juices including apple, cucumber, spinach, lettuce, celery, courgette and lemon plus wheatgrass. It is invigorating and slightly sweet with all the goodness of greens.

Lively Carrot is a five juice blend featuring carrot, apple, orange, cucumber and lemon with added vanilla bean and turmeric. The taste is sweet with a hint of spicy warmth.

Bold Beet includes beetroot, carrot, apple, cucumber and lemon with added ginger. It's sweet and earthy with a slight ginger kick.

The colours of the juices are bold and vibrant and the flavours are very authentic, with a taste that is very similar to juices I've made myself. They have a tendency to separate, in the same way that home made juices do, so a quick shake before drinking is sometimes needed.

I've really enjoyed these juices as they are a convenient and effort free way of enjoying juiced fruits and veggies in the home or on the go. I'm passionate about healthy eating and anything that makes it easier to incorporate extra plant based goodness into my family's diet gets a thumbs up from me. The addition of wheatgrass, ginger and turmeric adds a boost of superfoods to the juices.

The Naked Pressed juices are available nationwide in 600 ml bottles at £3.79 RRP. The Lively Carrot and Bright Greens varieties are also available in 250 ml bottles for £2.29 RRP.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Fallen out now on DVD

Fallen is out today on DVD and we have enjoyed a fun film night with snacks and angelic accessories to celebrate its release. Based on Lauren Kate's bestselling YA romantic fantasy book,  Fallen tells the story of troubled Luce Price who starts at Sword & Cross boarding school following a tragic incident that she took the blame for. At the school she meets moody Daniel Grigori, a fellow student that she feels a strange connection to. Luce slowly settles into life in her mysterious boarding school making a best friend in quirky Pennyweather who has access to the school records. She soon finds out the secrets of her past and discovers why Daniel feels so familiar to her. 

Fallen, Lauren Kate


This film is based on the first of a series of books, so it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, setting the seen for its sequel. It was an enjoyable watch with an exciting storyline that will appeal to fans of  the YA fantasy romance genre. It features attractive, charismatic teens who hold dark secrets that date back across the centuries. It is atmospheric, moody and dangerous, with a backstory that features Heaven and Hell. The young cast members do a good job portraying the characters in the story and Joely Richardson plays the slightly terrifying and obsessed teacher Sofia. Kezia is 14 and she really enjoyed Fallen and is now reading the book. It is a great series for young teens to discover.

Fallen is out today on DVD and VOD courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

CozyPhones - soft, fleece headphones for kids

Freddy loves his iPad, whether he is watching YouTube videos, listening to music or playing games. However, he also loves getting into bed with us early on a Sunday morning to watch the latest video or listening to his own music playlist in the car or playing a game snuggled up to me on the sofa while I'm trying to watch something on Netflix. Now, there is only so much DanTDM, Ariana Grande or Hello Neighbour that I can deal with in a day, but I don't want to send Fred away or ruin his fun by telling him to turn it off. Up until now, there has been no alternative for me other than sucking up the cacophony of different noises as Freddy hates bulky headphones and uncomfortable earbuds. 

But then, a miracle happened! I was contacted by a US company called CozyPhones who offered to send us a pair of their super comfortable and soft fleece headbands, which contain a discreet pair of quality, ultra thin speakers and a flexible, durable, braided stereo plug. They are easy, safe and fun to wear and allow children to listen to their music, films or games without sharing the noise with everyone else!

CozyPhones


The CozyPhones come in a variety of designs including the adorable panda that Freddy received. Other designs include a frog, unicorn, monster, bunny, cat and fox. They are all cute, colourful and fun with masses of kid appeal. The fleece is super soft, light and comfy to wear, providing a hassle free solution for listening to favourite devices.

CozyPhones


Freddy loves the cool design, the comfy fit and the ease of use. He is delighted that they don't hurt his ears and he loves wearing them. The headphones work really well and provide a great way for little ones to listen to music, watch videos or play games while providing a peaceful atmosphere for everyone else. They are perfect for bedtime, travelling or for using around the home.

CozyPhones


I am so impressed with the CozyPhone headphones. Freddy does struggle a bit with sensory issues, but he absolutely loves these. They don't hurt his ears at all, unlike other headphones we have previously tried. He can use them in his car seat, on the go or while lying in bed. It is easy to adjust the speakers into the optimum position and the band holds them perfectly in place. We get peace and quiet, he is happy. Perfect!


