Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Leakproof. Drinking Bottles - an eco-friendly Christmas gift idea

I actively strive to lead as much of a sustainable lifestyle as I possibly can. From choosing a plant based diet to ditching plastic straws to using cloth bags to taking a travel cup to coffee shops and using bamboo cutlery for eating takeout food, I believe we each have a personal responsibility to do our best to help protect our planet. Every small step is a positive contribution and can help create the change so desperately needed.

Approximately 35.8 million plastic bottles are used in the UK every day.  16 million of these will end up as litter, pollute our oceans or go to landfill where they will take over 450 years to decompose. Refusing single use plastic bottles is something each of us can do to alleviate this devastating environmental issue that blights our landscapes and waterways and poses a threat to our wildlife.

There are many alternatives to buying single use plastic bottles, such as using a refillable bottle for drinking on the go. These are safer, durable, easy to clean and environmentally friendly. Using a refillable bottle, you can personally save up to 1460 plastic bottles from ending up in landfill or from choking our oceans every year (based on drinking four bottles a day). 

Leakproof. provides BPA free, spill proof, leak proof water bottles, drinks bottles, sports water bottles and leak proof travel mugs. Their Ion8 leak proof steel water bottles are an ideal solution for both hot and cold drinks and come in a range of sizes and colours. I've received a 17oz bottle in mint. I love the sleek design and the great colour and powder coat paint finish. The size is the width of a regular can so it easily fits into standard cup holders or mesh bottle pockets. They make it simple to stay hydrated when out and about.

Leakproof stainless steel drinking bottle in mint

Their 100% leak proof reusable water bottles have a ridged cap that is easy to open with just one twist and the wide mouth is nice to drink from. ThermoShield double walled vacuum insulated pro-grade stainless steel keeps drinks hot for up to 12 hours, or cold for up to 24 hours, making it perfect for drinking on the go, while the Flavour Shield preserves freshness. These drinks bottles are not only leak proof, they also stay condensation free so you can put them in a bag without worrying. The bottles are really durable and will last for years without corroding or degrading.

This Christmas, I'm going to be gifting environmentally friendly, sustainable and vegan gifts to my loved ones. These Leakproof. bottles fit the bill perfectly. Priced between £14.99 and £22.99 they are a gift that can be used for years to come and will most definitely contribute to your personal journey towards protecting the planet and are a simple solution to the issue of single use plastic bottles.

Find out more at

Friday, 9 November 2018

Slime Baff, Gelli Baff and SnoBall Battle Packs from Zimpli Kids

Christmas stockings are such a fun part of Christmas. They represent the first taste of Christmas Day, as you awake to find your stocking filled with goodies at the end of your bed. Every year I try to find some cheap and cheerful, fun and interesting items to pop into the kids' stockings. Little bits and bobs that will bring a smile to their faces. Zimpli Kids do a range of products that make great stocking fillers that I know will be a hit with my son Freddy and my grandchildren.

The award winning Gelli Baff and Slime Baff ranges provide an opportunity for children to enjoy some sensory play as they experience and enjoy the different textures of the products. The powders are added to water to create lots of gooey, slimy fun. Perfect for bath time or for play time, the slimes can be used for imaginative games. At Halloween we put lots of plastic toys such as bugs, severed fingers, spiders, rats, body parts and skeletons into a cauldron of Gelli Slime and let the children explore. It was a great way to enjoy the product. I'm sure I can think of some festive uses for the products too. The kids love getting hands on and getting messy with the goo!

Gelli Slime

The SnoBall Battle Packs make a realistic looking snowy substance, so even if we don't get a white Christmas, we can still enjoy making and throwing snowballs. And as an added bonus, we won't get cold hands!

SnoBall battle Pack

Zimpli Kids products are 100% safe for kids and unlike some ready-made slimes, contain no boron or boric acid. They are also fully biodegradable making them safe for the environment. Even the glitter used in the Glitter range is biodegradable. Gelli Baff comes with a dissolver to turn it back into a liquid for washing away, whereas the Gelli Slime dissolves straight into water for easy disposable.

With products starting at just £4.99, they are well priced and great value for money, providing lots of play value and fun for kids this Christmas.

Check out independent reviews of the products on YouTube - the products have over 6 billion views to date  - just search for Gelli Baff or Slime Baff.

