Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Neatlynamed - Name labels for kids' clothing and belongings

According to new research, commissioned by Neatlynamed, manufacturers of labels for children’s clothing and belongings, mums spend a staggering £1,589 replacing items lost by their kids before the age of ten - and spend nearly two days in total looking for them. Having had five children myself, I can definitely agree that we have misplaced hundreds of items over the years.

The research of 1,000 mums with children aged three to ten found the average child misplaces a total of 483 belongings between the ages of three and ten - with hats, jumpers and cuddly toys among the most commonly lost items, with 62 % of possessions NEVER being found again.  55% of mums admitted that losing items can sometimes be traumatic. I remember my daughter losing her favourite cuddly toy dog and spending hours on Ebay trying to find an identical replacement. Definitely a bit traumatic!

School or nursery is the place children tend to lose things most often. My children have definitely lost plenty of items of school uniform, gloves, hats, PE kits and coats during their time at school. However other items seem to simply disappear when playing inside at home, with the fridge, tumble drier or the roof of the car being common places for these missing items to later turn up. 50% of those surveyed said they have known their little ones to lose items within just 20 minutes of getting them for the first time. Another finding that I can relate to! One of my daughters lost her brand new Minnie Mouse sunglasses within minutes of buying them.

Four in ten mums admit they’ve had to replace the same item repeatedly and 47% of kids have even lost items belonging to their mother.  Only 16% of mums believe that their little ones really appreciate the value of their belongings, although personally (like a third of mums) I think that most children simply don’t consider the possibility of losing things and inadvertently mislay them. 60% of mums think that losing items as a child helps them to appreciate the value of things later in life.

Thankfully, three quarters of mums put name labels on their youngster’s belongings to help prevent them becoming permanently lost with 64% of those polled saying items initially lost and subsequently found had name labels on them.  I have always labelled my children’s belongings and have retrieved numerous items from the lost property basket at school thanks to them having my children’s names on them.

The cost of sending children back to school with the cost of new school bags, uniforms, stationery, lunchboxes and water bottles is pretty huge.  So it is important to protect their belongings by clearly labelling everything. In a school you can get hundreds of identical objects and other children can easily pick up the wrong sweatshirt or cardigan. Name labels increase the chance of misplaced belongings finding their way back home again.

name lables, back to school

Neatlynamed provides a range of self-adhesive stickers and name labels designed for children’s clothes and personal items. This includes its Peel ‘n Stick clothes labels, iron-on labels and shoe and sock labels as well as stickers for marking personal belongings. All labels can be personalised with a child’s name, choice of colour and an icon.

Neatlynamed has also launched its new range of Disney themed clothing labels to help engage children in looking after their items and ensure they are easily identified. The new brightly coloured labels feature some of the most popular Disney characters including those from Cars, Planes, Frozen, Disney princesses as well as Mickey Mouse and friends.

I received some of the labels to make sure my children's belongings are properly named. I absolutely love the Peel 'n'n Stick clothes labels as they are so easy to use. No need to get out the iron or the sewing kit, you simply stick them to the care label inside the item and they attach to it securely. They can withstand the laundry process for about 8 months and are swimwear safe. The personalisation allows for a cute icon to feature alongside the child's name, adding a fun element for children to get involved in. Freddy chose a cool little monster for his labels. 

The new Disney labels are really lovely and feature a whole host of Disney favourites. With labels suitable for either clothing or belongings, Disney fans will love labelling up all their things ready for the new school term. We love the characters and the appealing designs and they come in a useful variety of shapes and sizes.

Ordering is very simple online and delivery was speedy and at n extra cost. The labels are of a high quality with good, clear printing.

You can check out the full range of products and place an order at

Our Bank Holiday BBQ - the etiquette of last minute alfresco dining

An unexpected sunny Bank Holiday Weekend has seen many of us Brits hosting a last minute, impromptu barbecue or picnic, making the most of the late summer alfresco dining opportunity. We were no exception. We decided to dust off the barbecue and gather the family to enjoy vegan burgers, sweetcorn, chips and dips and salads in the sunshine. A lovely way to spend the day with good food and good company before the kids go back to school next week.

vegan barbecue

Sainsbury's have been looking into the nation's attitudes to alfresco dining and have asked 2000 people about their outdoor dining habits. The results found that 90% of those asked consider themselves to be good guests at friends' and family barbecues. 45% would never muscle in on the barbecue cooking uninvited, 35% will top up drinks for other guests and 32% consider dressing up as a top attribute for attending a summer event. However, 60% of those asked said that they enjoyed the relaxed attitude that comes with picnicking and barbecues, suggesting that fun wins out over formality and we are happy to throw out the etiquette rule book. We definitely enjoy kicking back and having fun with our food!

