Wednesday, 13 August 2014

July's Degustabox



You may remember last month that I was fortunate enough to review the June Degustabox, I now also have the July Degustabox to review!

Here is the contents of this months box and what we thought of them.


3 Zeo Drinks. The flavours are Peach and Grapefruit Burst, Citrus Crush and  Lime Zest. Out of all three of them the lime zest was my favourite. These drinks are not too sweet and really refreshing. They cost £1.29 per bottle.


3 Bags of Portlebay Popcorn, these bags cost 79p each. This is something that I would probably look at in the shop but never actually buy it. However now that we have tasted it, its something that will be going into my weekly shop. Its a deliciously different snack, the Kracklecorn which is a mix of sweet and salted popcorn is fab and the kids enjoyed it too.


2 bottles of Hornsby's Blueberry Cider, priced at £1.25 per bottle. I have to say that I do like a cider and I have been enjoying some fruity ones recently. I have never seen a blueberry flavoured one before so I was keen to try it. It was really nice and refreshing, you can really taste the blueberries.


6 Sachets of Maggi which total £5.54. These I have yet to use, but they look like they will be really nice and also very handy for those busy evenings when I need to get tea ready quickly. 



There was also Green & Blacks Lemon bar £2.29, Dr Oetker Eton Mess £1.99 and Violet Crystals £1.29 and Frank 85p which is a snack bar made with 100% natural ingredients. Last month my Degustabox inspired me to get baking, this month is no different! I made these vanilla cupcakes and topped them with the violet crystals.


Here is the recipe I used:
2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature, cut into chunks
4 eggs
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla


Lastly there was this from the Berry Company, white tea which is worth £1.49.


The berry company is a family run business, producing a range of delicious and nutritious juices for nearly a decade. Again, this is something I would see in the shop but I would be very unlikely to buy it, but saying that I did enjoy it.

I have a discount code here for you so you can get £3 off your first subscription VF7WC! Its definitely worth it, have a try and see what you think. 

I was sent a degustabox in exchange for this review. All wording an opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Don't lose a family moment this summer holiday with the Nokia Lumia 930

Easily store and share special moments - photos, videos, documents, and more, anywhere and on any device with Microsoft OneDrive

 
Have you ever missed a special family moment or perhaps lost a treasured picture or video? All family memories can be captured for eternity using the new Nokia Lumia 930 and Microsoft's OneDrive storage hub. It automatically saves every picture, video or document on your phone, giving you the ability to seamlessly download, edit, store, back up and share on the go. Whether you are at the beach, skiing on top of a mountain or at a family occasion, you never have to lose another special moment!

To showcase the capabilities of the new flagship smartphone, Microsoft Mobile Devices created the ultimate 'One Experience' for families to star in their very own immersive film. Children and adults dressed up in costumes and interacted with fantasy animations in front of a green screen setup, all captured on a Nokia Lumia 930. Unbeknownst to them, the footage was showcased to thousands of festival goers and the unsuspecting families were made the stars of the show at a UK family festival earlier this month.


 
Disclamer: This is a featured post.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Zizzi Restaurant Review


Maybe its just me, but when we are out shopping with the kids I generally stick to the restaurants I know, no matter how lovely some of the menus look, I just don't want the stress of the kids not liking anything on the menu, that would make the day a little less enjoyable! To be fair our kids are not to fussy but we have had the odd lunchtime meltdown.

We have been extremely lucky in that we were asked to go to our local Zizzi Restaurant and review the new Bambini Menu for kids. Of course me being a huge Italian fan, I couldn't turn down the opportunity.

Our closest Zizzi Restaurant is in Aberdeen, Union Square. We booked a table, and then realised we were running a little late, I phoned up and they were more than happy to change our booking for a little later.

When we arrived at Zizzi in Aberdeen, my husband and I both commented on how clean and fresh the restaurant looked. We were greeted by a very nice waiter who showed us to our table and also got a highchair for little E.

