My Family

My Family

Friday, 27 April 2018

Review: Body Chef - Premier Diet Plan

Review: Body Chef - Premier Diet Plan

With Summer on it's way, I've been looking at new ways to get my body, beach fit ready.

With a little help from Body Chef, I was determined to get off on the right foot at least. 
I excitedly headed over to the Body Chef website and choose the Premier Diet Plan Hamper from their range of 15 different calorie controlled diet plans. Each one looked great but I decided to go with one of their Best Sellers as it seemed like the perfect choice for me.

Let me tell you a little bit about The Premier Diet Plan. It's their signature diet plan which is ideal for those hoping to lose weight (like me) yet still enjoy delicious, filling meals every day of the week. You’ll find foods like Bolognese, Turkey meatloaf, Tikka Masala and other delicious meals, snacks and desserts. The range of meals in this plan is supposed to make losing weight effortless and tasty. There’s no need to adjust your calorie intake as the premier diet plan does that for you. It's available from 1,200 to 2,500 calories, depending on your personal preference. I set mine at 1,600 calories which was a bit ambitious (thinking about it now) as I'm a person who really does love my food so cutting back was hard for me.

How Body Chef works:
  • Step 1:  Decide what kind of weight loss results you want and choose your diet plan from the 15 plans online accordingly. Go for eating less, healthier eating or specialist. 
  • Step 2: Personalise your plan. You can remove foods you really don't like and replace them with foods that you do like or wouldn't mind trying. It's quick and easy to do.
  • Step 3: Wait for your Delivery. Hampers are delivered by courier almost anywhere in the UK and come sealed in a polystyrene box surrounded by ice packs to keep hampers chilled for up to 24 hours.
  • Step 4: Enjoy. Put everything into the fridge and enjoy when you need them. The hamper contains everything you need except milk and water.

The delivery was great, everything comes portioned and packed ready to enjoy. Each item is clearly labelled with what day and meal time it's for. For example, a pot might say 'Monday Breakfast'. There was a lot of items inside the box and everything looked good.

I unpacked everything and sorted it into the 4 days that it was going to cover. My plan was going to be from Friday Dinner to Tuesday Lunch so inside that box was everything I'd need for that 4 days. I liked the way everything was packaged and arrived fresh and clean.

With just 1,600 calories a day to play with the portion sizes were very small. Much smaller than what I'd normally have so I will be completely honest and say that I did struggle a lot.

Cooking was easy, everything in a plastic container was simply popped into the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Meals in a metal container went into the oven for 25 minutes on 190-200C. The vegetables, pasta and rice were all cooked separate as normal to your own liking. 

Here's some of the meals I tried over the week:

 I'm going to be completely honest in my review as I wouldn't want to mislead anyone. The meals were all fresh and nice lloing but taste wise, the cut back on calories does leave the food a little bland. I was having to hold myself back from adding lots of salt but I was good and managed (just about) The Portion sizes are very small as I mentioned before but again that's because it's all calorie controlled to help your body cut back enough to lose weight. 

There is lots of fruit, nuts and salads. Typical foods you'd expect to be eating on a diet.

Snacks are mainly a handful of nuts or seeds or a single piece of brown toast with spread.

 Desserts are small portions of cake or a single biscuit. Again I found the cakes a little disappointing as without sugar or syrup they just didn't taste like the sweet treats I am used too but I'm not your typical gym goer or dieter so it was all just a bit too much for me. As a Mum of 3 the idea of the Body Chef hampers really appealed to me as all the food prep is done for you so they do save you a lot of time and effort in the kitchen. Having your food delivered straight to your door was very handy but at what cost? Here's a quick breakdown for my plan shown set at each calorie level:

Premier Plan & Halal Premier Plan:

1000 Calories - £15.98 per day

1200 Calories - £17.98 per day

1600 Calories - £19.73 per day

2000 Calories - £20.98 per day

2500 Calories - £24.98 per day

My 1600 calorie 4 Day plan cost me a total of £86.92 which is a lot of money for me. I can see why some people would love this and be happy to pay that amount but I know that I, myself wouldn't. I could do a whole weekly family shop for that amount. I think Body Chef is a nice idea and would work for single professionals or maybe couples without children who're always on the go. For Mums like me, It's not the right way to loose weight for me.

It's been an interesting journey and has shown me what I should be eating. It will change the way I shop and help me to choose some 'healthier' options but I won't be ordering again.