There are of course some annoyances associated with eating outdoors. Worrying about the unpredictable British Weather (78%), not having enough seating (69%), not knowing how many people to cater for (63%) and the fear of animals or seagulls stealing the food (60%) are among the top peeves when it comes to hosting a BBQ. Although for us it was the wasps, which were our biggest annoyance, sending the kids running for safety several times with the black and yellow buzzers chasing after them! A definite downside of being outdoors.

The other concern that seems to affect us when dining alfresco is how to fit all the guests, the bowls and plates of food and the condiments around the table. Sainsbury's have coined the term "Table Squish" to describe the act of squeezing everything in, likening it to a game of Tetris. We definitely filled our space to full capacity and ended up using foldable chairs alongside our garden furniture to fit us all in. But it all adds to the fun of the occasion. For me, laughter, family and delicious vegan food are the perfect ingredients for a successful family barbecue. With some help from Sainsbury's who stock a great range of food for hosting the perfect vegan barbecue (including their meat free frozen burgers and brilliant vegan cheese range, which are absolute must-haves) we definitely enjoyed a relaxed, informal lunch out of doors.

You can find out more about Sainsbury's at

Monday, 28 August 2017

A Dog's Purpose Out Now on DVD

If you are a dog lover looking for a heartwarming movie for the family this summer, then A Dog's Purpose is a good choice. A dog tries to discover his purpose and the meaning of his own existence through the many reincarnated lives that he goes through and the many humans he meets.

A Dog's Purpose

The dog develops an unbreakable bond with a boy Ethan, who saved him from a hot car when he was just a puppy. The dog, Bailey, helps his boy through the years, a constant companion through family troubles, girlfriends, the good times and disappointments. He's always there through the laughter, love and tears. And even when life takes an unexpected turn, Bailey stays loyal and faithful to his boy. As time goes on, it's time for Bailey to begin more brand new reincarnations, but the bond he has with Ethan continues, and their paths are destined to cross again helping Ethan find true happiness and helping the dog realise his true purpose.

The film is narrated through the words of the dog, voiced by Josh Gad. It is a really novel idea that the dog is constantly reincarnated, creating several sub stories as he goes through different lives with different owners. From a police dog, to a stray, to a spoiled pup, to a family pet, the dog goes through lots of interesting experiences. There are plenty of funny moments and visual comedy throughout the film, with the dog getting into mischief and causing trouble. But there are also lots of very dramatic and emotional scenes that pull on the heartstrings. It's a beautifully crafted story with great casting and talented canine actors.

A Dog’s Purpose is available on Digital Download, Blu-ray™ and DVD now, courtesy of Entertainment One.


Monday, 21 August 2017

Purepotions - kind to skin and kind to the planet

Purepotions are a natural range of natural skincare products that are suitable for people with sensitive skin or who are prone to eczema, dry skin, dermatitis and psoriasis. They are made in the UK from quality, plant-based, 100% biodegradable raw materials, which are often organic and locally sourced, and contain herbal extracts to nourish and protect. They contain nothing unnecessary and are free from parabens, petrochemicals, phthlates and perfumes. The range is not tested on animals, includes products that are suitable for vegans and are as kind to the planet as they are to your skin, which are things that are very important to me.

Kezia has always suffered from eczema and gets flare-ups on her face and neck. Finding a natural, effective, eco-friendly solution has always been something I've wanted for her. Knowing that the founder of Purepotions formulated these products to help her own daughter's dry and allergy prone skin really resonates with me as a mother.

The Purepotion range includes their Skin Salvation and their brand new Hair & Scalp natural hair care products for top to toe benefits. Kezia was sent a selection of the products to try out and she is so far very impressed with the non-sting, nourishing and hydrating formula.

eczema care

From the Skin Salvation range:

Intensive Moisturising Ointment

This thick, rich intensive moisturising salve just feels so nourishing on the skin. A little goes a really long way. It locks in moisture and keeps out irritants because of the protective barrier it creates. Packed with biodynamic ingredients such as hemp, safflower and olive, it uses the power of nature to target the problem of dry itchy skin conditions. It is 100% natural and can even be used on infants. I wish I'd had this when Kezia was a baby, it's amazing.  Of a survey of over 500 users, 97% experienced successful results in improving their skin condition.

