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Swimshop review

The girls love swimming costumes. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is or even what the weather’s doing outside, they put their swimsuits on and to them, it’s summer! They were very excited when Swimshop got in touch and asked us to do a review.

They came in the other day asking if they could have a water fight but if they could, could they use warm water because they didn’t like using cold!
I told them that water fights are brilliant in the summer; using cold water to cool down on a hot day is what water fights are all about. Using warm water on a cold day is not so good because being wet and out in the cold wind would soon chill them to the bone!

They went ahead and had a water fight then had to come in for a warm shower because somehow I’d been right and they were freezing, despite using warm water. Who knew?!

When the package arrived through the post from SwimShop I had 2 very excited girls. New swimsuits are really exciting, apparently!

Swimshop review - Kaycee and Ella wearing their new swimming costumes

Kaycee loves her new goggles. She’d been borrowing her teacher’s goggles when she went swimming with school she was really happy that she wouldn’t have to anymore 🙂

The prices at SwimShop are really excellent. Girls swimsuits start from just £3.79!

I know where we’ll be shopping for swimsuits from now on 🙂

 

The New You Diet Review – Weight loss result

I’ve been on a very low calorie, meal replacement diet this week, sent from the lovely people at
New You.
You can read my first post with the details about day 1, here and days 2, 3 and 4 here
DAY 5

Breakfast – Chocolate hazelnut bar, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water

9am – 600ml flavoured water

Lunch – Mushroom soup, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water

Afternoon – 600ml flavoured water

Dinner – Country cottage pie, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water – The cottage pie and the vegetable chili are my favourite meals. They both feel like I’m having a proper meal which helps when the family is sitting down to one!

Supper – Mint chocolate shake and 600ml flavoured water – I warmed the shake up and it was just like a hot chocolate treat at bedtime 🙂

THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS

I woke earlier than usual for a Sunday morning and for some reason, I seem to have lots of energy. Instead of slobbing on the sofa for the day in my PJs, watching tv with the kids, I have the urge to get showered and get out in the garden.
It’s only 5 past 9 and this is unheard of for me!
I’ve already had 600ml of water and I’ve just sent Kaycee to refill my bottle for me 🙂 The water flavouring has really helped me reach my water goals. I’m not sure I’d find it so easy to drink 4 litres of plain of water a day.
I plan on keeping up my water intake after this week now I know I can do it.

2.30pm – I actually did spend the morning in the garden 🙂 I took down an old fence that was rotten and sorted out loads of rubbish. There’s still lots more to do but I feel great because I went and made a start after putting it off on a daily basis!

The afternoon didn’t go as well. I started to feel hungry around 4 pm so I drank more water. I didn’t want to have my next packet until everyone else had their dinner which was going to be around 6 pm. Being hungry put me in a grumpy mood!
I

DAY 6

Breakfast – Chocolate trufa bar, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water


Mid-morning – 600ml flavoured water


Lunch – Chicken soup, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water


Afternoon – 600ml flavoured water


Dinner – Spicy noodle nosh, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water

Supper – Beautiful banana shake and 600ml flavoured water –

THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS

It’s been another good day 🙂 I’ve been on plan 100% and went over my 4 litres of water. I did wake with a headache this morning but I get them quite often and don’t think it’s anything to do with the plan. I think it’s down to my pillow as my neck hurts when I get the headaches after sleeping. I must hurry and get a new one!

 

DAY 7

Breakfast – Chocolate cream cookie bar, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water – I saved the chocolate cream cookie bar for last as I thought it was going to be the nicest but I should have saved the hazelnut one till last! It was ok and had a crumbly cookie base with the creamy bit on top but I prefer the chewy bars. It still left a slight aftertaste though.

