Monday, 30 June 2014

Yuu Bag review


When I read the write-up for Yuu Bags, I couldn't help but think it was like mentally ticking off all the items on my wishlist for the ultimate kids' backpack.

Funky design - check
Ergonomic and healthy for backs - check
Lots of room and pockets - check
reflective strips on front and back - check
lightweight - check
sturdy - check

But then they came up with even more things that I'd never have thought of :

- a chest strap with a whistle to encourage children to wear the bag correctly
- an ergonomic back panel to help distribute weight evenly across your child's back


I was already sold and, all importantly, so was Juliette. She thinks it looks cool, feels comfortable and has absolutely loads of room for all her stuff.


Just look at all those pockets waiting to be filled with goodies. Another cool aspect is that it is designed to be used as a desk - you can use the fold down front flap as a rigid table for drawing, writing or playing on.


Juliette was over the moon to discover that it has some special goodies tucked inside when it arrives - a pad, pencil, key-ring holder, a desk card to write your name and address on, a magnetic game and also a  membership card for YUUclub where you can not only play games but win prizes too.

Let's be honest - what more could you possibly want from a bag?! It's funky and functional and manages to appeal to both what kids want and need - that's no mean feat !

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £43

for more information : http://yuuworld.com/index.php

Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Picture book review :Cantankerous King Colin - Phil Allcock

Drumond Park Don't Laugh review

Madhouse Diaries : You never know where geocaching will lead you !


After a bit of rain in the morning, it actually came out quite nice yesterday so I decided to head out with the kids for an adventure. There was one geocache that we hadn't tried yet about 4km from our house so we decided to go for a long walk and see what we'd find along the way. Well, the answer was a village fête, packed with stalls and games where everything was free - bonus !


It was to celebrate the anniversary of a kids' play area so that was the logical place to start.


The kids soon twigged that even if the stalls were free, you could still win prizes, so we had to have a go at all of them. First up was the fakir - you had to drop the pallets down a board covered in nails to see where it ended up at the bottom and count points.


Next was the coconut shy, knocking down painted Barbapapas !


Sophie got up close to the big bear. I couldn't help but laugh because both she and her friend, who we bumped into at the fête, were scared of the bear ! When I pointed out that at their age, they knew it was just a person inside, they said that that was exactly why they were scared - it could be a psychopath in there ! There's logic there, I suppose !


The slippery slope game involved pushing a bar up of soap up a wet board with a stick !


It was only for kids up to 12 so Sophie had a sit down while she was waiting ... on the springy animals !


The hook-a-duck went down extremely well.


Pierre seemed to have a totally unique technique that involved harpooning them !


Mini golf - only one hole so a round didn't take long !


Table skittles without the skittles (I kid you not ... they must have got fed up of keep standing them up !)


Rolling big cheese-like pucks through archways wasn't as easy as it looked.


But the big attraction had to be the bouncy castles - not one, but two of them !


How much fun is Pierre having on there ?!


A quick stop at the facepainting stall gave Pierre a chance to recuperate !


Aaa-haahh me hearties !


Juliette wanted a French flag - the woman doing the face painting said she could keep it on overnight so it would be there for the French match tonight !


You're never too old to get your face painted !


We finished off with a few goes on the zipwire.


There were donkey rides and trailer rides but by the time we got there, they were packing up.


We were only a few hundred metres from the cache so we popped over to find it, despite everyone being tired.


Ooh a treasure chest, to go with the pirate make-up !


Loads of goodies in here, including a trackable - our first ever !


The kids took everything then filled it up again with treasures from our bag.


Time to pop it back into place.


Oops, I think I might have worn them out ! And there's another 4km walk home !


Madhouse Daddy had stayed at home so the kids showed him their finds.


And their winnings from the fête. Yet another adventure that shows that geocaching always leads you to places you never would have found otherwise !

Other blogposts you may be interested in :



Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Other blogposts you may be interested in :

#alphabetphoto project : F is for ... frame

Globe-cooking recipe : Rosemary-stuffed chicken with roasted Mediterranean veg (France)


Yesterday, for the first Sunday in ages, the weather was forecast as wet and windy so our semi-traditional summer Sunday lunchtime barbecue was off the menu. We opted for a roast chicken, but rather than going for the usual roast potatoes, carrots and parsnips, I decided to go for a lighter, Mediterranean-inspired version, using some of the rosemary that is happily growing in a pot on the patio. This nicely ties in with the French-theme for today's World Cup Challenge post - hopefully it might bring Les Bleus some extra luck for tonight's game !

