My Family

My Family

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Bandai - National Geographic STEM Range #Review

Bandai - National Geographic STEM Range 


I'm so excited to be able to announce to you, that we have been selected to be an ambassador in the 2021 Bandai National Geographic Stem blogger club. So, what does that mean exactly? Well, it means that over the next few months we will be sharing lots of fun National Geographic Stem Kit reviews with you here on the blog. Having children over the age of 8 years means most toys and games are too young to interest them so when we saw these, we were delighted. They're aimed at older children to help them learn through play.

In March we had the opportunity to play with four National Geographic Stem Kits: 

Ultimate Gemstone Dig Kit 
National Geographic Volcano Kit 
Dino Fossil Dig Kit
Shark Tooth Dig Kit

I'm going to start off by showing you our favourite out of the four which was the National Geographic Ultimate Gemstone Dig Kit which is a much bigger set than the others and keeps you digging for a good while. With 20 amazing gemstones to be discovered, the Gemstones include two types of agate, three types of quartz, tiger's eye, snowflake obsidian, amethyst, aragonite, aventurine, hematite, desert rose, a geode piece, green fluorite, pyrite, red jasper, sodalite, turquenite, blue calcite and labradorite. Both Lily and Ryan loved this set.


You get all the tools you'll need to dig and discover your gemstones inside the box. You can add a little water straight into the container to soften the dirt like we did. I love that this set is self contained so that it doesn't actually make much mess even though you're digging through dirt. The kids loves digging away and even I joined in as it's very calming and so much fun.

Lily loves the gemstones and now has them displayed on her bedroom sides.



Next up we have the Dino Fossil Dig Kit which is a much smaller set but that doesn't make it any less fun. It's just a smaller, cheaper set than the last one. Let your child become a real paleontologist as they explore fossils that are millions of years old. Ignite that spark of your child’s love of history and science and teach them all about dinosaurs with National Geographic. Excavate 3 genuine dinosaur fossils; dino bone, mosasaur tooth and dino poop.



Ryan loved digging for his dinosaur fossils. He quite liked the smaller sets as they didn't take so long to dig. He was pretty impressed when he found his dinosaur tooth, it's pretty cool.


Last but  not least is the Shark Tooth Dig Kit as we haven't quite got round to making the Volcano set just yet. This ones very similar to the Dino Fossil Dig Kit so it's another nice small set where you get to dig for goodies. In this one you dig for 3 fossilized shark teeth, each from different species of shark. Ryan was so interested in this one as he really loves sharks. 


Digging for shark teeth kept Ryan quiet and very happy for a good hour or so. He loves digging and discovering treasures like these, they're great little adventures to have. 


We have really loved doing all of our National Geographic Stem Sets this month and can't wait to have a go at a few more dig kits over the next month or so. It's great being a part of something so exciting. The kids shall be watching the post to see what arrives next so if you'd like to see what we review next, please do stop by in a few weeks to see what we're up to.

Disclosure: We received our NG Stem Sets for free in return for honest reviews.

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Cheeky Wipes Teen Period Pants #Review

 Cheeky Wipes Teen Period Pants


Cheeky Wipes Teen Period Pants aim to offer teenage girls confidence and comfort as they start their period journey and help take any taboo and embarrassment away. Girls at this age are very eco conscious and they want to support their eco choices by offering  them a range of sanitary products that can help save the planet too. Since 2016, Cheeky Wipes have SAVED from landfill: 25 million disposable baby wipes. 40 million pads and tampons and 5 million disposable make up wipes. That's impressive figures to help the planet.


The range of Teen Pants are washable, super absorbent and very discreet. Plus, they are super comfy and secure too. For teen girls, tampons may not be appropriate and sanitary pads can make girls feel conscious and uncomfortable. There is no need to buy the disposable products month after month as period pants can be washed and re worn. 


There's lots of different styles available, you can choose from several Mid rise Period Pants, Low rise Period Pants High Waisted Period Pants. I choose a Mid rise style called the Boyshort style for my Lily who's now fourteen years old and loves re usable period pants like these as they're great for catching any accidents or unwanted fluids during your day or nights. 