CozyPhones


They are available to purchase in the UK from Amazon at £15.99 a pair (just search CozyPhones) with free next day delivery for Prime members. They also come in adult sizes too, in fleece, lycra and contour fit. They would be perfect for listening to music while exercising or for listening to audio books, music or hypnosis tapes in bed. The speakers are removable so the headband can be washed to keep it hygienically clean.

Find out more at www.cozyphones.com.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Num Noms Series 3 Lunch Box

Num Noms are the collectable little toys that kids just love to play with. The new series 3 scented Num figures come in fruit, veggie, candy, marshmallow, Fiesta and donut designs, which can be combined with eraser, stamp and lip gloss Noms. There are just so many combinations that can be created by stacking, mixing and matching the Nums and Noms.

We received a Lunch Box set that comes with thirteen pieces including nine colourful, scented Nums, two Erase-It Noms, a Stamp-It Nom and a mystery piece. With delightful characters such as Victor Vines, Peyton Peppermint and Carrie Corn, the Num Noms are perfect for creative play. The packaging can be used as a storage case and features a decorative, mauve, spoon shaped handle.

Num Noms Series 3


Also available in blind packs, the series 3 Noms introduce a whole host of brand new figures to the collection and include some special edition pieces including Coolie Cucumber and Rainbow Pop. We discovered Paula Pumpkin and a two flavoured Orange-Pina Gloss-Up in our pot. Each Num Nom has its own personality and quirky detailing.

Num Noms Series 3


Num Noms continue to be a really fun collectable toy with so many foodie scented combinations to create. We love the colours and the smells and the characters of the pieces. Having the useful Noms that double up as erasers, stamps and lip glosses adds an extra element of interest to the collection.

Num Noms Series 3

Friday, 14 April 2017

Ballerina - out on DVD and Blu-Ray this Easter

This Easter families can enjoy the fun-filled animated adventure that follows the story of Félicie, a young orphan who tries to make her wildest dream of becoming a dancer come true. BALLERINA is out on Digital Download from 14th April and Blu-ray™ and DVD from 17th April, courtesy of Entertainment One.

BALLERINA follows Félicie's moving and magical journey and features en pointe performances from; Elle Fanning as the aspiring young dancer; Dane DeHaan as Félicie’s best friend and aspiring inventor, Victor; Carly Rae Jepsen as former prima ballerina, Odette; and Maddie Ziegler as a snobby trained ballerina, Camille Le Haut.

Félicie is a young orphan who has a great passion - ballet. With her best friend Victor, they come up with a madcap scheme to escape their orphanage and head to Paris where she plans to fulfil her dreams. Through cunning plans, hard work and a little trickery, Félicie lands a spot at a top dance school. She has to take on the talented, driven but mean spirited Camille and prove herself to make her dreams come true. Camille's evil, pushy mother is determined that her daughter will win the starring role in The Nutcracker and Félicie has to try and beat the bullies and show them that she is more than the 'nothing' they see her as.

Ballerina is an emotional adventure that makes you root for Félicie and celebrate her triumphs. The film's message of never giving up on your dreams, even when you suffer set-backs, makes you believe anything is possible. There are some beautiful relationships within the story of the film that are genuinely heartwarming. Félicie learns lessons and comes to see what really matters and who she really is as she pursues her dream. Love, friendship, passion, dedication and refusing to give up are what can make dreams come true. It is a lovely family movie, perfect for the Easter holidays.

Ballerina


Digital Download Date: 14th April 2017
Blu-ray™ & DVD Date: 17th April 2017
Certificate: U
Genre: Animated / Family
Format: Blu-ray™ and DVD
Run time: 87 minutes

BALLERINA is available on Digital Download from 14th April and on Blu-ray™ and DVD from 17th April, courtesy of Entertainment One.


Monday, 10 April 2017

Perfectly Pink Pinot Grigio and Just Flapjacks

Barefoot Wine's Perfectly Crisp Pink Pinot Grigio

As the weather starts to improve, my thoughts are turning to the joys of sunnier days and al fresco dining. The perfect tipple for sipping this spring is a glass of perfect Pink Pinot Grigio from Barefoot Wine. This drier style rose wine features notes of tart apple, peach and raspberry. It's refreshing, crisp and fruity.

Barefoot Wines


At just £6.99 a bottle it is a great choice when relaxing and sitting out in the sunshine. Barefoot Wine Pink Pinot Grigio is available from Sainsbury's.

