Tuesday 31 July 2018

Making bath time fun with Mini-U - Review!

Given the chance Ellie would have a bath every day and spend hours in there.....Sometimes she does get a little bored with just bubbles and normal soap so when Mini-U got in touch asking if we would like to try out their fun bath products....

Mini-U is an award-winning collection of hair care, bath and body care, hairbrushes for kids and families designed with the highest quality formulations at affordable prices and packaged with fun in mind. Mini-U sells products for kids that take the ‘boring’ out of bath time and add the ‘style’ into kid’s hair.

When everything arrived I was so impressed with the packaging. It is very appealing to children and everything looked like fun!

Bang Fizzy Whizz 6 x 50g Bath Bombs - £4.99

Included in the pack are 6 bath bombs all with different scents and they each turn the water different colours.

Kiwi scent turns the water green, Blueberry scent turns the water blue, Melon scent turns the water pink, Mango scent turns the water orange, Banana scent turns the water Yellow and Vanilla Scent turns water white with Glitter!

Both of my girls are crazy about bath bombs.....We really like these. The scents are lovely and they do turn the water different colours....Compared to other bath bombs there isn't much of a whoosh when you put it into the water but there is enough to put a smile on children's faces....Ellie will happily just use one per bath so they do work out a lot cheaper than other bath bombs...

Fizzy Plops Bath Colour Tablets 9 x 3g - £1.95

Plop them into the bath and they fizz and colour all at the same time. You can even try plopping us in 2 at a time and mixing colours while you wash and learn!

My girl and I loved these....They are really effective and pleased Ellie so much! She really did love them. They fizzed and made rainbow water....What's not to love!

Dunk and Doodle Colourful Liquid Soap - £5.75

The pack contains 4 pastels, easy rinse colours with a special painting nib on the end of each tube.

Dunk your little artist in the bath and let them create their favourite doodles with the pastel coloured liquid soap that washes away. No mess, no fuss, just fun!

Again, Ellie loved these....I have rationed her to one per bath as she would have quite happily used them all in one go. She had such fun with them....I encouraged her to draw on herself instead of the bath so she could clean herself....It's one of the few times where she has willingly cleaned herself without me having to nag....hehehe

As well as fun bath time products Mini-U also have some fab hair care products....

Moisture Mania Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner. £4.99 each.

The Moisture Mania Hydrating shampoo makes washing hair quick and simple. The no nasties & no nonsense mix is sulphate free making it gentle to little one's eyes and it's quick to rinse. The Moisture Mania hydrating conditioner is a conditioner that hydrates the hair (clue’s in the name) and the lightweight formula makes conditioning hair quick and combing easy. They both smell of refreshing Watermelon.

When first using the shampoo I soon realised there was no bubbles or lather. There are no sulphates in it which is a good thing....I am all for not putting a ton of chemicals on my children's heads....The shampoo seemed easier to rinse out than other brands....I really liked it. Ellie didn't complain about bubbles getting in her eyes because they were none. I think it's the first time I've ever washed her hair without a single complaint! We have had to wash it less too....She usually goes 2 days between hair washes but now we are managing 3 or 4....

When it came to brushing Ellie's hair afterwards we usually have a few shouts and grumbles due to her hair being tangled but now it is easy! I am putting it down to the combination of the shampoo & conditioner and the new hair brush...

Mini-U have a range of hair brushes which we all have been using....We were sent the Mini Styler Green (£7,95) and the Pro Styler Pink (£8.95) 

We have all been using these brushes and we love them....Ellie has gone more for the smaller green one as it's easier for her to handle but both are great for not pulling and tugging at your hair....My teen has claimed the pink one.

On a morning we have been using the Dynamite Detangler Spray (£4.99) and it has been a life changer....It works on wet or dry hair and a couple of sprays leaves hair so easy to brush through....It smells of apples and it is such a lovely scent.....Ellie's hair is so easy to manage now and seems in a wonderful condition.....

In all of the Mini-U product there is NO Sodium Laurel/Laureth Sulphates or Parabens...Nothing stains the bath or the skin and Mini-U has been formulated with natural ingredients and without the use of harsh chemicals making them gentle to all skin types....

I think Mini-U have a fantastic range of products....Ellie loves everything we have tried and is already asking for more....It might be a little early to be thinking about Christmas but things like the bath bombs, fizzy plops and the liquid soap would make great stocking fillers....

Everything can be bought via the Mini-U website. Orders under £25 have a £3.20 delivery charge and any over £25 is delivered free....