Prices are around £12 per pair which is a nice price for a pair of pants that can be used for a long time and will help save the planet whilst we do so. They're a lovely idea and they're comfortable to wear so I don't see why we wouldn't continue to wear and use these.

I was told they could be a bit tight around the leg, so I should size up and I would have to agree with this as Lily is normally a size 8 so I ordered a size 10 for her instead and they fit her perfectly.


They're easy to wash, as you can pop them in the washing machine on a cool wash like shown above. They're not to be dried in the tumble drier though so they take longer to dry but if you have a few pairs then this isn't a real problem. They're just like normal pants - only better! Lily and I both love wearing the Cheeky Wipes Period Pants. They're comfortable and stylish and won't break the bank to buy either. They get a thumbs up from us both!


Disclosure: We received our Cheeky Wipes Period Pants for free in return for an honest review. All our opinions expressed are 100% honest and entirely ours.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Healthy Food To Your Door With Love Yourself #Review

 Healthy Food To Your Door With Love Yourself.


As some of you may know, I've not been feeling too well these past few months so I've have to make a few changes to my lifestyle. The biggest change I've had to make so far, is to my diet as I can't eat a lot of foods with my current medication (Edoxaban). I'm trying to eat a lot healthier to give my body the best chance of recovering from my DVT's that I had so when Love Yourself offered to let me try their meals, I couldn't say no really, could I?

Love Yourself have created healthy tasty menus using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients prepared with you in mind and cooked fresh for you every single day. Their vision, is to provide healthy foods to help you live a happy life. And it couldn't be simpler and hassle free to arrange. You simple visit their easy to use website and choose your meal box (such as Balanced, Vegetarian, gluten-free, or any one of 14 different ranges to cater for different dietary arrangements) then let the talented team of chefs at Love Yourself prepare, cook, and pack your meals, then wait for your doorbell to ring.  Arriving daily Sunday to Thursday between 5.30 pm and 10 pm , they're ready to eat whenever you wish.  And whatever your budget, diet plans start from as little as £15 per day. They've been so successful in their vision, that they now offer their extensive range of menus Nationwide. 

I ordered the Balanced Diet with 2000 calories and this is what I recieved: 



Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with homemade country style bread.


Morning Snack: Sweetcorn and Feta Muffin.


Lunch: Classic Beef Bolognese with pasta.


Afternoon Snack: Apple and Banana Slice.


Dinner: Cumin Spiced Chicken with Lentils.


A Balanced Box of 2000 calories for 1 day costs £27.00.

All of this delicious food shown above, and I can honestly say, it was delicious, was my 2000 calorie intake for yesterday. It was nice to see how much food I could actually eat for my daily allowance. What I loved best about Love Yourself is just how easy everything is to warm up. Each packet of food has clear heating instructions on it, most just take a minute or two in the microwave in the food container it comes in which is microwave safe and 90 day compostable which is also great for the environment. The food is really tasty, not like most diet foods, but that because all the food at Love Yourself is cooked by Michelin star trained chef, Michal Snela. All their dietary meals contain no processed meats, additives, or preservatives and have been designed in consultation with leading dieticians. And for the tech savvy foodies out there, you'll be happy to know that all the meals are compatible with the MyFitnessPal app, so you can track your daily calorie intake. Simply scan the barcode in each meal label to add the nutritional value to your account which is pretty cool. 

I really love the idea of Love Yourself and that all the food is all cooked for you because I'm not the greatest cook in the world and being a busy mum of 3 children and a grandchild, I tend not to have much time for cooking each day. It's not the cheapest, I admit but it is tasty.

Whatever your current eating habits don't forget to Love yourself!

Monday, 8 March 2021

Are You Looking for Alternative Gifts this Mother's Day?

 Are You Looking for Alternative Gifts this Mother's Day?


