Category Archives: reviews

How I keep my husband happy.

My husband has always been supportive of my writing, my blogging but never as much as he has been this week when I had the opportunity to review FFX one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of high quality tools, fixings & building supplies.

From our first date I learned that my husband loved tools, then a window fitter by trade, tools were literally his bread and butter. Birthday and Christmas lists often had a power tool or two on them. Now even though his profession has changed greatly he loves nothing better than throwing his work clothes on and disappearing into his man cave a.k.a the shed.

So when I approached him about reviewing FFX he was rather excited and disappeared onto the website in minutes.

So what does he think of the site ?

He found the website easy to navigate and the search function was really helpful. The selection of tools was vast and also covered a range of budgets. The checkout was easy and free UK delivery was an added bonus. Compared to a number of other tool suppliers of which he knows rather well he found FFX prices to be really competitive. I personally realised the site had been a hit with him when he asked me how to bookmark it, something I may live to regret later.

So after a lot and I mean a lot of browsing Alan finally decided his immediate need (want) was a jigsaw. After I established what one was, I was then treated to a slideshow of his top picks when finally he chose the Bosch GST150BCE 240v 780w 150mm Professional Jigsaw.

Following on his previous experience of Bosch tools he already had trust in the brand and this was an heavy duty jigsaw with the pendulum action which he required. 

Honestly waiting for the delivery was agonising for him, we travelled for our daughters graduation and a number of times he mentioned he had a jigsaw waiting at home for him.

Lets just say he was one happy bunny when the jigsaw was finally in his hands.

So what does he think of the jigsaw?

His first answer to this question was “absolutly flipping awesome” which is fine but not great for one trying to write a review.

So lets talk about the  Bosch GST150BCE 240v 780w 150mm Professional Jigsaw.

Features and Benefits:

•High power reserves, even in hard and thick beams, due to powerful and overload-capable 780-watt motor

•Extremely robust and bend-resistant sole plate for the toughest jobs

•High cutting precision due to new saw blade clamping system

•Tool-free saw blade clamping system for easy and fast saw blade changes

•Ergonomic grip area with softgrip surfaces for a high level of comfort during use

•4-stage pendulum action for fine through to coarse cuts

•Electronic speed preselection

The jigsaw’s four stage pendulum action impressed Alan greatly as it really does make a difference and eases your cutting.

The strength of the motor made cutting through wood as simple as cutting through paper. No pressure was needed as the motor did all the work.

Alan loved the quick change blade system, after years of needing allan keys which he could never find this was something that impressed him.

The jigsaw comes complete with a blade and a vacuum attachment which he hasn’t played with yet but is rather excited about. Also a plastic base, glide shoe to protect your project.

A nice long lead which gives you space to move around your projects.

Variable speed, which allows you more accuracy when starting your cut.

Feels comfortable in your hand with a good grip.

It also come in a heavy duty case which has extra space for your extra bits, blades etc.

So as you can see in Alan’s words “Its flipping awesome”.

To be fair even I was impressed when checking out the quality and durability of the jigsaw.

So all in all I now have one happy husband and I also may get a number of household jobs done.

Win win.

Seriously though as one who loves online shopping I was impressed with FFX website,service and delivery. Alan as a tool lover, was super happy with his new jigsaw and is now happily planning his next purchase, need, want.

 

A water connoisseur.

Having a child with diabetes insipidus has made learn a lot about the fluid our body needs to survive and work at its best. Its also made me realise that i do not drink enough to keep my body hydrated.

In my quest to keep my body hydrated and well  I have developed into what my husband calls a water connoisseur. I have become passionate about trying new bottled water and have become a little of a water snob. I know what I like and what I don’t. My husband thinks I’m crazy as he cannot tell the difference but I certainly can. So when asked if I wanted to try a new brand of water i of course jumped at the chance.

First off I will let the brand tell you about itself.

AQUA Carpatica (www.aquacarpatica.co.uk) is nature’s most perfect mineral water. The first of its kind in the UK, it is naturally Nitrate-free and has the lowest Sodium level of any bottled natural mineral water on earth.

It is also naturally functional, and supports overall health and wellbeing, being the ideal water choice for the most demanding health conscious people, pregnant women, organic food lovers and those with active lifestyles.

AQUA Carpatica offers natural mineral waters of the highest quality, from the untouched springs within the Carpathian Mountains, available in three varieties: Still Natural Mineral Water, Naturally Sparkling Mineral Water and Forte Intensely Sparkling Mineral Water.