More information can be found at:

Monday, 5 November 2018

Make 'n' Break - a fun family game from Ravensburger

Make 'n' Break is an exciting and challenging family game from Ravensburger. The aim of the game is to build as many structures as you can, using ten colourful, wooden blocks, against the clock. There are eighty double sided blueprint cards in three varying difficulties, each showing a different structure that you have to copy, matching the shape and colour to score points. It tests your spatial awareness, building skills and speed as you race to complete as many structures as you can in the time allowed. 

Make 'n' Break Game from Ravensburger

The game contains ten wooden building blocks, eighty blueprint cards, a timer, one time dice, one action dice and a card tray along with an instruction leaflet with rules for playing the game. There are instructions for playing games for 2 - 5 players, individually or as teams, as well as some alternative ideas to add some extra fun to the game!

The idea of the original game is really simple to grasp: you throw the time dice, set the timer, draw a card and copy the design. Once complete, knock it down, redraw a new card and build again until the time runs out. Points are scored for each build successfully completed. It is simple but a lot of fun and things can get very competitive. To make things more complex you can add in the optional extra action challenges by using the action dice. This adds a whole new level of challenges and things can get very interesting! Modes of play that can be actioned include playing blind, where one player describes what to build to another player who cannot see the card or only being able to use the tips of your index fingers to pick up and position the blocks. So, you can in effect make the game as challenging or as tricky as you wish.

We really enjoyed this game as it a simple idea that can be adapted to suit whoever is playing. Having to copy blueprints and build different structures is really good for developing fine motor skills and  hand eye coordination. It also helps children to follow instructions. The action dice allows you to add special rules to the game, which definitely ups the challenge and the fun. So you can enjoy whatever version you want, adapting the gameplay whilst building against the clock. I loved that the blocks are made of wood and that the game fits well into the box for storage purposes.

Make 'n' Break is recommended for children aged 8 and over. Freddy is 9 and he really loved the challenge of building the models and enjoyed throwing in the action modes to make things a bit trickier. The Describe It! mode was his favourite added action and he worked well with his big sister giving and receiving verbal instructions to build the structure from the card. This is another great skill to develop, adding to the educational element of the game.

The RRP of Make 'n' Break is £24.99 and it is available to order from Amazon. It would make a great Christmas gift for the family.

Find out more at

Monday, 15 October 2018

Keeping it Clean with the #ACEforSchoolChallenge

School is back in full swing. This means muddy P.E. kits and paint splattered polo shirts have become regulars in my steadily growing laundry pile. Given the price that we paid in September, to have our children togged out in their smart school uniforms, maintaining the cleanliness and the quality of their clothing is pretty important. I don't want to have to re-buy uniform every term, it costs enough buying it as a one off for the new school year. Having that embroidered school logo quadruples the price of the garments, so I will do what I can to keep them as pristine as possible for as long as possible!

One way of keeping the kids' clothes lasting for longer is to use suitable laundry products that will help keep colours bright and fresh and will tackle germs, grease and stubborn stains.  ACE for Colours and ACE Stain Remover Spray keep clothes robust and clean, helping them to last longer, while being gentle enough to use everyday. So those grass stained knees, lunchtime dribbles and arty rainbow splashes can be tackled with ease.

I've been testing the ACE products for the #ACEforSchoolChallenge and have been grateful for a helping hand with the weekly washing. 


Freddy is in Year 5 of primary school and over the years we have had a considerable amount of stains to contend with. Whether it's something dropped down his front in the dinner hall (such as some tomato pasta, which is one of his favourite things to spill - why do they never spill nice, white mashed potato?!) or smudgy, charcoal fingerprints caused by messing around with his mates during art lessons (I swear there was more charcoal on Freddy than there was on his picture of the Egyptian God Anubis) there is always a laundry challenge for me to deal with.

It's not just my youngest son that has pushed my weekly washing endeavours into epic battles. My daughter once came home from school looking like a real life, walking, talking Jackson Pollock painting. When asked how she had got into such a state, she stated matter-of-factly that a boy in her class had decided to paint on her instead of on his paper. This is the kind of thing that we have to contend with as parents on a weekly basis.  I just thank my lucky stars that I live in a time of washing machines, detergents and products such as ACE. How my own mum coped living in the pre- automatic washing machine era, washing stuff by hand in the sink, I will never know! I sometimes feel a bit guilty that things are made so easy for us nowadays, but I soon get over my feelings of guilt and enjoy the ease and convenience of modern living, as I relax with a coffee while listening to the hum of the washing machine doing the job for me.