Mid-morning – 600ml flavoured water

Lunch – Mushroom soup, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water


Afternoon – 600ml flavoured water


Dinner – Vegetable chilli, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water


Supper – Creamy chocolate shake and 600ml flavoured water 

THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS

My final day is done 😀

I’ve found the whole week much easier than I thought it was going to be. I thought I’d be craving food by day 3 but I was totally fine.
If I could afford this plan every week, I’d be extremely tempted to stick with it. From what I’ve seen from the people on the Facebook group, if you stick to the plan 100%, you can average around a stone a month weight loss.
I have 12 stone to lose and it would be wonderful to be able to get to my target by this time next year but the cost of the plan on top of the groceries I still have to buy for the rest of the family isn’t feasible for me at the moment.
If I were single I’d definitely switch from grocery shopping to New You shopping!

The Facebook group you can join when you’re on the plan really helped keep me on track this week. Everyone is extremely supportive and I think they’d all agree that being a member of the group is one of the most important factors to being successful.
There’s always someone there to give you whatever you need, be that encouragement, sympathy, a pat on the back or even a kick up the bum!

DAY 8 – RESULTS 
START WEIGHT – 23 stone 11.5lb
WEIGHT TODAY – 23 stone 0.5lb
TOTAL LOSS – 11lb
I’m really happy with my loss but it’s annoying that just 1 more pound would have seen me back in the 22 stone category! Never mind, there’s always next week 🙂
I’d like to say thank you to the New You team and everyone in the group who helped me this week. If things change, you’ll be seeing me again 😉

Wicked Uncle Review

The girls got really excited when we received a parcel the other day from Wicked Uncle.

I hadn’t told them that I’d ordered an Ant farm and an Aqua Dragons set. We bought aqua dragons for their nephews for Christmas (their nephews are the same ages as the girls!) and the girls really wanted some.

Kaycee and Ella with their Ant World from Wicked Uncle

 

Ant World from Wicked Uncle

 

Ant World from Wicked Uncle

 

Kaycee and Ella setting up their Ant World from Wicked Uncle

I got the ant farm because Ella loves finding bugs and things in the garden so I figured she’d love seeing the tunnels they make.

We had to wait a couple of days to do the aqua dragons because we had to buy some bottled water but they got straight on with the ant farm.
Ella dug a hole in my lawn trying to find ants before I realised where she was digging!

Kaycee and Ella with their Aqua Dragons from Wicked Uncle

 

Aqua Dragons from Wicked Uncle

 

Aqua Dragons from Wicked Uncle

The girls got it all set up and kept checking to see if they could see the aqua dragons. It took about 3 days until you could see them without a magnifying glass.

Wicked Uncle made the choosing and ordering process very easy. You can choose by age or gender or just see all the toys for girls or boys in one go.
They offer gift wrapping and can send a handwritten card for birthdays, Christmas and Christenings,  along with your gift, straight to the recipient 🙂

I liked the range of products they stock, it took me ages to finally decide on the ant farm and aqua dragons!

Disclosure: We were sent a voucher to use on the site in return for an honest review.

 

The New You Diet Review – Mid Week Update

I’ve been on a very low calorie, meal replacement diet this week, sent from the lovely people at

You can read my first post with the details about day 1, here

 

DAY 2

Day 2 Breakfast – 600ml flavoured water. Mug of black coffee with 2 tablet sweeteners and 1 muesli bar.

New You diet review - meal replacement diet

I have to say I didn’t enjoy the muesli bar. Much like the lemon bar on day 1, it left a funny taste in my mouth and I had to use the flavoured water to take it away.
It did do the job of stopping me from feeling hungry until lunchtime, though.
I had the bar around 7.30am and didn’t start to feel hungry until just after 12.

Mid-morning – 600ml flavoured water and a black coffee

Lunch – Chicken soup, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water – As with the mushroom soup it tasted nice and wasn’t at all powdery. I ate around 12.30 and started to feel slightly hungry just before 4 pm.

Mid-afternoon – 600ml flavoured water

Dinner – Pasta broccoli followed by a hazelnut shake, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water – I’m glad I only got 1 pasta broccoli because I didn’t enjoy it. It wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t the nicest either. The hazelnut shake, however, was delicious 🙂

New You diet review - meal replacement diet

Supper – Chocolate cream wafer and 600ml flavoured water – I love love love the wafers! They were a real treat and hit the spot nicely.

New You diet review - meal replacement diet

Water intake – Around 4 litres using the water flavouring and black coffee.

THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS

I had to cook dinner for Ant, the kids and my father in law today as he comes to us every other Thursday for dinner. I found it really hard not being able to sit and eat with them. I wasn’t hungry at all but seeing big mounds of bacon and mushroom pasta was very hard to resist!

Apart from having to cook for everyone, the other downside is having to make lots of trips to the toilet! I’m not used to drinking so much water and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to go!

DAY 3

I don’t have any more snacks now so it’s just the 4 packs each day left (you’re advised to have 2-3 snacks a week).

Breakfast – 600ml flavoured water, black coffee with sweetener and a mint chocolate shake – The shake was lovely and I don’t feel hungry at all.
I’ve got a shift at the charity shop this morning so I’m taking another 600ml of flavoured water with me and I’ll be having a coffee while I’m there. That’ll be just over a litre and a half I’ll have had by lunchtime 🙂

Lunch – Chicken soup, 600ml flavoured water and a black coffee.

Mid-afternoon – 600ml flavoured water

New You diet review - meal replacement diet


Dinner – Chicken noodle curry and 600 ml flavoured water – I was told when the order was placed that this was more like a chicken noodle soup which was fine with me. It tasted lovely 🙂

Supper – Chocolate hazelnut bar and 600ml flavoured water. Again, the bar had a nice flavour but left an aftertaste. I think it’s probably just my taste buds though because everyone in the New You Secret Slimmers Facebook group seem to love them 🙂

I went over my 4 litres of water again today 🙂

THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS

I didn’t find it as hard tonight making a pork stew for everyone. I didn’t crave any even though there’s quite a lot left.

I’ve gone over my 4 litres of water today, only by about 200ml but it surprised me that I went over the target so early in the evening.

I’m sure I’m going to the toilet more today than I did yesterday; it gets quite annoying having to go again when I only went half an hour ago!

DAY 4

New You diet review - meal replacement diet

 

Breakfast – Chocolate trufa bar, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water – I’ve decided to have the bars for my breakfast now instead of saving them for the evening because even though they taste nice while I’m eating them, I keep being left with an aftertaste that I’m not keen on.

Mid-morning – 600ml flavoured water

New You diet review - meal replacement diet


Lunch – Strawberry shake, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water – I love the strawberry shake. It smelled lovely while I was mixing it and tasted even nicer!

Mid-afternoon – Black coffee and 1200ml flavoured water

New You Diet review - meal replacement diet


Dinner – Vegetable chilli and 600ml flavoured water – The vegetable chilli was really nice and it felt like I was having a proper meal, it had a bit more substance to it than the previous products I’ve had.

Supper – Warm vanilla shake with added coffee and 600ml flavoured water – I saw that someone in the Facebook group had made a kind of latte using the vanilla shake and I thought I’d try it instead of having the plain shake. It was gorgeous!
There seem to be quite a few different ways people have found to use the products, such as mixing to a dough and baking instead of adding the full amount of water, which I’m sure helps to keep it interesting.

I went over my 4 litres of water again today 🙂

THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS

I’ve been totally fine again, I haven’t had the urge to eat and I haven’t been hungry but I do have to be careful not to eat without thinking! A couple of times I’ve gone to taste something while cooking for the family then realised I can’t and had to shout Ant to come and check instead!
It’s amazing how many times I automatically pick at foods in between meals without realising it. It’s almost like my hands are on autopilot when I’m doing anything with food, some of it always goes in my mouth, whether I’m hungry or not.

I know I’ll be conscious of this in the future now so if nothing else, this week has been good for bringing it to my attention!

3 days left to go and I’m excited to see the results on Wednesday 🙂

The New You Diet – Review

If you’ve read my blog before you’ve probably seen some of my weight loss posts.

I’ve lost 8.5 stone with Slimming World but I’ve put a stone back on and haven’t been doing very well for the last year and a half so I figured trying a very low calorie, meal replacement diet for a week could be just what I needed to give me a boost and get my head back in control of my eating.