We were sent these products free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Monday 30 July 2018

This is what we're eating this week! #mealplanningmonday

Last weeks meal planning went well....We ate everything. Hooray!

The Slow Cooked Pulled Pork with Salad was delicious. It will be something we make again. Just as I thought the kids wouldn't eat the green beans but liked the rest of the salad. Lesson learned. 

We don't have much planned for this coming week....I have said to Ellie we will do some baking so I think we will make a corned beef pie (I will be cheating and using ready made pastry) as well as the usual cakes....

My meal planning is a bit different during the summer holidays......I learned many years ago planning the meals is OK but planning on what day we are going to eat them just doesn't work....

This week on the menu we have:

Corned beef, onion & potato pie - We will probably just have a big chunk each along with the cakes we make....

Hot dogs in buns with corn on the cob....

Barbecue Chicken Chargrills & egg fried rice....

Sweetcorn Fritters & Nachos - I love the nacho kit from Tesco....

Sausage sandwiches....

Chicken kievs, new potatoes and carrot fries....

Pizza - We might make them ourselves.

I am joining in with the linky hosted by The Organised Life Project and Katykicker. They love to meal plan too!

Saturday 28 July 2018

Buns, pretty nails and finally some rain! Week 30. #Project365

The first week of the school holidays have flown over considering we have done hardly anything....We have just been relaxing and winding down from school.

I have been busy spending....I think I have got the last of the kids birthday pressies....I am just waiting for them to be delivered and I have also made a start on the back to school shopping....I have a bag for Becky and a coat for Ellie! Hooray! Usually it takes us 6 weeks to agree on one but she spent 10 minutes looking online and found a 3 in 1 one which will be perfect for her. Phew! 

Now for a photo every day!

202/365 - 21st July.
Of course she's on the laptop. Pretty standard for a Saturday...

203/365 - 22nd July.
The only way Becky can wear her hair at the moment is in a bun....She has thick long hair so has been putting it up to keep cool...

204/365 - 23rd July.
The K'nex set that I bought Ellie at Christmas is one of the best things I've ever bought her....It gets used so much and I have bought her another set for her birthday.

205/365 - 24th July.
Ellie painted her nails herself. Ladybirds and bee's....She is so much better at painting nails than I am...

206/365 - 25th July.
The moon was so bright on Wednesday night....

207/365 - 26th July.
I was sent some Rescue Pastilles to try. I didn't think they would work but they really did....They are stress relief in a tin!

208/365 - 27th July.
What a storm we had last night....The house was shaking because of the thunder. We had a ton of rain and it's has been raining off and on this morning....It still hasn't cleared the air though. It's still so warm.

My Kids Can’t Eat That - A book about food allergies!

The latest surveys estimate that true food allergies affect up to 8% of children, while about 40% of children and adults suffer with food sensitivities or intolerances. The most common food allergies include eggs, milk, fish, soy, shellfish, sesame and nuts.

It won't be long until little one's with allergies are starting school and may come into contact with food at lunchtime which can make them unwell....Christine Bailey a qualified functional nutritionist, food and health consultant, chef and cookery teacher has a book just for you....My Kids Can’t Eat That!

My Kids Can’t Eat That contains 60 simple, delicious, family friendly recipes and 7-day meal plans to ensure your child enjoys a nutritious allergy free diet. But this is more than just a delicious allergy free recipes book. This book also takes functional approach explaining why allergies develop and what you can do to address the route causes. 

It is packed with plenty of advice about how to work with your children’s school or nursery to ensure that they are safe when they are outside of your care from speaking to the schools caterers yourself to ensuring your child has auto-injectors with them and knows how to use them.....

Here is a sneak peak of one of the recipes.....I think I might even give it a try....These muffins look so good!

Apple Streusel Muffins

These tasty little muffins are perfect for breakfast or packed lunches. Your child will also love these warm from the oven for an after-school snack.

Makes 10 muffins.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

225g gluten-free flour blend
Pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp gluten-free baking
40g xylitol
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
4 tbsp olive oil, melted coconut oil or dairy-free spread
2 red apples, grated
160ml of dairy-free milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
50g dried apple pieces, diced (optional)

1 tbsp xylitol
30g gluten-free rolled oats
1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp olive oil

How to make:

1. Grease and line a muffin pan with muffin cases/liners.
2. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5.
3. Place the flour, salt, baking powder and xylitol in a food processor or large bowl and mix together.
4. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Fold in the apple pieces if using.
5. To make the streusel topping simply mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
6. Spoon the batter into the cases and top with a little of the topping.
7. Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes or until firm to touch and golden.
8. Transfer to a wire/cooling rack and leave to cool.