One thing that really matters to me is trying to reduce my impact on the environment where possible. Laundry is a necessity that I have to do, but I make sure I do full loads, use a faster washing time and a lower temperature setting. With products like ACE, the laundry process is really optimised helping get rid of stains and germs with ease. So I can reduce the energy and water I use, without compromising on the results. With school age kids this is invaluable. The ACE Stain Remover Spray can be used to target stubborn stains making sure the paint, tomato sauce or grass stains are tackled directly and efficiently within the wash. The ACE for Colours is gentle on clothes and helps prevent colours from bleeding or running, as well as helping shift dingy trapped dirt, grease and odours from fabrics. Whites look brighter and colours look more vibrant, even at low temperatures. My children can rock up at the school gates looking clean and smart every morning - but I can't promise they'll look so smart when they come home at 3 o'clock!

Here's a little photo collage of my littlest two in their school uniforms over the years - please note that there is not a stain in sight!

School Uniform

“This post is an entry for the BritMums #ACEforSchool Challenge, sponsored by ACE. Get help for all kinds of stains with the ACE Stain Helper. or to buy head to your local Tesco’s, Morrison’s, Waitrose or Sainsbury’s.” 

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Summer Fun with the Fuzzikins Campervan Carry Case

Fuzzikins craft sets are a great gift for creative kids that come with extra added play value! The Fuzzikins are adorable little fuzzy animal figures that you can colour in however you choose using washable pens before playing with them.

The craft sets offer hours of fun as kids can customise the Fuzzikins and their  accessories with the pens and stickers and then enjoy some imaginative play. The Fuzzikins animals can be washed and  coloured in again and again to create new looks.

Fuzzikins Campervan Carry Case

Freddy received the Fuzzikins Campervan Carry Case from Interplay (£19.99 rrp). The yellow and cream classic campervan can be decorated using the three colour-your-own sticker sheets with the felt pens that come with the set. With rainbows, flowers and peace symbols, kids can enjoy some real summery, hippy vibes when customising the campervan. Inside, the van has furniture for the cats including a table and chairs and a pull down bed, as well as a driver seat and steering wheel. The carry handle on top of the van doubles up as a surf board for catching waves. Perfect for a summer of fun at the beach. The set includes two cat figures, one medium and one large. They also have their own little felt blanket for when having a cat nap.

Fuzzikins Campervan Carry Case

The side of the campervan opens up to reveal the inside of the vehicle when playing and it has real wheels allowing it to be pushed around. Everything can fit inside the campervan for storage.It's a really good design and a lot of fun. We liked that the cats can be washed and recoloured, meaning that element of the toy can be revisited numerous times.

I was impressed that the Fuzzikins sets combine two types of play: the creative craft side as you decorate both the cats and their accessories and the miniature, imaginative play world where you can act out adventures with your characters.


This beautifully designed activity craft set encourages creative and imaginative play and is all contained in a handy carry case. Fuzzikins craft sets bring a fuzzi world of fun and imagination to creative kids.

For more information visit:

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

The story or Rang-tan and the problem with palm oil

I am passionate about the environment and the animals that we share our planet with. I do my best to avoid single use plastics; my family enjoy a plant-based diet and I source as many cruelty free, ethical and sustainable household products as I can. I am constantly reading ingredients labels in supermarkets when I'm shopping, trying to find suitable things to buy. One of the ingredients I try to avoid is palm oil. You find it in so many things, in fact half the products on the supermarket shelves contain it, despite the fact that its production has such a devastating  impact on our planet.  The industry is linked to major issues such as deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty and indigenous rights abuses in the countries where it is produced, as the land is cleared to make way for palm oil plantations.

Greenpeace have launched a new campaign focused on raising awareness of the problem, with a new short animated film and children’s book to highlight the issue of palm oil and its link to the deforestation of our rainforests. Featuring a young girl who discovers an orangutan named Rang-tan in her bedroom, the book introduces children to the plight of the orangutans as man destroys their natural habitat. The book and the film contain a very powerful message and a dedication to the 25 orangutans that we lose everyday, but it also brings a message of hope that we can change things for the better.

Our consumption of palm oil is rising, and the cost to our global climate and environment is devastating. Currently, most palm oil is used in food products, cosmetics and increasingly for use in biodiesel. As a result, Indonesia has more threatened and endangered species than any country on earth. The Bornean orangutan population has decreased by half since 1999, and a new species of orangutan discovered in Sumatra in 2017 is already endangered – mostly due to the destruction of their forests for palm oil.