I was sent a weeks worth of food from New You as well as a couple of snacks, some water flavouring and a mixer bottle.
I’m starting my week from today and using my weekly weigh in at Slimming World as my start weight.
I’ve told my consultant that I won’t be on plan this week so any weight loss next week doesn’t count towards any Slimming World rewards like Slimmer of the Week (turns out that won’t count anyway because I gained this week and you have to have a loss or maintain the week before!).

Right, enough of the backstory! Here I go, wish me luck 🙂

See below for the full list of everything I received.

 

I love this water bottle!

 

It has a mixing ball inside that isn’t fixed so you can clean it easily.

In the box I received:

1 Beautiful Banana TFR VLCD Shake

1 Very Nice Vanilla TFR VLCD Shake

2 Creamy Chocolate TFR VLCD Shake

1 Sensational Strawberry TFR VLCD Shake

1 Heavenly Hazelnut TFR VLCD Shake

2 Mint Chocolate Shake

3 Mushroom TFR VLCD Soup

3 Chicken TFR VLCD Soup

2 Vegetable Chili TFR VLCD Meal

2 Spicy Noodle Nosh TFR VLCD Meal (Spicy Spaghetti)

1 Country Cottage Pie TFR VLCD Meal

1 Chicken Noodle Curry TFR VLCD Meal

1 Pasta Broccoli TFR VLCD Meal

1 Chocolate Cream Cookie Flavour TFR VLCD Bar

2 Chocolate Hazelnut Flavour TFR VLCD Bar

1 Luxurious Chocolate Truffa TFR VLCD Bar

1 Luxurious Milk Chocolate Truffa TFR VLCD Bar

1 Lemon Yoghurt TFR VLCD Bar

1 Muesli TFR VLCD Bar

1 Wafer Chocolate Cream Wafer for Weight Loss

1 Cream Onion Soya Chips

1 Blender Bottle Wire Shaker Ball with Pink Lid

Drop a Jean Size E-Journal

1 Berry Blast Water Flavouring

Start Weight – 23 stones, 11.5lbs


Day 1 Breakfast – 500ml Water with Berry Blast Flavouring – I have to say, this berry flavour is really lovely. I have trouble drinking plain water and the flavouring made it really easy to drink the 500ml over a couple of hours while I was at Slimming World this morning.

New You Diet Review - berry blast water flavouring



Lunch – Mushroom soup and cream onion soya snacks – I enjoyed the soup. It has a lovely flavour and wasn’t powdery at all. I was really hungry at lunchtime and didn’t expect a small bowl of soup and a packet of crisps to do anything to stop it but surprisingly the hunger totally went.

New You Diet Review - mushroom soup and crisps

I filled my water bottle numerous times and sipped on it throughout the day. I also had 3 black coffees with 2 tablet sweeteners in each. Black tea and coffee is fine but you have to use the tablet sweeteners, not the powder.
You can also have some skimmed milk if you have to but I drink my coffee black anyway so don’t need the milk.
I had about 4 litres of water today.

Dinner – Spicy Noodle Nosh and Creamy Chocolate Shake Shake – The noodle dish was very tasty and the shake was lovely and creamy. It had a nice chocolate flavour as well and wasn’t powdery.

New You Diet Review - spicy noodle nosh and chocolate shake

Night Time Snack – Lemon Yogurt Bar – I wasn’t too keen on this one I’m afraid. It’s not too bad but I was left with an aftertaste. It is nice and chewy though. I’m hoping the chocolate ones are nicer 🙂

New You Diet Review - lemon bar

I can honestly say I’ve found it easier than I expected. I haven’t felt hungry and I’ve enjoyed all but the lemon bar but I did stare longingly at the cottage pie I had to cook for the rest of the family for dinner tonight.

I’m not dreading day 2 as much as I was day 1!

I’ll be back next Wednesday with a roundup of the rest of the food and how I’ve got on each day as well as the result of my weigh in 🙂

Please Note: I was sent the products in return for an honest review.