Daily Moisturising Cream

This vegan friendly cream is great for easy application throughout the day. The pump action bottle makes it really convenient to use. It is gentle yet rich and creamy and it rubs into the skin easily. I love that although it is perfume free, the smell is not at all unpleasant. It smells very natural with chamomile, nettle, chickweed and calendula blended into a shea butter and hemp base.

Intensive Lip Balm

This handy little stick is the perfect rescue remedy for dry skin on the go. It's great for lips, but can be used on any dry skin. It is the same formula as the ointment and is rich and thick with intensive moisturising and nourishing qualities.

From the Hair & Scalp range:

Natural Shampoo

99.9% natural and suitable for vegans, this shampoo contains organic botanics, including nettle, calendula, chamomile and chickweed, to cleanse, nourish and condition.It is remarkably mild and gentle, soap free, unperfumed and free from petrochemicals, SLS and SLES. It does not contain any harsh detergents or synthetic additives that can strip hair of its natural oils and irritate the scalp. This shampoo is not only for those with sensitive skin, it is great for anyone looking to detoxify their haircare routine. The shampoo can be used on babies from six weeks as it is so pure and gentle. The shampoo does not lather up as much as regular shampoos that contain synthetic ingredients, but the gentle foam is very effective at cleaning. With regular use, hair will become softer and glossy as it won't have the build-up of product associated with the chemicals found in other shampoos. We like the mild scent and it is lovely to use (as long as you don't expect lots of bubbles!)

Natural Conditioner

This conditioner is 99% natural and is suitable for vegans. It contains organic hempseed oil, oat flour, chamomile and chickweed to soothe and condition hair. It feels a little different as it doesn't contain synthetic silicones so it is less slippery and less thick than ordinary conditioners. But it feels silky and nourishing and has a gentle natural fragrance.

The hair care range is great for Kezia as she gets eczema in her hairline, but it is also absolutely lovely for me to use. I love that it is natural and vegan friendly and caring.

Purepotions is genuinely one of the loveliest ranges we have tried for Kezia. It feels like it's been made with love and care. I only wish I had had it in my life 14 years ago when my then baby daughter's eczema would cause her so much distress and would bleed and become infected. It ticks all my boxes for being cruelty free, eco-friendly, natural and gentle but effective.

No wonder Purepotions has won the Natural Health International Beauty Awards 2017 for best eczema range!

Prices start at £4.99 for the Intensive Lip Balm to £18.00 for the Natural Shampoo. You can buy a Skin Salvation sample pack containing 3 x 5 ml samples of their core products for £5.00 with free postage, which is a good way to trial the Skin Salvation products.

Find out more at:

Friday, 18 August 2017

FreshX an environmentally friendly alternative to flushable toilet wipes

When I was a child, the loo paper we had to use resembled sheets of rough, greaseproof paper, which was absolutely horrible. I'm so glad that things have moved on in terms of absorbency, comfort and efficiency when it comes to toilet paper, but our desire for convenience and cleanliness is arguably going a bit too far. We all like to feel clean and fresh, but the current trend for personal hygiene is taking its toll on the environment with the increased usage of moist toilet wipes. Although they are labelled as flushable, the wipes don't break down like loo paper and can cause catastrophic and costly blockages in the sewer system. They negatively impact our environment with thousands washing up on the UK's coastline with a reported 400% increase over the last decade. With 1 billion wipes getting flushed away last year, this is a serious environmental issue and detrimental to marine life. In fact 45% of users admit to being worried about the impact of their flushable wipes. Thankfully, there is now a solution.

To combat this problem, without compromising on that feeling of cleanliness after going to the toilet, there is a brand new product hitting the shelves at Sainsbury's. New FreshX is a personal spritz that can be spayed directly onto toilet tissue transforming it into a moist, cleansing, soothing wipe. One bottle makes the equivalent of 300 individual wipes saving you money and helping protect the environment.

switch to spritz

FreshX is dermatologically tested and approved for even the most sensitive skins so is suitable for all the family. It is free from oil, sulphites, alcohol and parabens and is not tested on animals. It comes in two varieties using beneficial botanicals in the skin-loving formulations. The Fragrance Free variety contains Aloe Vera and White Tea, known known to promote healthy skin, plus the added benefits of vitamins E and B5. The Aloe Fresh variety includes Aloe Vera and soothing Cucumber plus vitamins E and B5.

You can wipe and flush with confidence, confident in the fact that you are not needlessly using unnecessary wipes that are harming our planet's future.

The FreshX Spritz is great for kids learning to be independent in the bathroom. Although it's not the same as using wet wipes, it gives a really nice alternative to wipes and is much better both economically and environmentally. If you use two sheets of good quality loo paper folded and spritzed with two to three sprays of FreshX, you have an effective way of staying clean after you go! I'll be keeping a bottle in each of my bathrooms from now on.