As we were seated the waiter handed over our menus, the children got paper menus with pictures for them to colour in, and also a space for them to draw a picture, write a poem or whatever takes their fancy, they can do this using the Crayola Twisables the Restaurant have. Once they have done this they can then hand them over to their waiter and enter into a competition where they can win a meal for their family. I think that this is a great touch and really keeps the kids entertained whilst waiting for their food to come out.


We decided that since the kids were having starters we would too, and I am so glad we did. Daddy had the Antipasti whilst I had the Garlic bread with Mozzarella & Caramalised Balsamic Onions (it was delicious!). The Antipasti was very impressive, I have never tried some of the things that came out on the plate so I was eager to try some too.


The kids starters came out in a little bucket, inside was cucumber sticks, carrot sticks and dough sticks all of which were gobbled up and enjoyed.


The kids were so excited about designing their own pizza, they were telling us what kind of faces they were going to make on them. Unfortunately there had been a misunderstanding and the pizzas came out ready made for them and they were a little disappointed that they never got to put their chosen ingredients on, however I told them we could go back sometime and they could do it then. The pizzas were really tasty and so child friendly. The portion size was just perfect (don't these pictures make you hungry?!).


I would also like to mention our main courses, I had Spaghetti Bolognese and daddy had Mushroom and Chicken Risotto. Both of these mains were great sizes and delicious! Its not often that I order something like that and really enjoy it as there is usually something not right, but this time I could not complain, I really enjoyed it. Everything was fresh and the ingredients I would say had been thought out well.

Once the main course was finished we of course had to have dessert, and we couldn't leave daddy out! He spotted the Chocolate and Strawberry Pizza, I to be fair wasn't too sure about it, that was until I saw and tasted it! How I could have one right now!


The kids then had the Bambini Zizzi Cones, this consists of 2 scoops of vanilla ice-cream with sugar cones to fill yourself and a bowl of chocolate popping candy to decorate. They loved decorating their own little ice cream cones and it gave us a chance to enjoy our Pizza dessert!

Unfortunately I didn't realise/forgot that the kids could also have a Chocachino which is steamed chocolate milk, they would have loved it! I would have thought that the waiter may have reminded us that it would have been included in the children's meal but again its something that we will get when we go back.


I am very impressed at the value for money you get at Zizzi's. For £6.75 your children get a 3 course meal and a Chocicino. The Restaurant was very child friendly and extremely spacious, meaning the highchair wasn't in the way for other customers. We would definitely recommend Zizzi's and will be back for another visit soon. Hopefully we can create our own Pizza's and have a Chocicino next time. I will then share our creations with you here. If you would like anymore information on Zizzi's or to see some menus fr yourself visit www.zizzi.co.uk.

 Inspire your kids creativity this summer by trying out the new Bambini menu. You can find your local restaurant here. Share your kid’s creations using #ZizziBambini

Disclaimer: We were treated to a meal at Zizzi in exchange for this review. All wording and opinions are my own.

Silent Sunday




Sunday, 13 July 2014

Silent Sunday



Stuck On You Review




I know some of you will be thinking I am being a little too organised doing a post on back to school already but our kids have just finished week one of the summer holidays, five to go!

Stuck on you have so many brilliant personalised products for back to school, meaning that your children won't be coming home with someone else's things and other kids won't be taking your kids things home.

Little E was very lucky as she was sent some lovely products for us to review. Like most little girls E is a budding artist so this budding artist kit was perfect for her. The Budding Artist Kit comes with a personalised notepad, personalised colouring pencils and personalised felt tip pens.



E has had so much fun with this set and she draws pictures daily which is great for development and really encourages her. The pens and pencils will be very useful for when she eventually starts school and it will be great for her to have her very own ones with her name on them. The quality of all these products are really good, the paper of the notepad is also of very good quality. At £15.99 for this set I would say is a reasonable price.

At our kids school they are allowed to take a bottle of water into the class and I have noticed that a lot of the children have the same bottles, so since receiving one of these personalised bottles for E I am also going to get one for each of the boys to avoid mix up's whilst in class.


This drinks bottle costs £15.99 and I personally think that it is worth it. It again is of excellent quality and will last for a very long time, and like I said earlier it will save my children being confused in class as to which is their bottle.

