We are all back into the swing of things as far as the school run goes here and all the good intentions of wholesome packed lunches and after school snacks have been wavering a little.
The kids are coming home with untouched food in their pack lunches and with the stress of trying to juggle everything after school we have been reaching for the crisps and biscuits a little to often of late.
What I need is something that takes as little time to prepare as possible, is healthy and nutritious but appealing to the kids.
This is a big wish list but luckily enough our favourite baking mixes Sweetpea Pantry have come to our rescue with their scrumptious carrot cupcake mix and their super-duper brownie mix.
We are big fans of their ginger giggles biscuit mix and the playful pizza dough mix already and were eager to try out these new additions.
For me it’s really important to get the children involved in the whole process of preparing their food as I strongly believe this goes a long way to make them more inclined to try new things and gives them a real sense of achievement.
The preparation of both these mixes was so quick and easy – in fact the whole process is complete in less than 30 mins.
There was the addition of few simple store cupboard ingredients such as oil, honey and eggs all mixed together with the packet mix that is then transferred into cake cases or tins, baked for around 15 mins and is then ready to eat.
Each mix is packed full of nutritious ingredients and yummy whole grains whilst leaving all the nasty refined sugars and artificial colours and flavourings out.
The super chocolatey brownies where a great hit after school when the kids are crying out for something sweet really quickly.
The cupcakes were moist and fruity and the perfect size for packed lunch boxes.
These mixes are so easy to tuck away in the cupboard and just grab as and when you need them so what is not to love.
My youngest two are huge lovers of anything to do with the forces. From police men to soilders they are always having role play games together where they are catching robbers or battling it out in fields.
Any toys related to this are always a big hit so I had high hopes for the Awesome Little Green Men when we were asked to review them.
Awesome Little Green Men are blind boxed collectibles that have over 100 recruits and vehicles to collect in series one.
Each box comes with a figure, dog dog on a chain and and a new recruit poster.
There is also a battle pack that comes in a super cool truck shaped box and six figures that would make a perfect present to start off their collection.
The figures are more than just collectibles as the aim of the game is to build the best troop with General Pain and General Panic at the helm.
The figures to me are a new take on the traditional army figures of old and it makes a welcome change to have something different from the normal doll or animal theme.
With Christmas fast approaching these would make great stocking filling or a great little pocket money treat.
* We were gifted these toys for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinion.
As a family we are all guilty of not drinking enough water.
I always make sure I have a large glass with a squeeze of lemon each morning and carry a bottle around with all day, but in reality this just scratches the surface of what I should really be consuming.
All baring Oscar the children are even worse and unless the water is of the flavoured variety I find it really hard to get them to drink it.
Drinking water has so many benefits from increasing energy to improving your skin, boosting your immune system and flushing out toxins and all the best thing of all its FREE!
Tap water however doesn’t always give you the best tasting water and here is where Brita and their water filters can come into play.
I was asked to try out their Marella Water Filter to see how we liked it.
A water filter is something I’ve never considered using before as I wasn’t sure that it could really make that much difference to the quality of the water, but after just one glass from the Brita water filter my mind was changed, even my teen was highly impressed and said he much preferred the taste.
This is due to the filter in the jug reducing any limescale or chlorine giving it a fresher, more natural taste and smell.
The jug itself is extremely easy to fill due to its flip top lid which also holds an ingenious panel that lets you know when the cartridge needs changing.
The modern and sleek design would look good in any kitchen and easily fits inside any fridge door making it easily accessible for all the family.
It has certainly been a welcome addition to our kitchen and has encouraged me to drink more due to it being right in front of my eyes as soon as I open the fridge and the novelty factor of being able to fill the jug has certainly worked wonders with the children they now love a glass of their ‘special’ water!
Do you drink enough water?
Do you have any top tips on staying well hydrated?
Over the past few years I have come to realise that my very basic beauty routine needs a bit of an over haul as youth is no longer on my side.
I’ve always been a soap and water girl but as I’ve got older I have noticed that my skin has become a lot drier and now needs a little more tlc.
One issue though as my lack of time and to be honest want to spend hours pampering myself.
Having such a large family means that I need to be in and out of the bathroom at breakneck speed and any products that save time are a winner in my book.
This was in fact the first thing that appealed to me when I was asked to try out the Sanctuary Spa Wet Skin Moisture Miracle.
The rich moisturising cream that is infused with apricot and avocado oil needs to be applied onto wet skin straight after your shower. Once applied you simply towel dry yourself and get ready as normal.