Mother's Day is fast approaching, with just a week away now so I thought I'd try and help you out with some last minute ideas for an alternative gift to buy your Mother or loved one this year. My mum gets sick of getting flowers so I have to try and find alternatives for her.

First up I have an edible photo box of chocolates from ChocFACE.


For 
£14.95 + pp you get a beautiful box of personalised chocolates. ChocFACE creates delicious Belgian chocolate photos of your favourite images which are so easy to upload and arrange on their website. It literally only took me five minutes and I am so happy with my finished results. The beautifully presented gift box fits through your letter box so postage is easy. Each box measures 7”x 5” (the size of a DVD box) and contains one large, printed chocolate slab and five smaller ones. ChocFACE uses edible colour on top of a white chocolate layer to create remarkable image resolution. This in turn sits on a Belgian milk chocolate base to create a deliciously tasty treat. Not only do they look great but they taste great too. ChocFACE is based in Orkney, and all the chocolates are printed by a small fourth-generation family business in Derbyshire. These could be perfect for Mother's Day.

Next up I have something quirky for the beer drinking mums, a German Beer Stein with may dancers from CuckooClocks.Com. It costs £63.66 but is so beautiful. This beerstein is handmade in the Kannenbaeckerland, the German pottery and beerstein center and weighs 1.5 kg. I was so pleased with ours, it's absolutely stunning and so well made. 


My Mum loves a beer every now and then so this is going to make her drink so much more enjoyable and special. I know she's going to love this but I have a vision of her putting it in her 'best cabinet' as it's much too pretty to actually drink out off. Either way, it will be loved.

Cuckooclocks.com is offering my readers a 10% discount to use on their site so grab a beer stein to enjoy your beer at home – use code "beerathome" at checkout, valid until April 2nd

Next up I have some beautiful high quality poster prints from InkandDrop


Ink and Drop have a huge range of different prints across many styles all available online at prices ranging from £13 - £85. They also have a personalised section that that is super popular during Mother's day. I choose two super cute prints of super animals for my super mum. They're so lovely, and look like really great quality. The colours are so clear and bright and look super professional. My kids love these one, we can't wait to get them on the wall. 

Next up I have a lovely Mother's Day Gift Hamper from Red Letter Days.


The Mother's Day Gift Hamper comes delivered right to your door and contains the following:

Cartwright & Butler Chocolate Wafer Rounds 120g
Cartwright & Butler Classic Earl Grey 30g
Joe & Seph’s Caramel, White Chocolate & Raspberry Gourmet Popcorn 80g
Linden Lady Decorated Milk Chocolate Bar 100g
Sass & Belle Scattered Stars Mum Love You More Mug
Vital A Slice of Heaven Soft Cranberry Nougat 100g

Costing just £26.99 I think it's a great gift idea. It's full of delicious treats and a beautiful mug that you will be able to keep and treasure. It's definitely the kind of gift I usually buy.

Something a little different is this So Bomb DIY Light Up 2 Pack from Canal Toys.


These fantastic scented DIY bath bombs are so simple to use, you just mix the bath bomb powder and water into the mould, then add the special “jewel” light up LED decoration inside. The bath bombs are ready to use in minutes and the water activated LEDs can be reused time and again. The range comes in 3 different combinations and cost £6.99 for two. These are a great idea for the kids to give as they can make them first and then gift them after.

For a personal touch, I have these beautiful Mother's Day books from Wonderbly


The 'I Love You This Much' book is absolutely beautifully illustrated and has such a sweet story. The website is really easy to use making creating your own personalised book a doddle. I made two books, one for my daughter who is a new mummy this year and one for my other who is now a great grandmother. Both books contain my grandsons name 'Roman' within the story. I can't wait to give these gifts as I know both recipients are going to love them.

The price of these personalised books strat from £21.99 depending on size.

For a more traditional gift, I have a Premium Canvas Print from Vistaprint.