NITRATES AND SODIUM CONCERNS. AQUA CARPATICA HEALTH BENEFITS

Nitrates are fertilisers and can be traced in almost every bottled water on the market.  Found in nature and used in agriculture, they are colourless, odourless and tasteless but are pollutants, and in large quantities can be damaging.

Naturally Nitrate-free water is particularly important for pregnant women and new born babies as infants can become seriously ill if exposed to Nitrates. It has also been proven that birth defects are more likely to occur if expectant mothers are exposed to high levels of Nitrates.

In many European countries, legislation ensures that Nitrate (NO3) content in bottled water does not exceed 50mg per litre for adults, while for new born babies and pregnant women any more than 10mg per litre can be dangerous. AQUA Carpatica is the solution with a naturally Nitrate-free water.

UNIQUE SOFT, CLEAN TASTE

The newest addition to the UK bottled water market, AQUA Carpatica has a unique and unforgettable soft and clean taste. Courtesy of the water’s pure composition and naturally high alkaline pH level (7.8), AQUA Carpatica delivers an exquisite crisp, refreshing, balanced and unique flavour, with no bitter, salty or sour after-taste.  This makes it ideal to accompany and enhance the natural taste of food, whether fine dining or eating at home.

SOURCED FROM THE CARPATHIAN MOUNTAINS

AQUA Carpatica is today as it has been for centuries: pure and pristine with no enhancements, artificial carbonation or processing. Just as natural mineral water should be.

Every drop of the water is derived from two untouched springs deep within the pristine and beautiful Carpathian Mountains, which are home to the last remaining unspoilt forests in Europe. With no agriculture or industrial activity in the surrounding areas, AQUA Carpatica’s source is protected from chemicals, fertilizers, CFCs and other contaminants providing consumers with a healthier alternative and more transparent label.

AQUA Carpatica’s Naturally Sparkling Mineral Water is naturally carbonated by a unique geological volcanic structure and filtered by nature for 40 years, whilst it’s Still Natural Mineral Water is has an underground journey of 15 years.  At no stage do humans interfere with or process the water, meaning that it is impeccably pure and free from all contaminants. It is a naturally pure water, just as nature intended.

Every litre of Naturally Sparkling Mineral Water provides Potassium, nearly 24 per cent of an adult’s recommended daily requirement of Calcium and 16 per cent of Magnesium. AQUA Carpatica’s Still Natural Mineral Water contains natural electrolytes and has a low content of minerals with an alkaline pH level of 7.8[5].

All varieties of AQUA Carpatica water deliver a crisp, clean, refreshing and balanced flavour, with no bitter, salty or sour after-taste, making it ideal to accompany and enhance the natural taste of food, whether fine dining, eating at home or adding to baby food and milk formula.

AQUA Carpatica’s 12 SKUs mineral water portfolio is available in glass or a clear BPA (Bisphenol A) free bottle design and is 100% recyclable.

AQUA Carpatica is available throughout the UK and Ireland at Ocado, Amazon, Harrods, Whole Foods Market, As Nature Intended, Fresh Supermarket (Dublin) and over 300 independent outlets throughout the UK:

  • RRP 0.65p for 500ml Still Natural Mineral Water

  • RRP 0.69p for 500ml Naturally Sparkling Natural Mineral Water

  • RRP £0.79 for 1 litre and £0.99 for 1.5 litre Still Natural Mineral Water

  • RRP £1.09 for 1.5 litre Naturally Sparkling Natural Mineral Water

 

Now my personal opinion on the water.

First off I was completely impressed by the appearance . The bottles are stylish and come in both glass or a BPA free bottle. I was drawn straight away to the glass bottle as this is my personal favourite bottle to drink from but having the flexibility to choose between them both is ideal.

 

The presentation is really stylish and I was impressed.

But what about the water.

Smooth as silk. 

I have to say I loved it, the clean crisp taste was so refreshing, I had finished a bottle before I realised it.

Its strange to say it just tasted fresh and natural.

I am not a sparkling water fan so I asked my daughter to sample this and she was so impressed. I think she also was rather taken by the presentation and couldn’t wait to take a bottle to school.

 

 

In conclusion I have added another brand to my connoisseur list. I was impressed by the presentation but absolutely loved the taste.

 

 

  • I was gifted some water for the purpose of the review but all opinions are my own unless stated.

Happy 35th Birthday Dear ZOO..

