One of the things that is wonderful about Blogging is that you get to hear about some wonderful new things that you otherwise might have missed. Now I am trying to focus more on making time for all the things I really should (family, exercise, diet, sleep) it makes it harder to share them all with you. So taking inspiration from other bloggers I have decided to do round ups of What’s in my e-mail inbox?
Original Funky Mailing
Making time for those important things in life also means friends. One such friend had an idea that a group of us do a mail swap – where at regular intervals we made sure we made some time to make our paired partner feel special by sending them a parcel. Funky Mailing Bags make this even more amazing with robust & secure ways of packaging but with gorgeous designs on them. The 3 most popular sizes are 24cmx32cm, 28cmx37.5cm and 30.5cmx41cm. They come in handy packs of 6 & 12. Order from the website or purchase from Staples. They are really practical in that it has its own sticky strip (like envelopes you do not need to lick!), a space on the front with a box of who the parcel is to; and a return to sender box space on the back.
Healthier Lifestyle Products
One thing I have been looking at is my food and drink habits. This has especially come about since taking part with Change4Life’s Sugar Swaps Campaign and subsequent Sugar Smart app. I have noticed that we have become stuck in a rut of having not the time or energy to change what we eat – which inevitably means we have less energy as we are eating/drinking the wrong things. Regular readers will know that I have been taking small steps to change this but always open to help and suggestions I have been trying other things out.
Vita Coco Coconut Oil
As I say I am really looking into improving things for my family and therefore I was really interested in discovering more about Vita Coco Coconut Oil I was really intrigued how one product could have so many uses. I received a large tub and a small portable tub.
COOKING: Swap it for cooking oil, butter, with nuts and oats as a low sugar treat, instead of milk in your hot drinks, as an alternative to the ice-cube (instead of water) or for roasting. EATING: Use it on your toast (again instead of butter) – it actually tastes really nice (weird considering I had also just whacked it on my hair!). With no carbohydrates or salt it still doesn’t need to go in the refrigerator so can easily be thrown into my travel bag!
SKIN: I immediately tried it on my skin. My skin is really quite dry and needs moisturising at least daily. I have to be really careful about what I put on it because so many creams just do not do the job. Not being a cream it was not so messy, plus I didn’t get more than the desired quantity on my hands. It did indeed feel good as a skin product. HAIR: Coconut oil is good for helping to restore moisture to dry and damaged hair – it is best used as a mask, leaving on for 30 minutes before washing off with shampoo.
Arla’s Best of Both (BOB) Milk
We swapped to 1% milk from semi-skimmed as I discovered that skimmed milk actually has more sugar in it. Apparently all milk contains natural sugars but still I can’t see how it hurts to keep it down. So then I was asked if I wanted to try this Yellow Top Skimmed milk: Innovative new skimmed milk which is fat free, pasteurised, filtered and enriched with protein to deliver a taste and texture that is as good as semi-skimmed. Free from artificial ingredients and additives, it’s this extra protein which makes Arla’s BOB taste so good and Arla’s unique PurFiltreTM process, it also lasts longer in the fridge.
It did indeed taste no different and so we have made the switch. It also came with money off vouchers and is currently only £1 at Tescos. Also available nationwide in Asda, Ocado and Nisa stores in 2-litre (rsp: £1.50) and 1-litre formats (rsp: £1).
A Little More Drinks
Apart from my youngest, who has free school dinners as he is in year 2, the rest of my family leave with a packed lunch. They are increasingly becoming bored and want some variety. Well on the drinks front I am not keen on them taking anything other than water since they have done so well to make the switch. But when A Little More Drinks offered us some of their drinks under 5 calories with all the vitamins they required in I thought I would give it a go.
I have to say that some taste better than others. My 8 year old did not like them at all and would rather just have plain water. My 12 year old, however, loves them and it is really encouraging him to drink more. Therefore, I really think it is a matter of taste.
The A Little More range comprises orange-flavoured A Little More Vitamin C, mango-flavoured A Little More Vitamin D and apple-flavoured A Little More Multivitamins, and is available in 6-packs from selected Asda and Spar stores nationwide, and also on Ocado, priced from £3.99 or £1.09 individually.
As I say my main problem is finding the time to think of new ideas that the family will actual eat. I discovered Kitchen Trotter who each month send a kit to offer a culinary journey through a menu full of mystery, delicious products and authenticity. This subscription product teaches how to cook the traditional recipes of a secret kept country. Marketed as for those who lack the time or inspiration to cook meals at home, enabling people to cook meals from around the world with easy to access ingredients, without the hassle of having to conjure up recipes or go shopping to source ingredients.
I did feel that yes the package I received did have ingredients I would not have thought to have used. It did indeed source things I probably would have struggled to find in the supermarket. It was all self-explanatory and easy to follow. But honestly I still haven’t attempted to cook anything because everything I need isn’t in the box, and I feel it was too different from what I normally cook – so again I just haven’t found the time and energy for it. I am sure those already enthusiastic about cooking though, would love this subscription and the new ideas it provides.
Books we have been Reviewing
I am trying to read more – showing a good example to my children; as well as listening to them read more. It is also good to have books where they are easy to interact with the children too. My youngest loves his magazine subscriptions which he receives from reviewing The Furchester.
Disney: The Zodiac Legacy – Convergence
The story is about the powers of the Chinese Zodiac and the story begins on Steven Lee’s school trip to China. This book is ideal for my 8 year old to be read to or with. There’s a lot of language that he needed a little help with and some of the descriptions may be a little much for some (such as some of the violence). The book began a little confusing at first because my son jumped right in and did not realise that the main character was called Steven Lee. As some of Steven’s friends call him Steven, and others called him Lee there was confusion about who everyone was – as it was assumed they were 2 different people. What I really like about this book is that it is substantial in size for a young reader but with the odd full page picture – so it looks bigger than it is. Very rewarding for building up confidence in my opinion. A story of mystery, magic, action and adventure.
Stan Lee, Stuart Moore, Andie Tong
ISBN: 978-1-478-3405-6 £12.99
Human Body Factivity
From the Gold Stars range you can read the book which is what you from Parragon – colourful, factual, fun, easy to understand, full of activities, puzzles and mazes. I love just how much of the body it covers – including a very basic, first look, at growing up.
The 20-piece skeleton model and stand comes with simple, clear visual instructions on how to build it.
Cut & Colour Playbook Seasons – Anouck Boisrobert
A great way to teach children about the seasons. They colour in the pictures, cut out the shapes, each making a new layer to the final picture, with blank pages to design their own picture. Great for imagination, creativity and fine motor skills. There is also information about that season – such as animals sleeping in the winter, animals are born in spring, for example). Simple instructions throughout – including tips and what to do if you go wrong. Beautifully illustrated – but simply, giving the children the chance to create and build their confidence.
£9.99 Age 6+
I have been sent these products free for review. No financial compensation has been given. All opinions are my own.