If you'd like to check them out, pop on over to Body Chef today.

Disclosure: I received my Premier Diet Plan hamper for free for the purpose of this review.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Aged 16-17? Sign up with NCS this Summer. Let's bring Young people Together!

Aged 16-17? Sign up with NCS this Summer. 
Let's bring Young people Together! 

If you're 16 or 17 years-old? National Citizen Service (NCS) is a 3-4 week experience to help build your confidence and self belief so that you can take on anything in life. Get to stay away from home, have fun, develop skills and meet amazing new friends. You could have a Summer to remember, including all your food, accommodation and activities, all in for up to £50. That sounds like it's too good to be true but I can assure you, it's not.

I can hear you saying, what's NCS? So let me tell you all about it. NCS is a government backed programme that was established back in 2011 to help build a more cohesive, mobile and engaged society. It works by bringing together young people from all different backgrounds for a unique shared experience, NCS helps them to become better individuals, and in turn better citizens. NCS is open to 16 and 17 year-olds across England and Northern Ireland. The two to four week programme, which takes place in school holidays, includes outdoor team-building exercises, a residential for participants to learn ‘life skills’, a community-based social action project and an end of programme celebration event.

This year more than 100,000 teenagers from different backgrounds and walks of life will come together in common purpose on NCS. That means one in six of the cohort of 16 year olds will live together, develop skills together and build community projects together.

At a time of huge political uncertainty, where division is more evident than togetherness.

NCS is a powerful tool to ensure our next generation see more in their similarities than differences. In a nutshell, the programme:

●Puts young people through a series of challenging activities to take them out of their comfort zones and develop their strength of character.
●Provides a progressive journey that hands over more responsibility to young people as the programme progresses and develops leadership skills necessary to succeed in the workplace.
●Enables young people to connect with their communities through social action. 

You may be worried about plans you've already made for Summer but don't worry NCS wants to include everyone so make sure you register for further information as no matter what your commitments or summer holiday plans, they'll  endeavour to get your teen a spot on programme at a time that suits. My daughter Chloe just misses out this year as she's not 16 until December but it's definitely something she'd love to take part in. She loves staying away from home and taking part in challenges with the chance to do something great and make some amazing new friends along the way. I kinda wish I was 16 again so I could go.

There are still places available for Year 11s to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity this summer. To sign up now, go to the NCS website. Even if you're still undecided, still register your interest and who knows what amazing adventures this Summer could hold.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Competition Time - Win a Cadbury Treasure Box

Competition Time - Win a Cadbury Treasure Box 

Yes, Easter is over but that doesn't mean that our love for chocolate has to be too. I'm in a good mood today the sun is shining and life is good so I've decided to run a little competition for you. I'm giving away a delicious Cadbury Treasure Box to one lucky winner, it could be you! Inside you'll find a wide range of Cadbury's popular chocolate bars, a nice all year round selection. I spy lots of my favourite in there, I love Curly Wurly's and Flakes - yum!

To WIN: Simply use the Rafflecopter Form below to complete as many or as few of the entries as you like. It's completely up to you but remember, the more entries you do, the more chances you have to win. One winner will be chosen at random on Monday April 30th.

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 Monday April 30th - Good Luck.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Project Mc2 A.D.I.S.N. Journal - Where Smart is the New Cool #Review

Project Mc2 A.D.I.S.N. Journal 
Where Smart is the New Cool

Today's Lily's 11th Birthday, she's growing up so fast. Lily's always been the smart one of the family, she loves to read and write stories, her imagination is always full to the brim. She doesn't play with a lot of toys but she loves her games, dolls and pretty much anything that she can write with, so when the A.D.I.S.N. Journal from Project Mc2 arrived this morning, she was over the moon. She thought it was a Birthday present, one of the best ones she'd opened today, so who was I to say otherwise. It was a gift but not from me even though it did score me the biggest 'Best Mummy' hugs ever so I may not even say anything, oops.

The A.D.I.S.N. Journal costs around £24.99 and is aimed at children aged 6 years and over.

 Your child can become a secret NOV8 agent just like McKeyla and the gang. 

Using their Advanced Digital Intelligence Spy Notebook, which is A.D.I.S.N for short. There's lots of secret, fun stuff inside! Inside the box, you'll find a magic bracelet which you'll need to unlock your journal. Several recorded messages which talk to you. An invisible ink pen to write your secret messages and a hidden UV light tool to read anything written in invisible ink. There's also a little NOV8 missions book and 3 cute little sticker sheets to decorate your journal. It's the perfect gift for Lily who's always trying to hide things from her nosy little brother. It's tough keeping things from him, but now it's so much easier.