The 150ml bottles of Spritz cost £3 and can be found at Sainsbury's instore or online. Find out more at

Friday, 11 August 2017

A Laundry Revolution with Persil Powergems #extraordinarypowers

The summer holidays are in full swing, and although the sun seems to have missed the memo about bringing the good weather, I am trying to keep the kids entertained with activities and days out, so the six weeks aren't a total wash out. 

With this awful weather, things are however getting a bit messy. Playing in the garden in between rain showers, is resulting in lots of wet and muddy clothes because this persistent rain has turned my garden into a bit of a quagmire. Indoor activities (which we are having to do a lot of at the moment) such as arts and crafts and baking can get equally messy. This is resulting in lots of dirty laundry!

Thankfully, Persil has come to my rescue by sending me a kit to help me out, which includes their new revolutionary and unique laundry detergent: new Persil Powergems. This new game changing detergent has a brand new gem format and a powerful triple action approach to keeping clothing clean, fresh and cared for.  The Powergems are tough on stains, while protecting and caring for fabrics, making them perfect for the summer holiday dirty laundry pile. They also use fragrance release technology to give washing a long lasting fragrance and keep clothing smelling fresher for longer.


To test the power of the Powergems against things such as chocolate, grease and grass, Persil has challenged us to create some of those everyday stains that life can throw at family's clothing. Such activities as playing a family game of rounders, baking some chocolate brownies or painting a family portrait have the potential to get us pretty messy and inevitably soil our clothes. A perfect test for laundry detergent.

The Persil Ultimate Powergems are green and white or blue and white gems of laundry detergent that look different to any other product out there. They resemble confetti - but are definitely not recommended for throwing at weddings!

Persil, powergems

One concentrated dose, measured using the cap, contains the triple power to remove stains, care for fabric and intensify freshness. The packaging is compact and easy to store. They have a very fragrant clean scent. Placed directly in the drum, the Powergems disperse throughout the wash cycle and go to work straight away using their extraordinary powers!

One thing that I am particularly impressed with is the fact that the Persil Powergems has a child-proof twist and lock inner cap for extra safety. The gem format is also easy to use - no dealing with messy liquids or powders. Available in Non-Bio and Bio variants, they are available in 12, 19 and 30 wash packs.

I have been very pleased with the cleaning power of the Persil Powergems, especially when it comes to greasy stains. My whites are still looking white and my coloureds are bright, which is what I'd hope for from a detergent. Mud splashes, washable paint spills and dribbled food stains have all been dealt with effectively. Most noticeable to me has been the fragrance of my laundry. My washing is smelling very fresh and clean. This product is definitely a game changer.

The RRP of the Persil Powergems is £5 for the 12 wash, £8 for the 19 wash and £11 for the 30 wash packs.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Pass the Pigs this summer

Pass the Pigs is a classic game using two pig figures in place of dice, with the aim being to throw the pigs hoping that they land in a scoring position. With points scored for positions such as the trotter, leaning jowler, snouter and razorback, the first to score one hundred is the winner. Just be careful to avoid the Makin' Bacon position! There are two great ways to enjoy some Pass the Pigs fun this summer.

Pass the Pigs

The original Pass the Pigs game comes in a handy travel case and includes the pig dice, a score book, instructions and pencils. It's great for rainy days, games nights or for when on the go, with its pocket size format. It is suitable for 2 - 6 players aged 3 and up.

Pass the Pigs

The game is quite fast paced, easy to play and anyone can win, making it good for a range of ages and abilities to play together. Its compact size means it is easy to take anywhere for some piggy passing fun whenever you fancy a game. It is a good game for travelling or when on the road to keep kids entertained.

Pass the Pigs

There is now another way to enjoy Pass the Pigs - a giant, supersized version that will have everyone snorting with laughter!  With super cute, inflatable piggies, the fun is increased. The game comes with two blow up pigs, a scoring booklet, pencils, puncture repair patch and drawstring bag. It is perfect for taking away on holiday or for playing in the garden and is also good for indoor floor play if you have the space to toss the pigs.

Giant Pass the Pigs

The inflatable pigs are great toys in their own right and will be such fun in a pool or on a beach. For the game, you grab them both by the ear and toss them upwards to head height. How they land, dictates how many points you score. The score book has an illustrated guide to all the piggy positions. It is a lot of fun for all the family to enjoy together. From the youngest (3+) to the eldest, everyone can have a go at Giant Pass the Pigs!