Greenpeace has teamed up with Dame Emma Thompson, who narrates the film, to reach as many people as possible to fight for the protection of our rainforests and all those who depend on them. Greenpeace are calling on the palm oil industry to clean up its act and calling on food manufacturers to stop using palm oil.  Iceland has already pledged to remove palm oil from its own brand products by the end of this year, paving the way for other big brands to hopefully follow suit.

It is International Orangutan Day on the 19th August – a day to encourage people to take action to help save this amazing species. The more people that watch and share Rang-tan, the more people can be reached in order to put pressure on brands like Nestle and Unilever to make sure the palm oil used to make their chocolates and soaps isn’t coming at the highest price for the world’s rainforests and the orangutans that live there.

You can help by sharing the film and signing the petition at

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Enjoy a Culinary Adventure with Emirates Holidays 'Little Foodies' Recipe Cards

Emirates Holidays reveals how travel broadens the taste buds of even the youngest holidaymakers and launches ‘Little Foodies’ recipe cards for families to try out over the summer!

The school summer holidays are in full swing and many families are taking well deserved breaks to foreign climes. Travelling with children raises a number of considerations, one of which is the issue of food. Research by Emirates Holidays has revealed that 55% of parents worry about what their kids will eat when they’re away, when their home comforts and go-to meals may not be available. 64% of worried parents will even stash emergency food in their suitcase, with the most popular items to take being biscuits (55%) and crisps (49%). However in reality almost half (45%) of brave British kids are willing to try at least one or two local dishes on holiday as they embark on a family culinary adventure. Little ones experiment with unfamiliar dishes and flavours when on holiday with 35% trying curry, 49% eating flatbreads and 28% munching on olives.

When families get home, a third of parents are pleased to find their children are more comfortable trying more unusual dishes – however 40% confess their kids revert straight back to their old eating habits as soon as the plane touches down, with 62% of children choosing pizza and 53% choosing pasta as their first choice foods.

To help families experience some amazing foodie delights, Emirates Holidays has partnered with a selection of chefs from their top family hotels to create a series of exclusive ‘Little Foodies’ recipes for download so families can cook together, expand their taste buds and prepare for - or remind themselves of - their holiday culinary adventures. You will be able to taste your way around the world with Emirates Holidays this summer.

Emirates Holidays Little Foodies Traditional Mauritian Chilli Bites

Freddy and I have tried out one of the Little Foodies recipes. Not only do we love cooking up a storm in the kitchen, we also love exploring the ingredients and dishes of other cultures. We aren't venturing abroad this year, but the Emirates Holidays 'Little Foodies' recipe cards are giving us a gastronomical adventure in the comfort of our own home, transporting our taste buds with the local flavours of exciting destinations.

Traditional Mauritian Chilli Bites

We were excited to try the Traditional Mauritian Chilli Bites made with yellow split peas, shallots and onions, flavoured with cumin, curry leaf and chilli. This plant-based recipe is filled with authentic flavours and children can get involved, helping to prepare them in the kitchen.

split peas

We used a food processor to make the Chilli Bites, making it a quick and easy recipe. The split peas and spices are processed to a thick paste before pulsing through chopped onion and shallot. Just be sure to soak the split peas overnight so they are ready for using. Kids can get involved by adding ingredients to the food processor and helping shape the bites ready for an adult to fry.

Emirates Holidays Little Foodies Traditional Mauritian Chilli Bites

Freddy enjoyed discovering all the different ingredients; their aromas and flavours. Cooking with kids is a great way to get them interested in a range of foods, encouraging them to try new things and explore exciting new tastes.

Emirates Holidays Little Foodies Traditional Mauritian Chilli Bites

I deep fried the chilli bites and served them up hot with a bowl of sweet chilli sauce for dipping. Freddy was really impressed with our handiwork. The bites had a nice kick of warming chilli and the fragrance of cumin and curry leaf added an authentic aroma. The crispy bites had a soft inside and tasted delicious!

Emirates Holidays Little Foodies Traditional Mauritian Chilli Bites

This signature recipe has been created by a top chef at the Emirates Holidays Mauritian Attitude Hotels Resort.  The Chilli Bites are adventurous while still being kid friendly, inspired by the Indian immigrants who made their way to this idyllic island in the early nineteenth century.

Emirates Holidays Little Foodies Traditional Mauritian Chilli Bites

You can find this recipe for Traditional Mauritian Chilli Bites in the Emirates Holidays Little Foodies Recipe Cards. This free to download collection of family friendly recipes take your taste buds on a culinary tour around the world, allowing you to discover new foods or relive gastronomic holiday memories.

Emirates Holidays Little Foodies Traditional Mauritian Chilli Bites


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