One of the things that has always put me off of body moisturisers is the sticky feeling you can get once its applied, I was pleasantly surprised that this moisturiser leaves not tacky residue and is absorbed into the skin really quickly. Due to the way the cream is applied it is in fact the best was to keep moisture locked into the skin.
The real selling point for me though was the familiar Sanctuary Spa fragrance that lingered on my skin all day and complimented their other products beautifully.
I would highly recommend this product to anyone that wants a deep moisturising product that is quick and easy to apply whilst still offering a good level of fragrance.
I am very lucky that all of my children bar one are open to try pretty much any food that they are introduced to.
This has opened them up to experiencing a wide variety of different cuisines with sushi coming pretty high up on their list of loves.
Trying to make it for ourselves though is something even I haven’t attempted so when we were asked along to Yo Sushi at Boxpark, Croydon I was as excited as the children!
On a Tuesday and Wednesday at 11am during the summer holidays Yo Sushi is running their Mini Ninja Sushi making masterclass aimed at children aged 5-12.
Being as unorganised as always I hadn’t looked at the recommended age range and in fact went along with Oscar(3) and Frankie(5) and Izzy(11).
Our super friendly Sushi maestro sat the children down and got them kitted out in their hats and gloves in preparation to get creating.
They were all given instructions sheets on how to make Maki, Salmon Nigi and Crab Handrolls.
These weren’t neeeded as the children were shown step by step how to make each piece and there was plenty of hands on help if neeeded.
Usually the attention span of my children is limited to cupcakes but amazingly they sat through the whole hour without a fidget or a moan.
Once their boxes were filled with yummy sushi made by their own fair hands there was a quick game of who could move the edamame beans the quickest which was great to burn off a bit of energy.
At the end of the session they were awarded a certificate for all their hard word and given a bag to take home their sushi and the rolling mats they used so they could have a go again at home.
My lot however couldn’t wait to get home to eat so we sat for a while eating there creations whilst I sampled some delightful pork buns that I will certainly be returning again for.
There is still time to get you litttle ones booked in at several different locations around the country and it has certainly come highly recommended from us!
There was a big knock at the the other day which lead to a cheery man at clutching a bag of goodies from The Polish Bakery.
I have to admit I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to Polish cuisine so I wasn’t to sure what to expect in my parcel.
The Polish Bakery has been running since 2003 and produces handmade bread, buns, rolls, cake, doughnuts and even birthday cakes with authentic recipes and ingredients directly from Poland.
My parcel included a loaf of their premium white bread, rye bread with prunes and a delicious cheesecake.
Frankie who has multiple allergies was over the moon that he could eat the rye bread and claimed the whole loaf to himself!
It was a perfect combination of ingredients and the juiciness of the prunes added a really good soft texture to a drier style of bread.
The premium bread was beautifully soft and kept for much longer than most fresh breads.
I saved the best for last with the delectable cheesecake. There was in fact a bit of an argument over the last slice!
The cheesecake looked more like a tiramisu and was a delicious creamy cake with a delicate chocolate taste.
I didn’t imagine their products to be that different to the style in British bakeries but I was very pleasantly surprised and will certainly be going back for more!
I have to admit I wasn’t filled with excitement when an email popped up in my inbox asking me along to the O2 to watch WWE Smackdown Live.
However after seeing the face of my usually unexcitable teenage boy light up at the thought of it I knew that is was going to be an event that he was going to very much enjoy.
In fact it wasn’t only Archie that was full of excitement, my husband and my five year old Frankie are also massive fans which would make it a trip for all ages.
We arrived at the O2 and set off for some pre drinks where we got the chance to see some of the infamous belts and get up close to Dolph Ziegler and Becky Lynch. Sadly we didn’t manage to get a photo but it was still great to meet them in person.
We made our way to our seats kitted out in all the fantastic merchandise and I was astounded by the atmosphere that was filling the packed out arena.
People of all ages were sining, chanting and cheering as the spectacular ring entrances that were taking place and were completely immersed in the thrill of the fight scenes. Many of which were dressed as their favourite characters such as The Undertaker and Randy Orton.
Even I got drawn into the atmosphere and thoroughly enjoyed the three hour long performance that for me was a cross between a rock concert and a boxing match.
The boys sat there glued to the stage, joining in with the chants and getting super excited with each throw and slam dunk they saw.
This show really was an eye opener for me and it goes to show that you sometimes the things you think you will have little interest in can actually be a really enjoyable experience.
We all came out buzzing from a fantastic event and I would highly recommend taking a trip next time they are in a town near you.