Rosemary-stuffed chicken with roasted Mediterranean veg 

1 free-range chicken
3 tomatoes
5 mushrooms
2 red peppers
1 leek
2 onions
several sprigs of fresh rosemary
freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
olive oil



Chop the vegetables into large chunks and put them in a large roasting tray. This is what I had in the fridge that needed using up but you could also add aubergines, courgettes, baby potatoes, olives, or whatever else takes your fancy.


Push sprigs of rosemary into the cavity of the chicken and lay one under each leg. Throw a couple more on top of the vegetables.


Place the chicken on top of the vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil and grind black pepper and sea salt over the top.


Put in the oven at 180° for 1 hour until the juices run clear. Serve with rice and/or salad.

I added some gravy granules to the juices from the roasting tin which created a beautiful rosemary-infused gravy. We also used the leftover carcass, gravy and rosemary sprigs to make a lovely chicken soup for the evening meal. It made a lovely change to the classic Sunday roast.



I'm joining in with the World Cup recipe challenge over on the Cooking Around The World blog





Other blogposts you may be interested in :

Globe-cooking recipe : Bourek (Algeria)

In honour of multi-tasking mums !

 

Depending on who I'm talking to, I'll say I'm a mum-of-three, a teacher or a blogger. Somehow, I have to find time to fit all three of those different roles into each day, so I feel like I'm Worzel Gummidge sometimes. "Where did I put my blogging head? ... I need to swap over to my teacher head ... Oops, I need my Mum head now !"

I'm not a Supermum though - I think all parents are like this these days. The software development company behind new mobile app ScanWritr certainly understand this, as their cute video shows.



The video raises the issue of technology helping us over-stretched parents in our day-to-day lives. When I was growing up, parents were often scolded for using videos and DVDs as baby-sitters. I think these days, most parents, if they're honest, will admit to using tablets and smartphones to keep their kids entertained while they're busy cooking dinner, making an important phonecall or hanging around in the doctor's waiting room. At least they keep kids actively involved and there are some great apps out there that manage to be educational as well as fun. Let's be honest though, Angry Birds and Candy Crush are great tantrum-busters and whinge-stoppers so who cares if they're not educational ?! Facetime and Skype are also fabulous tools - putting in a video call to nanny and grandad allows them to be remote babysitters while you're otherwise occupied around the house !

Anything that cuts corners and saves time is always welcome in a busy day, so I actually really like the idea of the ScanWritr app. I can see how it would be extremely useful as both a teacher and mum, avoiding wasted time at the photocopier or scanner. It allows you to take a photo of a document and instantly transform it into a pdf document that can be emailed or faxed, but that is not all - you can also edit it, digitally sign it, clean it up, as well as store it in your account for future use. That sounds really handy to me.

If you fancy giving it a go, I have a whole bunch of codes that you can use for a free download :
- For Android, Windows Phone & Blackberry users: the code for a free fax token is: “SCANWRITRFREEFAXTOKEN”. There are 1000 codes with a total value of $990, which can be redeemed until 15th of July or until the 1000th was claimed. The tokens can be redeemed within the app – no purchase of any kind is required, since you can download the free version of ScanWritr app.

- For iOS users: I have 100 promo codes for ScanWritr Pro on iOS (premium version of the app, which otherwise costs $3.99). Each code can be redeemed only once. Instructions on how to redeem iOS promo codes are accessible at: http://www.imore.com/how-redeem-gift-cards-and-app-promo-codes-straight-your-iphone-and-ipad. Leave me a message if you want one.

Disclosure : Written in collaboration with ScanWritr.

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

Tales from the kitchen sink ! #kitchentales

Mrs Crimbles gluten-free snacks review


Mrs Crimbles recently got in touch to ask if, to welcome in the summer, we fancied trying out some of the lovely picnic foods from their gluten-free range. That certainly sounded like an offer we couldn't refuse ! They sent us through a sweet option and a savoury option to tempt our tastebuds.



The pack of 6 large Choc Macaroons didn't last long at all ! We actually reviewed these way back in 2011 - click through to read that review - and they're just as good as I remembered. They're nice and juicy with the taste of fresh homemade coconut macaroons (that I haven't made for years so it was a real blast from the past). Even without needing a gluten-free diet, I'd happily munch my way through these. Each macaroon provides 180 calories, 1.3g of protein, 23.4g of carbs (of which 19.8g sugar) and 8.7g of fat (of which 8g saturated) so they're something I'd only eat as an occasional treat. Mrs Crimbles say that they're so popular, they sell one every second, which is rather impressive !


