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Princes fruit juices

Princes 100% Pure Juice

We were sent some Princes fruit juices, 3 cartons to be exact and you’d think that the girls hadn’t ever had fruit juice with how happy they were when they saw them and with how fast they drank them!

 

Princes 100% Pure Juices

Ella had a friend staying for a sleepover, so, at dinner, the wine glasses came out to make serving the fruit juice, fancier!

Ella drinking Princes fruit juice
Yes, that is an undelivered Christmas present in the background!

The favourite flavour for the girls seemed to be the apple and raspberry. I preferred the apple flavour myself.

The juices contain 100% fruit, only naturally occurring sugars and no preservatives. They can be stored in the cupboard until they’re opened, after which, they need to be kept in the fridge and used within 3 days.

The juices are made from concentrate and provide one of your 5 a day.

At the time of writing, you can buy a litre of Princes pure juice at Morrisons for £1. A litre of Tropicana is £2.48 from Tesco, just for comparison 😉

We were sent some juice samples in return for an honest review

Aiden’s new coat

It’s not often Aiden gets things sent for him to review, unlike the girls who get lots of things! He was delighted with the new coat he was sent from Trespass and it came at just the right time, what with winter finally moving in!

New Coat

Aiden's new coat

He was sent the Edgewater Mens 3 in 1 Waterproof Jacket. It’s great for going over his school blazer. It keeps him warm and dry on the 3-mile bicycle trip to school and back he has to do every weekday.

Excellent Quality

The quality is excellent and I love how you can separate the fleece inner from the waterproof outer layer. The inner layer is zipped securely to the outer layer so it doesn’t move around. I’m told it’s very comfortable.

Aiden's new coat

It has lots of pockets, which he loves. Being able to take off the outer coat, leaving the fleece inner is great for when he’s just nipping out and doesn’t want a full coat on. You know what teenagers and coats are like; for some reason, they seem to resent having to wear them at all, no matter how cold they get!

Water Repellent

The zip is water repellent so the water can’t through.
The fabric is waterproof, windproof and breathable. All the seams have thermoplastic tape on them that seals the seams keeping you dryer and warmer.

Aiden's new coat
Aiden's new coat

This jacket gets a big thumbs up from Aiden and me 🙂

Please note: We were provided with the jacket in return for an honest opinion.

Looking for the ideal family car

Ant had a Nissan Micra when we first met. Although it was a little small sometimes, (going on holiday was a bit of a nightmare) it was a brilliant family car. It was very reliable and affordable and suited us perfectly.

Close up of car steering wheel and wing mirror - family car
Image by Dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Family Car

Ant had nipped home from work one day. He’d parked out the front of the house instead of in the car park around the back. Shortly after getting out of the car, we heard a smashing, crunching sound. Someone had crashed into the back of our poor little Nissan.
It was a write-off and since then we haven’t had a car we like nearly as much as we did the Micra.
We had an automatic Citroen for a while. The fuel and road tax costs were awful so we sold that and got a Citroen C5 from Ant’s friend.

The costs are much better but Ant hates driving it because you can’t see the front or back of the car when you’re trying to park. He’s worried the tow bar will hit the car behind when he reverses into a parking space. We want to sell it and buy something better but what to buy? That is the question!

New Car

He’s always liked estates. I’ve always liked the idea of a people carrier, however, I don’t drive, so I think the final choice must be left up to him!

He looked at a VW Touareg lease but even though it’s a lovely looking vehicle, he thinks it’s probably a little big for us.

I like the look of the VW golf estate or the Honda Civic.

Buying a new car is a big decision. We’re going to take our time, but on the other hand, I don’t know how much longer Ant can put up with our Citroen!





This is a collaborative post.

Snoopy and Charlie Brown – A Peanuts Movie Story Book

 Snoopy is timeless. I loved him when I was younger and my kids love him today 🙂

We received the storybook of the new movie that’s in cinemas now, Snoopy and Charlie Brown – A Peanuts Movie.
We haven’t seen it yet but I can’t wait till we do!

Book of the movie

The story is about a  new girl with red hair who moves into the neighbourhood. Charlie Brown likes her but he’s too shy to talk to her.
Lucy tries to help him by giving him some advice about girls not liking failures and she says Charlie Brown needs to become a winner.

He decides to try and win the school talent show by doing a magic act but on the day his sister ends up needing help with her act and Charlie’s doesn’t go very well.

In the end, of course, Charlie and the red headed girl become friends 🙂

It’s a lovely book with nice big pictures.

Here’s the official trailer

Please note: We were sent the book in return for an honest review

Buzzoole – Influencer marketing platform #buzzoole

I recently came across a website called Buzzoole. It’s an influencer marketing platform that shows bloggers their social influence and can help connect them to brands.

Of course I signed up!

After signing up to Buzzoole, you connect your social media channels to your Buzzoole account, such as Facebook, Twitter, G+ etc and the algorithm shows your online presence and helps you see the topics you’re most influential in.

From this information, you’re invited to take part in campaigns and can earn Buzzoole credits which can be exchanged for Amazon vouchers (I do love getting Amazon vouchers!) to spend on whatever you like 🙂

This is a really useful tool for bloggers who want to optimise their online presence and engagement because it shows the areas you’re not so strong in which means you can concentrate on those areas to increase your influence.

I’m still learning all that Buzzoole has to offer but from the short amount of time I’ve been using it, I think it’s going to be great for me. I’m a bit rubbish at being social on my social media sites so hopefully, this will help me get a bit better!