Walking back  again through the toddler years with my new little one has filled me with so many déjà vu moments.

Holding my little man in my arms I am transported back 15 years to when my girls were little enough see on my lap.

So many things have changed, yet still many are the same.

One thing that i’m really loving is the opportunity to read again some of my favourite children’s books. Books that my girls left behind as they grew older.

One extra special blessing is that now my big girls are enjoying rereading their favourites to their little brother.

 

One of those old favourites being enjoyed is the Rod Campbell lift the flap book Dear Zoo.

 

Can you believe that this wonderful book was first published in 1982, that makes it 35 years old, WOW.

To celebrate this special birthday Macmillan Children’s books have released this special edition with a beautiful shiny gold jacket and specially designed gift slipcase. The celebrations don’t just stop here though, Macmillan Children’s books have an exciting year planned to celebrate 35 years of Dear Zoo, including a live on stage version, an Easter treat at ZSL London Zoo. Find out more at http://www.dearzooandfriends.com

I am surprised at how long this book has been out but not by its success, my girls loved lifting the flaps and arguing over what they considered to be the best pet. My son gets rather cross when we send the lion back I think he would prefer to hold on to the lion, my eldest always wanted to keep the giraffe.

Happy Birthday Dear Zoo, thank you for 35 years of story time and here’s to many more years of enjoyment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • I was gifted a copy of this book for this post, but my love for it is completely genuine and truthful.

Perfect print

We have been running Livvy’s Smile for the last 8 years now, it certainly keeps us busy planning events, fundraising and generally getting awareness out there. This year is going to be especially busy with the planning and holding of  Livvy’s Ball.

With so many charities about now its really important that we get our name out there, locally and further a field, we do this in many ways, social media campaigns, blog posts, news articles and leaflets. We want to share what we do with as many people as possible. Obviously we need support in fundraising but we also want to make sure get our events shared with families that will benefit and enjoy our memory making days.

Over the years we have invested heavily in promotion material some which have been fantastic some which have been extremely disappointing. So when offered the chance to review a printing company I was certainly happy to give them a go and I am happy to say I am so glad I did.

Working with Aura Print has been so fantastic the whole process has been painless from design to print to delivery they have offered first class service. We were asked what style, size and supported with the design. To be honest we had our base design but if we didn’t the company were willing to walk us through the design process step by step.

The quality of the print, paper and overall presentation of the leaflets is wonderful. The colours are sharp, precise and the text has clarity. I am really impressed.

I actually cannot wait to get these leaflets out into circulation.

So if you are looking for some A5 flyer printing I highly recommend Aura Print. 

 

My Little Rock Star 

I’m having so much fun shopping for toddler clothes. The ranges have expanded massively since the girls were little. Little ones today can be full on style icons.

I am really enjoying sourcing out unique brands, companies that offer super different and original. 

I was super excited when I came across the shop 


Their clothes just breathe fun and originality. I was in love so when they contacted me offering my little one a onesie I jumped at the opportunity. Take a look at how cute he is.



My boy is certainly stylish. The onesie is awesome, the quality is fantastic and the fit on size. 

I love it and little man does too. 

*I was gifted the suit but the opinions are all my own. 

Lets go on adventure

You will read often how much I love books, how I love to get lost between the pages,go  off on adventures full of adventure and excitement. I love reading with my children so of course I want them to join with me as we journey across the world into lives that are not our own.

I’m excited to share with you the awesome Watadventure  a website where you can create a book personalised to your child. The personalisation goes well beyond their name you get to place your child within the pages, their colour hair, their hairstyle, their eyes and so much you. I absolutely love it.

 

The quality of the story in this book is amazing we get to off to India and see so many exciting things. The images in this book are first class and simply stunning.

These books are perfect gifts and we love ours. But don’t take my word for it go visit the site and look for yourself.

 

 

*   I was gifted this book for the purpose of this review but my opinions are my own.

Christmas with Snapfish

I’m getting so excited for Christmas, I love any and every excuse to give gifts. This year is a little extra special as it is our first one with our new little one. So with all this in mind I wanted to send out some special personalised Christmas cards to our family and friends. Thankfully as in previous years we turn to Snapfish for its great selection of personalised gifts and of a quality we are sure of.

 

Designing your own Christmas cards is so simple, from choosing your layout to card design. The real problem is choosing the photos you want to send.

I love my Christmas cards and I promise they are even cuter without the big black stars.