Giant Pass the Pigs

Giant Pass the Pigs was recently featured on This Morning as an ideal game for keeping the family entertained this summer!  My family definitely agrees that it is a lot of fun. We've really enjoyed playing it and will be packing it when we go away on holiday later this year.
Giant Pass the Pigs

Pass the Pigs in £9.99 RRP and Giant Pass the Pigs is £14.99 RRP.  You can follow Pass the Pigs on social media: Instagram @passthepigsofficial and Twitter @passthepigsuk. Find them on Facebook at

Pass the Pigs this summer

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Vac Man is back!

When Stretch Armstrong was relaunched, I was transported back to my childhood and excited to share some toy nostalgia with my children. Now, Character Options has brought back the super villain Vac Man to add even more old school fun to playtime. He joins Stretch Armstrong, Fetch Armstrong and Octopus for some super stretchy entertainment that the grown-ups will love as much as the kids!

Vac Man is a 14" fully stretchable and poseable vac powered action figure that can be stretched to four times his original size. He can have the air pumped out of him using the special syringe that fits into the side of his head and can then be stretched and posed and have his limbs cracked. By pressing the release valve button on the side of his head he can be returned to his normal state.

Vac Man

The Vac Man action figure is filled with non-toxic bead shaped filler. When in his original state he feels quite soft and squishy, but after the air has been sucked out, he turns hard and lumpy. Freddy calls him Warty Man because of the texture of his skin!!

vac man

Vac Man looks pretty impressive and vibrant with his red coloured body, sinister grimace and silver head gear. The syringe fits and locks into the socket on his head and can be pumped up to ten times. It gets quite tough to pull back the syringe, but the more you pump out his air, the better you can play with him, stretch him and crack him.

He is a very tactile, textural toy that Freddy enjoyed playing with. It can be manipulated into different positions and makes a satisfying, crunchy sound. It is good for sensory play and has an educational aspect as children learn about the effect of pumping out the air. It's an all round great toy that really sparked Freddy's imagination.

Vac Man

The valve to release his vacuum is easy to operate and he very quickly returns to his original soft form. Vac Man is sturdy and has a new stronger formula to his predecessor, however he has some care instructions that need to be adhered to, to avoid damage. You must avoid extreme temperatures, not pull his head, keep him away from water and avoid sharp objects. He must always be put away in his soft, non-stretched state to keep him in tip top condition.

vac man

Vac Man is suitable for children aged 5 and over. He retails for £29.99 and can be found on Great fun for kids and a nostalgic gift for the young at heart!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Num Noms Series 4

Get ready for the brand new Series 4 of Num Noms and a brand new Num Noms magazine! The cute, colourful, collectable scented Num Noms can be combined to create all new mix and match flavour and scent combos. With inspiration taken from desserts and baked goods (think cookies, cakes, creme buns, donuts and pies) new characters include Mocha Frappe, Madelyn Macaron, Jan-illa Creme and Razzy Froyo. 

Num Noms

There are some 4.1 starter sets including Cookies & Milk, Tea Party, Ice Cream Sandwiches and Frozen Yogurt packs. The Ice Cream Sandwiches range is mouthwateringly cute with three exciting new Nums. Terry Berrywich, I C Sandwich and Wintergreen Creme Nums bring the scent of strawberry, mint and chocolate together. They come with food inspired accessories such the Ice Cream Sandwiches' handy scoop and tray to make your own stacked Num Nom creations. Each starter pack also includes a flavoured lipgloss Nom.

The Dessert Tray Lunchbox has nine scented Nums plus one mystery Num and two flavoured glitter lip gloss Noms in an attractive box with a dessert spoon handle. Scents of birthday cake, pumpkin spice, vanilla, ice cream and sugar wafer combine. There is also a Sweets Sampler Lunchbox that includes even more sweet treats.  The mystery Num adds an element of surprise to your unboxing. Which mystery Num will you discover?

Num Noms

New glitter lip glosses bring some pizazz to the Noms, and with flavours such as B-Day Meringue, Orange Swirl and Bubbly Drop. They are not only fun but practical and nice to use too.

Also for Num Noms fans, there is a new official magazine out now! The monthly magazine boasts 36 pages and is packed with puzzles, competitions, colouring and comes with free exclusive Num Noms branded gifts and stickers and is aimed at 5 - 9 year olds. It's colourful and fun and is the perfect addition to the brand.

Num Noms

The starter packs are £9.99 and the Lunchbox packs are £15.99. Add them to your Num Noms collection and create thousands of different flavour and scent combinations.


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