The book will be released on August the 16th and you can buy if off Amazon and I imagine all other good book stores...

Friday 27 July 2018

This last week has all been about relaxing. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

This last week has all been about relaxing....After the chaos and emotional last few days of school last week I think we needed this week just to unwind and get out of the school routine.

It has been a lovely week.....The furthest we have been is to the shops to buy milk and juice....We have slept in most days until at least 9am and I let the girls stay up as late as they wanted for the first few days of the holidays....By Monday they had both taken themselves off to bed at a sensible time. hehehe. Staying up late is so overrated. 

We spent the weekend just watching films. On Sunday we watched James and the Giant Peach, Labyrinth, Nanny McPhee and Titanic....

It was Ellie's first time watching Titanic and she caused a lot of giggles and worry half way through when she shouted "Phew! They didn't crash into the iceberg they just scraped the side. She said they'd be OK. Eek! Becky thought it was hilarious and I was quite tempted to switch it off there and then and say everyone lived happily ever after but we carried on....When the ship was sinking she finally cottoned on that she has heard about Titanic before and what happened. We had the big old debate about whethere there was room for Jack on the floating door and she got very angry that the boats didn't go back sooner to save people. She really enjoyed the film and handled it well....

The girls get three hours a day on electronics during the summer holidays....Ellie is great at spreading her time out throughout the day but Becky isn't so good. I have said she can earn extra time by doing jobs around the house or revising for her GCSE's....She didn't want to revise so has done all the jobs. lol  My house looks so organised and it's never been so clean....lol We are now out of jobs, so from today every hour of revision she does she gets an hour of electronic time. I have told her she has to revise properly....I will be testing her. 

I have actually hardly seen Ellie this week.....On Monday her friend from school knocked for her and she went out to play and the same on Wednesday....Her friend, her and a few others were playing in the street and her friends back yard....They are all sensible kids so I am not worried and yesterday they had a movie afternoon in her friends house. I am going to have to have them all here sometime soon and I am dreading it. I love my own kids but I hate playing host to others....I think I will just fill the paddling pool up, give them water balloons to play with and keep them topped up with juice and snacks. lol

Stress relief in a tin - Trying out Rescue Pastilles!

I am a worrier....I always have been. I worry about things which don't need to be worried about as well as the normal every day things....I wouldn't say I have a stressful life but sometimes there are moments where it is all a little too much.

Yesterday Stu went to the shop to get some bread and then rang to ask if he had left his wallet on his desk....I couldn't find it. He said he could have sworn he'd picked it up. My mind was racing. We'd have to cancel his cards, order a new driving license and so on. What would happen if he dropped it in town. Would someone be using it now. Eek! I stressed but it gave me a good chance to try the Rescue Pastilles which I had been sent to review....He got home and found the wallet in the bathroom. Grr!

RESCUE Pastilles are a delicious way to keep stress at bay. They come in two flavours, Orange and Elderflower and Blackcurrant. Each pastille contains one dose of RESCUE Remedy. 

Rescue Remedy contains five flower essences: Rock Rose to alleviate terror and panic, Impatiens to mollify irritation and impatience, Clematis to combat inattentiveness, Star of Bethlehem to ease shock, and Cherry Plum to calm irrational thoughts.

I popped one into my mouth and sucked on it until it dissolved. I don't know if it was the fact I was focusing my mind on something else or the ingredients did what they were supposed to but it worked...I did feel calmer....It might just be a placebo effect but it is one I am going to be using in the future....

These are alcohol and sugar free and can be used by people of all ages. They would be great if you are travelling over the summer....For job interviews, driving tests or if you are a nervous driver and those every day stresses....There is a million situations that these could help with.

I can see me using these in September when the kids go back to school....Ellie is starting secondary school. I know she'll be fine but it's not going to stop me worrying....I also think they might come in very handy next year. Becky will be taking her GCSE's and although she is not worried at the moment things might change.....

The Rescue Pastilles come in a handy click shut tin which makes them ideal for travelling, to grab and go or to keep in your bag.... 

The only side effect that I can see is excessive consumption may have a laxative effect. I think being sensible and not taking them too often will be OK.

The Rescue Pastilles cost £5.15 per tin and are available from Boots, Holland & Barrett, independent pharmacies and health food stores as well as grocery stores nationwide.

I was sent the Rescue Pastilles free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Thursday 26 July 2018

The Smoothie Challenge....

My girls watch a lot of rubbish on You Tube.....Silly challenges which they are always asking to try.....Most of them I say no to but a while ago I said yes to one.