 

Giving your home a winter makeover

During the winter, many of us spend more time than we
would like inside. On a cold winter’s day, there is nothing better than
battening down the hatches, turning the heating up and staying inside to keep
the cold at bay. That said, being stuck indoors can make us pick up on the
little faults with our house. A dated kitchen, a colour scheme we are no longer
fond of or a stubborn carpet stain can become more annoying than ever. We may
also become painfully aware of any energy inefficiencies since turning up the
heating gets more expensive every year as the energy companies put their prices
up. So why not use the time to your advantage and take on some little jobs to
improve your home environment?

winter

Small Jobs

It’s amazing how much difference a small change can make.
The best approach to take if you are on a tight budget is to tackle one room at
a time. It’s surprising how much you can do for very little money, or even for
free. Take the kitchen as an example. If your kitchen is looking dated, the
first thing to do is pinpoint what you would like to improve. If your units are
not to your taste, do you need to completely remove them or are they sound but
not perfect?
At the moment, aged dressers and cupboards are incredibly
fashionable. If you have wooden cupboard doors, you might be able to just
remove them, sand them down and paint them a light colour. Then with some
sandpaper, a bit of elbow grease and another layer of paint, you can go about
ageing your cupboard doors to create a whole new look. This can be matched by a
new lick of paint on the walls or some floor tiles picked up second-hand or in
the sales. New cupboard handles can also go a long way to changing the look
without even a tin of paint in sight.

Medium-Sized Jobs

If your kitchen or bathroom really can’t be rescued, it
can be surprising how cheaply you can put in a new one. Small home improvement
loans will easily cover the cost of purchasing and installing a new cheap
bathroom suite. Alternatively, why not consider buying second-hand? You may be
surprised to hear that there are often nearly new bathroom suites available on
online auction sites for well under £100.
The main expense will end up being the cost of a plumber
to fit it. Many people do up their bathroom and kitchen to sell a house. On
moving in, the new residents find that the suite is not to their taste, so they
employ a builder to take it out. Most builders will recognise if the suite is
perfectly functional and be willing to sell it or even give it away to someone
willing to collect it. Don’t forget, though, that even if you pick up a suite
for a bargain price, installing it will be a messy job, and you’ll need to
re-tile and redecorate once it’s in, which is further time and expense.

Big Jobs

Whether you are preparing your house to sell in the
spring, getting ready for a new arrival or just upgrading for your own use, you
might want to use the winter months to get the indoors looking just perfect.
This can be a costly exercise, but secured loans such as the ones on offer from
Evolution Money are
available for this sort of job, particularly if it will add value to your
house. Conservatories and extensions are always more pleasant to do during the
summer months, but with that comes an inflated cost. You may find that builders
will work for slightly less during the winter if they are struggling to find
work.

 

Another interesting idea that is becoming more popular at
the moment is the garden office. If you are struggling for space at home but
can’t commit to an extension, home offices can be constructed away from your
home and then lifted into place using a crane. They are often constructed from
shipping containers, or if you are going for a more upmarket look, you could
consider a wooden log-cabin-like building. Each has windows right across one
side to allow the maximum amount of light in, creating the perfect environment
for working. These structures can be lifted into place and hooked up to the
electrical system within a day, so your new office will be up and running
straight away with minimal hassle and fuss.
Please note: This is a collaborative post

 

Lamaloli Clothes – Review

The girls now have a new favourite website to browse, looking for new clothes! Lamaloli has their favourite characters, including Hello Kitty and Monster High.

Lamaloli T-Shirts & Pyjamas

We ordered some t-shirts and pyjamas and the girls absolutely love them.

Ella was upset when her pyjamas were put in the wash and weren’t dried in time for her to wear them to bed that night!

I was very impressed with the quality and the prices, which on the site are in Euros. The pyjamas I ordered for Kaycee came in at under a fiver a pair when you convert the prices to GBP.

I’m planning on buying lovely, quality clothes, at a great price, for my many nieces and nephews for birthdays and Christmas now we’ve found this site! 🙂

I ordered them 2 pairs of pyjamas each, 2 t-shirts for Kaycee and a t-shirt for Ella all for the brilliant price of £40.
The girls have been complaining for ages that their pyjamas were getting too small. The ones they had for Christmas were all onesies which were getting too warm to wear now that winter is fading so these came at the perfect time for them!