Just Flapjack

For a sweet treat, gift, favour or just because...Just Flapjack is a mail order company, selling incredibly delicious, home-baked to order flapjacks. Made using wholesome, natural ingredients, they come in Just Flapjack, Seed & Sultana, Big Softy and Chocolate Drizzle Big Softy varieties in various sizes up to a big family size package.

Just Flapjack


UK postage and packing is included in the price with a six piece treat size package delivered for just £3.50. The flapjacks are wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string (no plastic is used in the packaging). They look traditional and taste delicious! They make a lovely little gift to send to a loved one, perfect for birthdays or special occasions. For Easter, Just Flapjack has decorated egg shaped flapjacks delivered for £3.50, a super yummy, healthier alternative to chocolate!

www.justflapjack.co.uk

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Word Has It! - building the tallest word against the clock

We really enjoy playing family games, especially the ones that make you use your brain but are still a lot of fun to play. Word Has It! from University Games definitely meets this criteria. It is a quick paced game where players scramble to create the tallest word, using the stacking letters, against the clock.


University Games


The game includes an electronic timer (AAA batteries required) that counts down and builds the tension as players try to come up with a word that fits the criteria of the round. The criteria is decided using a category card and a spinner which picks the starting letter. From there it is a free for all, as you try to think up a word, find the letters you need on the three sided pieces and stack them up to create the tallest word you can think of. It's not that easy when you are under pressure and against the clock.

University Games


Each round is quick to play so you can play for as long as you like by playing as many rounds as you want. If you are like us you will always be wanting to play just one more round, hoping to beat your tallest word! It's great fun for wordsmiths and helps children practice their spelling in a really entertaining way.

university games


Word Has It! is suitable for children aged 7+. Younger children might get a bit frustrated playing against competitive adults, but Freddy enjoyed playing with is as we gave him a bit of help to ensure he could keep up and make his words. Anything that encourages a love of words is worth making some concessions for.  When playing with the older children though it was every man for himself!!

You can play with 2 - 4 players so it is great for couples or families to play together. The RRP is £19.99 and it is available from Argos and Amazon.

Board games such as Word Has It! make a great alternative Easter gift and will keep families entertained over the school holidays. University Games also make the Pointless and 5 Second Rule board games, also excellent choices!

Friday, 31 March 2017

Free £5 Disney Store Voucher with every pack of Persil

With the new live action Beauty and the Beast film showing in cinemas nationwide, our love for all things Disney has once again been rekindled. From films to merchandise, we can't get enough of the Disney brand!

To celebrate Disney's latest remake of the treasured classic Beauty and the Beast, Persil are offering shoppers a free £5 Disney Store voucher with every pack of capsules purchased – making shopping for laundry detergent a whole lot more magical! Look out for the promotional packs in stores now.

Persil, Disney


Persil Capsules offer all-in-one triple action cleaning, in just one dose, providing you with the ultimate fuss-free, convenient way to clean and care for clothes. 

The offer features on all Non Bio, Bio and Colour Capsule packs and you can redeem the limited edition £5 Disney Store vouchers online at www.persil.co.uk by entering the unique code printed on every pack. Vouchers must be claimed by July 31st 2017 and redeemed by September 30th 2017. There is no minimum spend in-store and a maximum of ten vouchers can be claimed per email address, although only one voucher can be used per transaction. Perfect to treat the kids to a little something for free!


Persil understands that ‘Dirt is Good’, and as parents we can happily let our little Belles and Beasts play outside, get muddy, enjoy messy adventures and explore the great outdoors, knowing that Persil will wash away the dirt  from their clothing.

Persil Capsules 22 wash pack RRP £8.00
Persil Capsules 38 wash pack RRP £11.00

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Eye Care with Artelac Rebalance Drops and Nighttime Gel

We care for our skin when it’s dry, tired and dehydrated, protecting it from the stresses of daily life and the effects of ageing, but we often don’t realise our eyes need attention too. They are often completely neglected when it comes to our daily health and beauty rituals, but there are products that we can use to help keep our eyes healthy and hydrated.

Like a day and night cream for the skin, Artelac Rebalance Drops and Artelac Nighttime Gel have been clinically proven to provide long-lasting hydration to dry eyes and soothe irritation and discomfort. 