The Smoothie Challenge sounded like fun.....Mix random ingredients in a smoothie and drink it. Simple.

We used 10 ingredients. Five nice one's and five not so nice which you wouldn't normally find in a smoothie. Randomly pick five each and whizz them up in a blender then drink.....

The nice ingredients were Golden syrup, Jelly, Chocolate sprinkles, banana and vanilla ice cream....

The nasty ingredients were Mustard, Mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, Salmon paste and Tomato puree.

The girls had each ingredient written on a piece of paper and they put them into a tub ready to choose....They went through and chose their ingredients.....

Ellie seemed to have more luck and got the nicer ingredients. Well I wouldn't say nicer but they seemed to go better together. Vanilla ice cream, mustard, jelly, banana and mayonnaise....

 Becky got the salmon paste and that really made hers he nastiest. She also got the golden syrup, tomato puree, chocolate sprinkles and the Worcestershire sauce. It certainly wasn't the most tempting concoction.

They added a little milk and whizzed them up......Becky's smelled rank! It was enough to make you gag. Eww! Ellie's didn't smell too bad at all.

The final challenge was to have a taste. I thought they would chicken out but they were good sports and tasted them. Becky only managed a mouthful and Ellie drank quite a bit of hers....lol

They won't be smoothies that we would ever make again but we had a lot of fun!


Wednesday 25 July 2018

Keeping your home safe while on holiday....

With summer holidays here many of us will be leaving behind our homes and going away on holiday....

It is estimated that approximately 45 million Brits go away on holiday between late June and the end of August but did you know that the summer holidays are a peak time for burglaries?.....

There are many ways to keep your home safe while you are away on your travels....

Don’t share the fact your house is going to be empty on social media...It might be tempting to say you are going on a dream holiday. Wait until you come home to share your travels.

Cancel any regular deliveries that will sit on your doorstep such as milk and newspapers. Our free newspaper never gets put right through our letterbox so it would be obvious to see if it's been left there for days...

Ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your house while you are away. They might be kind enough to come and open and shut curtains, turn a light on and pick up your post. Some burglars will look for signs that you are away by having a peek through the letter box. A pile of unopened letters is an open invitation.

If you don’t have a friend or neighbour who can move your post apply for the Royal Mail’s keep safe service, who can hold your post for a fee.

Never hide a key near the home....None under the doormat or plant pots.

Turn down the ring tone on your house phone. Long loud unanswered rings are just another way of shouting out, “No-one’s here.”

If your window locks have keys in make sure you remove the keys to remove temptation for thieves....

Turn everything off at the socket which can be. Obviously not the fridge or freezer. This can protect your home from an electrical fire or power surge.

Give the impression that there is someone at home...New technology now makes it possible to program the lights and other appliances to switch on and off....

Consider getting a relative, friend or neighbour to park on your drive if you have one to give the impression someone is home....Get them to do this for a while before you go away so it looks normal...

Secure your valuables....Keep them out of sight or lock them away if possible.

Mow the lawn and do some weeding before you go away so the garden doesn’t look overgrown and untended.

Keep tools locked away so they can’t be used to break into your house. And if you have no option but to leave a ladder outside, ensure it’s secured to a permanent fixture with a padlock and chain.

Most burglars get in through a back door or window. Make it difficult for them by locking all side or back gates and adding trellis to the top of walls and fences. 

Install a burglar alarm/put a fake one up: This will deter any burglars from even attempting to break into your home. If you’re put off by the cost sometimes just the sight of one will put a thief off so you don’t necessarily need to fork out for a real one.

Check your insurance policy before you travel....If the worst happens you need to know that you're covered by your home insurance. Don't assume anything! With many policies there's a limit on how many days you can leave your home unoccupied and still make a claim.....

Just before you leave, spare a few minutes to walk around your home to double check everything is safe and secure.

Tuesday 24 July 2018

The Solid Bar Company - Review!

Recently I discovered The Solid Bar Company and I was sent some of their products to try.....These were all new to me and I haven't tried anything like this before but was keen to give them a whirl.....

The Solid Bar Company offers a choice of luxury vegan personal care products including salon hair care bars, lotion and repellent bars, butters, balms, candles and soaps. They are all light, biodegradable, highly concentrated, eco-friendly and are suitable for use by everyone whilst travelling and in the home.....

Please note that these are sample sizes not the full product size.

Sensual Sandalwood Lotion

This a specially formulated Sensual Sandalwood Lotion for both women and men to moisturise, soften and scent the skin. It is highly concentrated, undiluted and long-lasting for a truly moisturising experience. It contains sandalwood, frankincense, patchouli and vanilla essential oils to bring calm encourage relaxation and assist the sleep cycle. There are no synthetic fragrances, alcohol, water or preservatives in this 100% Vegan hand and body lotion that is made in the UK.