In fact whilst I was designing my Christmas cards my daughter got in on the act designing and ordering some fantastic mobile phone cases for her and her friend. How awesome are these?

 

Add a couple of personalised mugs for teachers I was one happy Snapfish customer

With a great selection of calendars, photo art and Christmas ornaments you are seriously spoiled for choice.

 

So if you are after a special gift for someone this Christmas or like me just love to have a personalised gift for yourself go visit Snapfish. 

 

 

** I was gifted with a voucher to order some of these items but all opinions are my own and I do love Snapfish.

 

 

 

 

#MamiaDaysOut Challenge

The last few weeks have been crazy from the Labour conference to the Child Growth foundation conference to attending the Well-child awards I truly don’t feel like my feet have touched the floor. I ache everywhere and I am feeling so guilty for the things I think I am missing.

One thing I don’t have to feel guilty for though is the weaning of my new little one. Thanks to a fantastic hamper from Aldi’s for taking part in their #MamiaDaysOut I know my little one has been eating healthy organic food.

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Now don’t get me wrong weaning has been far from easy we have issues with swallowing and feeding in general but this range from Aldi’s has been a massive hit. He especially loves the juice and for a child who struggles to drink at times those juices have been guzzled down in minutes.

#MamiaDaysOut

 

He loved most of the tastes he tried

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But his overall favourite was these

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I am so thankful for such easy, healthy, tasty food that is available for my little one. The convenience of Aldi Mamia’s 100% organic baby food range means I have been able to feed him well whilst travelling etc.

 

 

I have been using Aldi’s Mamia’s nappies and wipes for while now, so finding out about this baby food range is an extra bonus. In fact I have already been back in store for more supplies. 

 This post is an entry for BritMums #MamiaDaysOut Linky Challenge, sponsored by Aldi Mamia. < aldi.co.uk

Back to school with Maped Helix

Whilst we are only really half way through the summer holidays my daughter is already stressing about returning back to school. This is normal as she has always liked to be prepared and sorted before she relaxes into the holidays. This year it is a little more stressful as she is heading into her GCSE’s year.

Though thanks to Maped Helix her stress load has already been made a little easier. They sent us this fantastic selection of their products which are going to be perfect for both her coming study, revision and even exams.

Maped helix

We have been a fan of Helix for many years, their maths sets have been a staple for all my girls. When you send your children into the exam room you want to have confidence in the products you have given them, Helix has always given me that reassurance.

helix maths

I am rather impressed and envious of the goodies Brodie has been sent and I’ve already tried to liberate a few but she isn’t having any of it. They are all now hidden away in her bedroom waiting for the coming school year.

Brodie is the last of my daughters to face GCSE’S and whist this makes me a little sad I know I still have A levels and the older ones dissertation to face before my home becomes exam stress free.  At least with Maped Helix on hand I can help reduce the some of the forthcoming anxiety , it’s certainly going to be a busy year for the girls, I am still in shock that I have one starting her GCSE’s and one in her last year of her university degree, amazingly considering I’m only 20ish. 

#Enjoymorewater Challenge

Getting enough fluid into your children isn’t easy.

I thought it was hard when my girls were younger trying to convince them that they really needed to finish their juice or have that extra glass or two when the weather was warm. Though In hindsight I now see that although this was hard I still had a little influence over them and with the right encouragement they normally enjoyed it in the end or at least drank it because mom said so.

Fast forward a few years and now as the mom of teenagers and young adults  I want to scream. It’s as if drinking enough fluid to keep them hydrated is asking them to swim the ocean. Their daily juice cups sliding over to the super carbonated drinks that I so don’t want them to fill up with.
So project make drinking cool again had to start. From posh water bottles to ice lollies I have encouraged my girls to keep drinking wisely and to drink enough to keep their body hydrated. I have had a slight bit of success as  my two oldest girls are never seen without a bottle of water in their hands.
So this then brings me to my youngest daughter, Brodie the child who never stays still, who plays sport 5 days out of 7 but who hates water with a vengeance.
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All I can say is thank you Robinsons their pocket sized squashd have literally saved me from banging my head against the wall but also my daughter from the dehydration headaches to which she was prone. She now fills up before school and then can top up throughout the day using the squashd at the school water foundation.
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With the great selection of flavours even my picky madam can not say she is bored. In fact within school now it’s become a bit of excitement regarding what flavour she has today. I mean its not like you would expect the kids to be excited over exams would you.
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