Artelac Rebalance drops are designed for day use and can be used when experiencing recurrent dry, tired or irritated eyes, providing long lasting, sustained hydration and protection. Apply a drop of Artelac Rebalance after your skincare routine and before applying any makeup to hydrate and protect the eye throughout the day. It is also compatible with contact lenses, giving long lasting relief for irritated, dry, tired eyes.

dry eyes


Artelac Nighttime Gel, designed for night time use contains a unique combination of ingredients, designed to seal in moisture overnight, when the symptoms of dry eye are worse. Before bed, apply Artelac Nighttime gel to provide overnight comfort and hydration, leaving your eyes feeling refreshed for the new day ahead. No more waking up with that sensation of having gritty eyes!

dry eyes, tired eyes


In this world where so much of our day is spent staring at screens for hours on end, our eyes can really suffer. My teenager suffers with dry eyes, so much so that they actually make little squeaking sounds when she blinks! The Artelac products have really helped and have now become a part of her daily routine. It is like having a moisturiser for your eyes keeping them feeling well hydrated and preventing the irritation and discomfort that comes with dryness.

Artelac Rebalance and Artelac Nighttime Gel are available from independent pharmacies. Artelac Rebalance is £6.95 RRP and Artelac Nighttime Gel is £4.99 RRP.


Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Cadbury Dairy Milk Big Taste Peanut Caramel Crisp - coming soon!

I think I have discovered my favourite ever Cadbury chocolate bar! This is a very serious claim given my love for Cadbury Dairy Milk Whole Nut, Mini Eggs and Cadbury Caramel bars. But I honestly believe the new Cadbury Dairy Milk Big Taste Peanut Caramel Crisp is THE most delicious chocolate concoction that I have ever tried.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Big Taste Peanut Caramel Crisp


Combining thick Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate with a peanut filling containing pieces of nut and crunchy crispies, topped with gooey caramel and peanut halves, this chunky bar is a delightful mix of flavours and textures that is simply divine. Each chunky piece displays an embossed shelled peanut image on the top layer of chocolate, adding to the multi-sensory nutty experience. I think that nuts and chocolate are the perfect combination and this bar takes that to a whole new level of deliciousness.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Big Taste Peanut Caramel Crisp


The bar is a massive 278g, which is a perfect size for sharing (if you can bear giving any away to anyone else). It costs £3.49 RRP and will be available in all major supermarkets from April - just in time for Easter!

To keep up to date on exciting news about Cadbury, visit www.facebook.com/cadburyUK or tweet @CadburyUK.

Chillfactor Pull Pops Review

Kids love ice lollies and ones that they make themselves seem to be even more appealing. So the Chillfactor Pull Pops are a great addition to the kitchen cupboard, allowing kids to create popsicles using a variety of ingredients and their imagination.

Chillfactor Pull Pops


The set includes two of the pull pop makers as well as a small bowl for dipping and mixing, a squeezy bottle for flavourings and a flavour spacer injector with lid. An illustrated instruction leaflet is included.

Chillfactor Pull Pops


You can use fruit juice, fresh fruit, drinkable yogurt or squash to create flavour combinations. You can fill ice pops with added syrup or melted chocolate using the flavour spacer to make a hollow during the freezing process or top them with sprinkles by dipping into your favourite toppings using the bowl. The possibilities are endless. Freddy and Kezia used Pepsi Max to make theirs.

Chillfactor Pull Pops


The process is easy and mess free. Simply insert the nozzle into a cup or jug of the liquid and pull the plunger to suck up the liquid into the tube.  Alternatively use the end of the tube to cut circles of fruit to push into the tube. When the tube is full (be sure not to overfill), you twist off the end of the plunger to make a free standing popsicle mould.

Chillfactor Pull Pops


Pop into the freezer upright and freeze for around 2-3 hours.  The plunger handle can then be re-attached and used to gently push the popsicle up the tube to be eaten. (A little warm water poured over the tube makes this a lot easier to do.)

Chillfactor Pull Pops


The real appeal of the DIY ice pop makers is that you can make them using whatever you want and you will know exactly what is in them. You can make healthier options using fresh fruit or juice or smoothies, for a more nutritious treat. Or use sugar free drinks or squash if you are cutting back on sugar consumption. Or opt for an indulgent popsicle using some chocolate angel delight made from a packet, filling it with melted chocolate and dipping in chocolate sprinkles. The choice is yours and there are hundreds of possibilities to pick from. I really like the pulling method of making the Pull Pops, not only is it fun, it's mess free.