I created a Premium Canvas Print (40cm x 30cm) at Vistaprint in around ten minutes, it was so easy to do. There was no messing, no fuss and no time wasted. Adding photographs was nice and easy which allowed me to create the canvas print I wanted within minutes.

Costing just Price £26.24 it's a nice reasonably priced gift. I love these personal gifts as they can mean so much to someone. This photograph was taken at my wedding last October but it's a picture of my husband and his brother and his parents. That was their family before he met me and made it a whole lot bigger so I thought that his Mother would love this one for her wall. She has so many pictures on the living room wall but there's room for one more.

That's seven nice gift ideas and hopefully you've found something you like or maybe they've even just given you ideas for something else you might like to buy your mum this year.

Happy Mother's Day 2021 Everyone x

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

#Win a Cadbury Family Easter Egg Selection

 Win a Cadbury Family Easter Egg Selection


Happy March Everyone. I turned 39 yesterday so to celebrate I thought I'd run another giveaway to spread the cheer. I'm giving away a Cadbury Family Easter Egg Selection.



One lucky winner is going to win all of this:

1 x Cadbury Medium Shell Egg Creme Egg 138g
1 x Cadbury Medium Mini Eggs Shell Egg 130g
1 x Cadbury Medium Shell Egg Dairy Milk Freddo Faces Egg 122g
1 x  Cadbury Creme Egg 5 Pack 200g
1 x Cadbury Mini Eggs Bag 80g.

To WIN - Simply use the Rafflecopter Form below to complete as many or as few of the entry options as you like. It's completely up to you how many you do but remember, the more entries you do, the more chances you have to win. 1 lucky winner will be chosen at random after it closes on Thursday April 1st  - Open to the UK Only - Good Luck x


This is not a sponsored Giveaway - The Prize is supplied by myself. Terms and Conditions: One winner will be drawn at random using the Rafflecopter App. This Giveaway is only open to the UK. The giveaways ends on Thursday April 1st - No April Fools here.

Thursday, 11 February 2021

#Win a Cadbury Eggstravaganza Box

 Win a Cadbury Eggstravaganza Box


Half Term is just a day away so it's almost time to relax for a while. This week I wanted something to look forward to, so I'm giving away a little Easter gift as Easter will soon be here before we know it. Chocolate always cheers me up so I hope it works for you too.

One winner is going to win this fantastic Cadbury Eggstravaganza Box which contains: 

1 x Cadbury Dairy Milk Minis Eggs Bag 77g

1 x Cadbury Dairy Milk Minis Egg Bags with Daim 77g

1 x Cadbury Dairy Milk with Oreo Minis Bag 72g

1 x Cadbury Mini Eggs Bag 80g

1x Cadbury Creme Egg 5 Pack 200g

1 x Cadbury Dairy Milk Spring Edition Bar 100g 

To WIN - Simply use the Rafflecopter Form below to complete as many or as few of the entry options as you like. It's completely up to you how many you do but remember, the more entries you do, the more chances you have to win. 1 lucky winner will be chosen at random after it closes on Sunday February 28th  - Open to the UK Only - Good Luck x


This is not a sponsored Giveaway - The Prize is supplied by myself. Terms and Conditions: One winner will be drawn at random using the Rafflecopter App. This Giveaway is only open to the UK. The giveaways ends on Sunday February 28th.

My Hospital Dash and DVT Recovery.

 My Hospital Dash and DVT Recovery.

Just a few weeks back I wrote a post about how life in 2021 had to get better surely, but boy was I wrong. Life was pretty normal apart from a pain in my groin which had been on and off for a few days. It was ok when I was sitting down but made standing up quite difficult and the pain was quite sharp until I'd walked it off. Thinking I'd just slept funny or had pulled a muscle or strained something, I just got on with things like normal. That was until Tuesday morning, on the 19th of January, that I woke up to a throbbing pain in my left leg. My leg was swollen quite a lot and had started to turn purple in colour and began to feel very cold. I went online to 111 and filled out the questionnaire, which told me to ring 999 for an ambulance. But me, being me and not wanting to over react, I called my Mum who was so worried that she came straight round. This time I called 111 and spoke to a lady who talked me through the questions again. She told me a Doctor would call me within the next 2 hours but as soon as my Mum arrived, she was like 'No, you need to get help' so my Dad drove me to A&E right away and now looking back. I am so thankful that he did as if we hadn't acted so quickly, my health could have deteriorated very quickly.