I have been using this and for the last week or so and I really like it....I didn't think I would when I first had a smell of it but it has really grown on me when I realised how nice my skin felt after I'd used it....

Lavender Castile Soap

The pure, relaxing and balancing scent of Lavender has been blended with natural carrier oils to form a simple castile soap bar that is creamy, lathering and highly moisturizing, handmade and 100% vegan. Like all our products it is a product that is free of palm oil and synthetic fragrances, and is a non-dairy, SLS-free and Paraben-free product naturally scented using only Lavender essential oils. The calming Lavender has many natural therapeutic qualities including helping to relieve stress, pain and anxiety, improve blood circulation and sooth muscular inflammation.

I thought this looked so pretty and it caught the eye of Ellie my 10 year old....She is still at that age where washing is a bit of a chore but she has happily been using this to clean herself....This is great to use before bed as it does seem to have a calming effect on my girl.

Botanical Body Butter

This body butter has a calming essential oil blend which includes Geranium and Patchouli essential oils. It is a highly concentrated, undiluted Body Butter and is long lasting for a truly moisturising experience. It contains no synthetic fragrances, alcohol, water or preservatives and is a 100% Vegan Body Butter in the UK.

This feels so luxurious and a little goes a long way....

What I was most interested in trying was the shampoo and conditioner bars....I have seen these in the past but haven't tried anything like them before....I didn't even have a clue how to use them but The Solid Bar Company had instructions. Phew!

Herbal Vegan Shampoo

This is a salon standard vegan shampoo that that is suitable for ALL hair types including coloured hair. You can choose a shampoo and conditioner set to match your hair type; normal/dry or oily. 

This is 100% vegan, made with six herbal essential oils for a refreshing Citrus Mint scent or for a relaxing Lavender, Geranium, Patchouli scent try our Botanical Bars. Sulfate free, paraben free, SLS free and cruelty free, with added pro-vitamin B5 and hydrolyzed protein. This shampoo is super concentrated and totally waterless.

Herbal Vegan Conditioner/Shave Bar.

I felt nervous about using these but I have got on well with them...They are easy to use and they left my hair feeling and looking great. I have dyed hair and it did not change that at all. Phew. The only thing that I wasn't overly keen on the scent of the shampoo and conditioner bars but that is just down to my personal taste. You might love scents that I don't....

These products would be fantastic especially at this time of year when you are away on holiday....There would be no spillages in suitcases and are ‘carry on’ approved. The shampoo from the website weighs only 43gms which is a lot less than a bottle of shampoo and it takes up less space too!

These products seem so good for the environment so they have a thumbs up from me. The packaging eliminates all plastic, they use light, recyclable, aluminium travel tins or fully biodegradable packs and are committed to cruelty-free development and vow to never test their products on animals. Everything about The Solid Bar Company is good....

You can get a 15% discount off your order by using the code: KIM15 at checkout!

I was sent these sample products in exchange for this blog post.

Monday 23 July 2018

My meal planning is a bit different during the summer holidays... #mealplanningmonday

Last weeks meal plan went OK....We missed going to McDonalds....On Friday I did the last ever school run, picking Ellie up from Primary school and it rained and we got soaked....The rain was lovely but we got home and put our pj's on. When teatime came around no one wanted to get dressed and go out....The sooner McDonalds delivers to us the better. We had pizza instead which meant we couldn't really have pizza on Saturday so we had hot dogs in buns.

My meal planning is a bit different during the summer holidays......I learned many years ago planning the meals is OK but planning on what day we are going to eat them doesn't work....

This week on the menu we have:

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork with Salad - We saw it on Eat Well for Less on BBC1 last week. Both of the girls said they want it so we will be having it. We are going to try the apricot and green bean salad too but I don't think they will actually eat the green beans...

Beans on toast - Last week the kids had quiche and salad and I didn't fancy it so I had beans on toast and they wanted it adding to the meal plan this week.

Tuna, sweetcorn and pasta - Ellie is obsessed with this at the moment since she had it when she visited the secondary school. 


Sandwiches, cakes, crisps and picky things.

Corndogs and Nacho Cheese Fries - Last time we had this meal it was a huge hit with the girls. It's a nice easy meal for me to make too. hehehe

Roast chicken dinner - We will most likely have this on Sunday.

I am joining in with the linky hosted by  The Organised Life Project and Katykicker. They love to meal plan too!