For all these products you visit the stuck on you website, find the product you would like to buy, choose the design you would like and then personalise the product, it is very simple.



I received these products in exchange for this review, all wording and opinions are my own.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Degustabox



I love surprises, I mean really love surprises. When something gets delivered to me, as sad as it sounds I genuinely get excited. So when I had a read about Degustabox I knew this is something I had to try.



Here's what was inside this months Degustabox:

 

Estrella Damm Beer and Strawberry Lambrini. The beer I have been informed was very good, I did  not get a chance to drink it but Daddy is partial to a beer or two so I will take his word for it. The Strawberry Lambrini on the other hand I did get to taste and it was actually quite refreshing. It is a drink that would be lovely whilst out in the garden on a beautiful sunny day. 


Alpha Bites Multigrain Cereal Letters. I am not a massive fan of cereal but all three kids love a bowl of cereal in the morning. These Alpha Bites I have been told by the kids are great, they like to try and spell words whilst eating it. I have never saw these in any of our local supermarkets but I will definitely look out for them as the kids really loved it.


Urban Fruit Pineapple, Shaken Udder Chocolate Milk and Dr Oetker Vanilla Grinder. I am not a huge fan of dried fruit, I always think it has a horrible texture, however the pineapple was bearable for me but the kids really enjoyed it. The shaken udder went down very well with the kids, they all had to have a taste and its a drink that I wouldn't mind them having once a week. I was most impressed with the vanilla grinder, I always find buying vanilla pods a little expensive and I never use them enough to justify the cost of them. I have used this grinder in some vanilla cupcakes that I made and it was brilliant!

Here is the recipe for my Vanilla Cupcakes:
Makes:  12
Preparation time:  15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

You will need
175g butter (at room temperature), cut into large pieces
175g self-raising flour
175g caster sugar

1⁄2 tsp baking powder

3 large eggs
Vanilla (to taste)

For the icing:
175g butter (at room temperature), cut into large pieces
Vanilla (to taste)
2-3 tbsp milk

350g icing sugar, sifted

Pink edible colouring

Edible pink hearts or other sprinkles, to decorate

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cupcake or muffin cases.

2. Put all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk or a wooden spoon until smooth and evenly mixed. Divide the mixture evenly between the paper cases.
3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and firm on top. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

4. Meanwhile, make the icing. Put the butter, vanilla (grinder), two tablespoons of the milk, and half the icing sugar in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining icing sugar, and pour in the rest of the milk if needed to make the icing the right consistency.

5. Put half of the icing into another bowl and colour it pale pink with the edible colouring. Carefully spoon this down one side of a piping bag fitted with a number eight star nozzle, then spoon the non-coloured icing down the other side of the bag. Twist the end of the bag to seal the icing in.

6. Pipe swirls of the icing on top of each cupcake. Scatter with the edible pink hearts or other sprinkles, to decorate.




Veetee Basmati & Wild rice & Elizabeth Shaw Amaretto Flutes. The rice is amazing, I am a huge rice/pasta fan and I could live on it. The rice I had for my tea one night when I fancied something light and this done the job along with a creamy sauce. As for the chocolate flutes, they are really nice and would be a handy little box to have in the cupboard for when those surprise visitors arrive!



Last up is Be Fast - a breakfast drink. I have not yet tried this as I am not a huge banana flavoured fan but I will try it one of these mornings when we have slept in and rushing to get out the door. These are high in fibre, a source of protein and low in fat.

All in all I am very impressed with our Degustabox, I love the fact that we have received products that we normally wouldn't buy, meaning that we are trying new things and its also made me sllightly more adventurous with the things I do buy whilst shopping. 

Like I said to start with I love surprises and I think that Degustabox is brilliant! Every month a box full of surprises sent to your door, what more could you wish for?! I would highly recommend trying out a Degustabox and its only £12.99 per month.

To find out more about Degustabox you can visit their Website, or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

I was sent a Degustabox in exchange for this review. All wording and opinions are my own.