A.D.I.S.N. Journal Features: 

  • Use the bracelet to unlock the notebook for fun mystery mission game play
  • Hear 2 recordings (greeting and closing)
  • Compatibility: Works only with Apple devices. (Devices not included) App requires iOS 6.1 or later compatible with iPod Touch 4, iPhone 4 and iPad 2 or later versions
  • Includes Mc2 “NeRDy” bracelet, booklet filled with fun activities, invisible ink pen, UV light tool (hidden in secret compartment) to read clues written in invisible ink, and sticker sheet
  • Styles may vary
  • Suitability 6+
  • Batteries required: 3 x AA (not included) and 3 x AG13 (included)

 Thanks to the A.D.I.S.N. Journal, Lily's secrets are now safe. Ryan's not too happy about it but Lily sure is. She really loves her new journal, it's super easy to use and lots of fun at the same time. I really like the fact that there's only one page to write on, there's no paper so there's no waste which is great and no waste means no mess for Mummy to clean up.

The page inside is pre lined so you can write notes, short stories or even reminders or secrets easily. The page also wipes clean afterwards so you can use it over and over again. Lily's already off hiding somewhere writing away. She loves the fact that she can leave her journal under her pillow all day without having to worry about anyone trying to read it. 

She keeps her bracelet either on her wrist or hidden away out of site because without that, no one can get in. Lily's really enjoying her secret journal unlike Ryan who's desperate to see inside. I'm sure they'll work it out though, but I have a feeling, I may have to get him one of his own so that he'll finally stop chasing her around the house and leave hers alone.

The A.D.I.S.N. Journal from Project Mc2 gets a firm thumbs up from Lily and I.

Disclosure: We received our Journal for free in return for an honest review. All the photographs and opinions expressed are 100% honest and entirely our own.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Disney On Ice Worlds Of Enchantment #Review

Disney On Ice Worlds Of Enchantment 

Last Thursday we went along to the opening night of Disney On Ice Worlds Of Enchantment in Birmingham's Genting Arena. We love Disney and seeing it on ice is always exciting. We've been to see the show several times before so it's nice to see that the stories do change every so often bringing fresh excitement to all the fans, even the regulars like ourselves. The kids were so excited when they found out we were going. Just look at their happy faces when we got to meet Mickey Mouse himself before hand at the show.

This year Disney brings us 4 short stories filled with flashing lights, fireworks, bubbles and even snow. There's lots going on to see and four great family favourites to enjoy. This year, the Worlds of Enchantment took us on a journey with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, the hosts.

First up was my favourite, Toy Story 3. Set in Andy's bedroom we got to see all our favourite characters come to life. Barbie and Ken were really funny and made everyone laugh out loud whilst that big old bear 'Lotsa' brought lots of hisses and boo's from the crowds.

Next up was a scene from Disney Pixars Cars where we saw full sized cars zooming around the ice. We had no idea how they'd done it but it was fabulous to watch and the fireworks and bangs made us all jump with joy. This section was short but sweet and lots of fun.

In the middle there's always a short interval to grab snacks, in our case popcorn and candy floss and then just enough time for a quick trip to the little boys room for Ryan as always.

Third up was a lovely story from the Little Mermaid with some beautiful skating from Ariel. The music was great and Sebastian was awesome, he's one of my faves ever! Lily loved this part and sat open mouthed throughout it all. It was nice to see her quiet for a while,

Last but not least was Frozen, the real star of the show. From the moment Elsa and Anna appeared on the ice everyone was singing and dancing and joining in. I had a family behind me who sand loudly throughout but it was lovely, the crowds were really enjoying the show.

Lily loved the 'Let it Go' song where as I'm more a fan of the 'Love is an Open Door' tune.

The whole show was fantastic and we all had a lovely time. I'm so glad they added Toy Story in this time as that was one of my favourite movies of the year last year. I mean what kid doesn't love to see their favourite toys coming to life? I know I sure would, how fab!

Disney On Ice Worlds Of Enchantment is a lovely family show which we'd happily recommend seeing if it's in your town this year. It's great family fun for all ages.

Disclosure: We were given complimentary tickets to see the show in return for an honest review. All opinions expressed within our review are 100% honest and our own.