The Chillfactor Pull Pops cost £4.99 and the set makes two pull pops. Perfect for when the weather gets warmer!

Find out more at www.character-online.co.uk

Monday, 27 March 2017

Tonka Tinys - Tonka Trucks in Miniature!

Tonka is a brand that has been around for ages. My 28 year old son played with Tonka toys when he was younger. He had a big yellow, tipper truck, which he loved. It is still going strong today and has been played with by his younger siblings over the years.

Tonka now has a brand new way for kids to enjoy their products, with the Tonka Tinys range. Tonka Tinys are collectable miniature scale vehicles, which come in 20 designs including police pick-ups, quarry dump trucks and helicopters.

Tonka, cars, collectable


They are available in a three pack (with two vehicles on display in the blister pack and one hidden surprise) and in blind garage packs, making collecting them fun. The little grey plastic garages have a yellow lift up door and can be used to store the vehicles in. They also slot together, keeping them attached to each other, making a neat row of garages.

Tonka, toy cars


Each vehicle is made with great attention to detail including working wheels and some have tiny moveable parts. They are well made and built to last. Kids will love collecting them all. Which vehicles will your kids find?

Tonka,


The three packs (which are new for this year) cost £5.99 and the blind garage packs are £2.49 each. New playsets and new waves of vehicles will be added for autumn. They are suitable for ages 5 and up. Find out more at: http://funrise.com/tonka-micro-site/index.html

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Midweek Meals with Dolmio #ThankGoodness

When it comes to feeding my family, I like to make sure they have a wholesome diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. I enjoy using natural ingredients, but still appreciate the convenience of using jar sauces, especially when it comes to midweek meals. Dolmio sauces are made using 100% natural ingredients so are a real asset when I need to make a quick and easy meal. The Dolmio Bolognese Sauce contains the same ingredients as I would use at home, so using Dolmio saves me time and effort when it comes to preparation, without compromising on the goodness.

thank goodness, dolmio


Dolmio sent me a delicious delivery of ingredients including their bolognese sauce, so I could create a meal for my family. We love Italian food so were very happy to get creative in the kitchen using some lovely fresh produce and a jar of Dolmio sauce. 


natural ingredients


I made a super colourful, chunky tomato, vegetable and vegetarian chicken pasta sauce and served it with spiralised carrot and courgette as a healthier, lighter alternative to spaghetti. It's comforting, hearty and tasty and packed full of goodness.

It was quick and easy to make using the Dolmio sauce as a base to the recipe, and it was super healthy too. This is exactly what I need when making a midweek family meal.


Recipe, vegetarian



Chunky Tomato, Vegetable and Veggie 'Chicken' Pasta Sauce 

(serves 4)

1 onion sliced
3 small carrots chopped
1 half red pepper chopped
1 half yellow pepper chopped
1 courgette diced
5 blocks frozen spinach
6 - 8 mushrooms sliced
1 jar Dolmio Bolognese Sauce
1 packet veggie chicken style pieces

Fry the onion and carrot gently in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes.
Add the chopped peppers, courgette and mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Pour in the jar of Dolmio and a third of the jar of water.
Add spinach and veggie chicken style pieces.
Simmer for about 15 minutes until the carrot feels softened.
Serve with wholewheat spaghetti or spriralised vegetables (spiralise carrots and courgettes and quickly fry in a little coconut oil for about 4 minutes to heat through) for a healthy, delicious meal.


spiralised veg, courgetti, zoodles


Everyone enjoyed their midweek meal thanks to Dolmio. My teenager said it was "delish" (high praise indeed) and my husband was delighted that we were getting so many veggies in one meal and that all the flavours worked together so well with the herbs and spices in the Dolmio sauce. Our dinner was packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and it tasted absolutely delicious. Just what I want when feeding my family.

Dolmio Bolognese Original 500g sauce is 100% natural. In each jar, you’ll find at least 10 juicy diced tomatoes, a dollop of tomato puree, half an onion, a tablespoon of sunflower oil, a couple of cloves of garlic, a handful of herbs including basil, a teaspoon of cornflour, a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of pepper, two teaspoons of added beet sugar for taste, a squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of water and nothing more. In fact, a jar provides a family of four with one of their 5-a-day each and that’s before you add any further veg to the meal! 


tomato sauce, pasta sauce



“This post is an entry for the #Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge, sponsored by Dolmio. www.dolmio.co.uk/thankgoodness.”

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