As soon as I was checked in and seen in A&E, the Doctors were very concerned and things got a little bit crazy around me. I was hooked up to lots of wires for an ECG and bloods were taken. I remember being given Morphine into my drip as Doctors were rushing around trying to feel for a pulse in my left foot. It took 3 Doctors to find it which was so scary at the time. 

The hospital where I was, wasn't doing the X Rays or scans that I needed because of Covid so I was transferred to another hospital about half hour away on the other side of the city. I was put into an Ambulance and raced across town with the blue lights flashing and sirens going. It was all quite a blur by that point. I don't remember much about that hour or so.

The next few hours weren't pleasant. I was seen by several doctors and specialists. Told they thought I had blood clots in my leg and then moved around to several different wards. The hospital was so busy, there were people everywhere. The beds were all full and the waiting room was even fuller. At one point, I was moved from my bed, back to the waiting room in a wheelchair so that someone else could use the bed for assessment. It wasn't a pleasant night for me but I know the staff were all so busy and just trying to do their best to help everyone.

After arriving at the 2nd hospital at around 11am, I finally got taken to a ward to get some sleep in an actual bed at 4am the following morning. I remember waking up thinking I was on a Covid Ward as there was big plastic sheets between us and 2 of the patients in my room were on a breathing apparatus. I was absolutely terrified not knowing what was going on.

I wasn't on a Covid Ward but we were being separated as we'd been 'Exposed to Covid' somewhere along the way. We were all tested for Covid several times but were Negative luckily. I spent a whole 3 days in the hospital, and had lots of tests. I had an ultrasound one day and a chest x ray the next. I was hooked up to all sorts of drips and given oral Morphine every few hours as the pain was unbearable. I was diagnosed with Multiple DVT's, which were blood clots in my left leg. No one knew how or why I had got them so my medical notes simply said 'Unexplained DVT' which is crazy as for my age and lifestyle, I shouldn't have had them.


After 3 days I could go home but that was just the start of the real recovery, that's when things got really hard. In hospital I was given Morphine for the pain but then just a few hours later when I was sent home. I was only given Paracetamol, and that was a really tough as the pain was so bad, it kept me awake all night. I was given my medication for the blood clots (blood thinners) and told I'd see someone in about 8 weeks time to see how I was. I couldn't walk, could barely stand, and hardly wanted to move as the pain was so bad. At that point, I just couldn't see how things were going to get any better. It was tough and very emotional.

I was completely reliant on my family for everything. I had to stay in bed, upstairs for the first week as I couldn't walk up and down the stairs and with the toilet being upstairs, it was just easier. My children checked in on me all the time and my boy hardly left my side. He would lie next to me watching his ipad just to keep me company, even when I was sleeping.


About a week after I'd came home, I was finally able to stand and walk a little using my crutches. I was able to climb the stairs meaning I could return downstairs and join in a little more. I felt so useless though, I'd only been married 4 months, this wasn't what my husband had signed up to. I felt awful for him as he was having to look after me, the children and still go to work. I could see it was hard for everyone around me and it was hard to watch.

Today, I am happy to say that I'm feeling much better. It's been a long 3 weeks so far and I'm not totally back to normal just yet. I can walk around the house unaided but haven't ventured outside just yet so I don't know how far I can actually walk. But I'm getting better.

So when I wrote that post a few weeks back, about life having to get better surely, I was being naive and shouldn't have taken so much of my life for granted. I will never moan about being bored and lying in front of the TV doing nothing again. I will never moan about going on walks, or having to go food shopping, as they're all the things that I miss so much right now. 

Life right now is far from normal, but I'm just glad, we're all OK.