The crackers are lovely - they're really light and crunchy so they offset the creaminess of cheeses like camembert, brie, goat's cheese or even cheddar beautifully. We tried the original cheese crackers which were very nice, but I really fancy trying out the Rosemary & Onion or Tomato & Pesto ones to take my cheese board to a whole new level. They're baked, not fried, to cut down on the fat content. Each serving of 4 crackers provides a very reasonable 79 calories, 2.3g of protein, 11.5g of carbs (of which 0.8g sugars), 2.6g of fat (of which 1.6g saturated) and 0.5g of fibre. That doesn't take into account the calories from the cheese or accompanying red wine though !

There are various other options available in the range, all of which are gluten-free :

Sour Cream & Onion Cheese Bites, from £1.30
Tomato & Olive Cheese Bites, from £1.30
Original Cheese Bites, from £1.30
Large Choc Macaroons, from £1.20
Cheese Crackers, from £1.60
Jam Rings, from £1.55

Mrs Crimble’s stockist details: 01256 393 460, www.mrscrimbles.com

Disclosure : We received the products in order to write an honest review.

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

Amy's Kitchen Rice Mac & Cheese review

Heck Sausages review

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Broxo Orabrush Electric Toothbrush review


Broxo recently got in touch and asked if I'd like to try out one of their Orabrush electric toothbrushes. As they quite rightly said in their introductory email, it's a brand that you're unlikely to have heard of but whose products have been proven superior to the big brands in university clinical trials - 167 of them, no less ! They asked me to give it a fair try and ignore the "unglamorous" aspect of the product, compared to its competitiors, and judge it on its performance alone.


Well, when it arrived, I was actually pleasantly surprised. It has just the right balance of funky and functional as far as I'm concerned. Along with the central unit, you get four different coloured heads and a little storage unit to keep the heads clean and safe.


You get the screws and rawlplugs for attaching the unit to the wall. This means that the whole family could share the handle, with each member of the family having their own colour coded brush head.



The brush is very simple to use. It has three speeds and I started off on the slowest. This corresponds to the top speed of the last electric toothbrush I tried. The top speed is so fast, it made my whole head buzz ! I read on the box that it has 6000 wide angle movements per minute and millions of circumvolutions of its bristles. (This isn't necessarily as fast as its competitors, but it has been designed to provide the optimum balance of performance and user comfort.) I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I had incredibly shiny, smooth teeth, with the feeling you only ever get when you've just walked out of the dentist's, even after only one use.


I was slightly concerned about it being too rough on my gums - I have a receding gum on one tooth since my last pregnancy and my dentist told me to go easy when brushing - but I was reassured to learn that the Orabrush was created by its inventor, Dr. Philippe-Guy Woog, precisely because he had problems with his gums. When his dentist's advice failed to solve the problem, he tried biting into apples regularly and discovered that his gums got better. Undertaking research into Yanomami Indians and Eskimos, he discovered that, although they had tooth decay, their gums were in very good health, presumably because of all the dried meat and fish that they eat that requires vigorous biting and chewing. The Orabrush is therefore designed to reproduce the biting action and its beneficial effects on the gums that are no longer provided by modern foods that are too soft in consistency. It has been clinically proven to stop gingivitis in 8 days and gum bleeding due to periodontal disease in 30 days, restoring healthy gums.


The one slight niggle that I have with the brush is that it needs plugging into a socket. As bathrooms don't have sockets in them, this means that I invariably end up using it in the bedroom. For the brush to work more efficiently, removing dental plaque whether it be on the visible tooth surface, delow the gum line or between the teeth, you must keep liquid (saliva + toothpaste) in your mouth during brushing, which invariably leads to me dashing to the sink in the bathroom at top speed when I need to spit ! You also have to make sure you line it up with the gum line correctly but the enclosed intruction booklet is very clear.

Having read that periodontal disease is the principal cause of tooth loss in adults and that 9 out of 10 people over 50 and 75% of 35-50 year olds suffer from it, I'm really pleased to have discovered just how effective the Orabrush is, not just for looking after teeth but also gums.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : €135

Disclosure : I received the product in order to write an honest review.

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

Sure Compressed for Women review


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...