Ella wearing Hello Kitty pyjamas from Lamaloli

 

Kaycee wearing Hello kitty t-shirt from Lamaloli

 

Kaycee wearing her new t-shirt from Lamaloli

 

Ella wearing new pyjamas from Lamaloli

 

Kaycee wearing her new pyjamas from Lamaloli

 

Ella wearing her new Monster High t-shirt from Lamaloli

 

Kaycee wearing her new Hello Kitty pyjamas from Lamaloli

Please note: We were sent a voucher for the clothes in order to provide an honest review.

 

Soniclear Review

 

Soniclear cleansing system

I’ve suffered from dry itchy skin on my forehead for a few years now. I never know when it’s going to flare up, it can take something as small as moving the hair away from my eyes and touching my forehead for it to start itching and flaking.
Once it starts it seems to take forever to calm down and I usually have to just try really hard to not touch it because I’ve tried different creams but none really work.

I thought the Soniclear might help clear up the flakiness and stop the irritation and after a week of using it every day on my face, as well as applying a moisturising cream afterwards, the flakiness has gone and I’ve only had one minor attack of the itching.

The flaky skin really bothered me because it looked so horrible so you can imagine how delighted I am that it’s gone 🙂

The Soniclear holds the charge really well and I haven’t had to charge it yet after the initial 24 hours it had that’s suggested when you first open it.

I was a bit wary about using it in the shower because taking an electric object into water goes against everything my dad taught me when I was younger but obviously it was fine because it’s been designed that way!

If you’d like 20% off your order, click to be taken to Soniclear. An automatic discount will be applied when using this link )

For more information, check out this video

Please note: I was sent the Soniclear in return for an honest review.

 

Designing t-shirts

The girls were sent a Fruit of the Loom t-shirt each from buytshirtsonline, a t-shirt transfer each and some fabric paints for them to use to design their own shirts. They love designing t-shirts so it was a great activity for them to do in half term. They really enjoyed it 🙂

Designing T-Shirts

The t-shirts are excellent quality and the transfers were really easy to use. Kaycee did hers on her own but I helped Ella because she’s not known for her ability to concentrate on the task at hand!

designing t-shirts - fairy transfer

 

designing t-shirts - Hello Kitty transfer

 

designing t-shirts - t-shirts, transfers and fabric paints

 

designing t-shirts - ironing on the transfer

 

designing t-shirts - after ironing

 

designing t-shirts - peeling off the backing paper

 

designing t-shirts - Ella and her shirt

 

designing t-shirts - Kaycee ironing on her transfer

 

designing t-shirts - Kaycee peeling off her backing paper

 

designing t-shirts - Kaycee's t-shirt

 

designing t-shirts - using the fabric paints to add more decoration

 

designing t-shirts - Ella using the fabric paints to add more decoration

 

designing t-shirts - Kaycee's finished design

 

designing t-shirts - Ella's finished design

Please note: We were sent the t-shirts, transfers and fabric paints in return for a review of the t-shirts. All opinions are my own.

 

Planting summer bulbs

We’ve got lots of plans for the garden this year and we’re very eager to get started so the other morning, the girls and I decided to plant the summer bulbs Spalding Bulb & Plant Co sent us.

It was cold and frosty but we didn’t let it put us off, the girls even still had their night clothes on when we ventured out!

We were sent 5 different types of summer bulbs. I can’t remember what they are and I’m not going to check because I like surprises!

Kaycee planting summer bulbs

 

 

Kaycee and Ella planting summer bulbs

 

summer bulbs in the pot

 

Ella planting summer bulbs

 

Kaycee planting summer bulbs

 

Kaycee planting summer bulbs

 

Ella covering the summer bulbs with compost

 

Ella adding more compost to the pot

 

5 pots all planted up with summer bulbs

Kaycee labelled all the pots without me telling her, in fact, I hadn’t even thought of it because I always forget to label them!

All we need now is the summer. I hope it comes soon because although I love winter, I’m over it now and long for some warmth so that being out in the garden doesn’t leave me chilled to the bone!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

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