This is a collaborative post
Buzzoole

Buzzoole

I’m moving away from Christmas for a moment….

Blackpool beach and tower
Photo was taken by Darren Lewis

and thinking about our holiday for next year.

We don’t go abroad, we prefer to stay in the UK and this year we went to Mablethorpe on the Lincolnshire coast. We do love our coastline but next year we want a change.

Our grandchildren live in Scotland and Ant and I had a holiday there once which we loved, so going back next year is definitely an option. It’s a beautiful country and I know it sounds corny but as we crossed the border, the rain we’d had nearly all the time while driving in England, cleared right up, the sun shone and it felt almost magical like we were being welcomed 🙂
Another place I’d like to return to is Blackpool.
I haven’t been for years. I went a few times as a child with my family to see the illuminations and I’ve got lots of very happy memories. I’d love to take the kids to see the lights next year and of course, no trip to the seaside would be complete without eating fish and chips on the beach!
I remember going on an organised day trip with my best friend, Rachel when I was about 15/16. We had very little money, which we spent near enough straight away so we ended up spending the rest of the, very cold day, ducking into shops and taking shelter in some public loos!
It sounds like a really rubbish day trip, but we’ve never laughed so much! For years afterwards, we made jokes about paying to go to Blackpool and spending the day in the loo!
It’s now filed in ‘really fond memories’ in my memory bank and still makes me smile whenever I think of it.Are you planning your holiday for next year yet or is Christmas just too close to think about anything else right now?!This is a collaborative post 

Christmas Movies

I’m crazy about Christmas, as you probably know by now, and one of the best things about the season for me is watching Christmas movies.
I start watching them in November when Movies 24 changes to Christmas 24, despite the super wonderful husband and eldest child commenting that it’s not even December and Christmas movies shouldn’t be watched until then!

Christmas 24 Movie Channel

I don’t agree, obviously, and was delighted when Panasonic, the people who make the wonderful looking Viera 4K TV, (Santa, if you’re reading this, I’ve been extra good all year, right?!) asked me to write about my favourite Christmas movies.
I’ve seen all the weekend premieres that air on Christmas 24 throughout November and December as well as some old favourites from our large Christmas movies DVD collection.

There are some movies I just have to watch every year, ones that transport me back to my own childhood Christmases and help me feel that special excitement only children feel!

Christmas Movies

On that note, I thought I’d share some of the ones I’ve enjoyed this year as well as my ‘must watch every year’ movies which includes my all time favourite movie, It’s A Wonderful Life 🙂

A prince from Europe meets a charming waitress when he travels to America during the Christmas holiday to escape an arranged marriage.

 

When newspaper staffer Susan sets out to write an article about her family’s much-storied heirloom Christmas angel, it leads her to accidentally meet Brady, a cute, upbeat artist who whisks the resistant Susan into a holiday-time friendship–and maybe more. But will the 100-year-old, hand-carved angel, whose legend includes the power to bring people together, prove a game-changer for the skeptical Susan as it moves her closer to Brady–and to a surprising truth about the ornament itself?

With two more weeks until Christmas, a busy businessman, Marc Rehnquist, hires a struggling artist, Anna Parisi to help him pick out gifts for his friends and family.

A small town girl who moved to New York to pursue her dreams returns home for the holidays, only to realize that maybe her dreams aren’t miles away, but right in her hometown.

My ‘must watch every year’ movies are:

 

An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.

An angel must show a mother the true meaning of Christmas. It’s not just presents and materialistic things, but the people she cares about.

An oil company is exploring two Arctic sites for oil. The needed blasting at the first site rocks Santa Claus’ North Pole village. He realizes that any blasting at the second site will destroy his home. He enlists the aid of a woman and her children to convince her husband (who works for the company) that the first site is where the oil they want is. Along the way, Santa explains all his secrets in delivering presents all around the world.

 

The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale of an old and bitter miser’s redemption on Christmas Eve.

I watched It’s a Wonderful Life at the weekend while wrapping Christmas presents and sipping a glass of Bailey’s 🙂

I’ve got the girls home this weekend so we’ll be watching One Magic Christmas and The Night They Saved Christmas while wearing our pyjamas and snacking on the Christmas treat trolley goodies!
I might even treat myself to some of the Salted Caramel liqueur that my dad bought me. Well, it is Christmas, after all 🙂

What’s on your ‘must watch’ Christmas movies list?

Please note: This is a collaborative post

My new Christmas tree :)

My New Christmas Tree lit at night

New Christmas Tree

I love my new Christmas tree!

Love it, love it, love it!
I reckon this must be the best tree I’ve ever had. The shape, the fullness, the quality, it’s all wonderful.
I’ve been sat here, waiting for the girls to come home from school and I’ve just been admiring my new tree from Christmas Tree World.

Needle Branches

The branches had needles instead of the tinsel branches you get on cheaper artificial trees. The needles on the tree feel like soft rubber which helps keep the ornaments from slipping off. It was lovely not to have to bend the branches around the hooks to keep the ornaments on!

Because the tree is so full, it took Ant and me quite a long time to open up all the branches. It was really worth taking the time, though, as it’s a lovely shape once it’s all opened up.

New Christmas Tree in the daytime

Tree Decorations

Every year since our children were born, we’ve bought them a tree decoration and they’re getting a nice collection each now 🙂 We let them decorate the tree, only really helping with the lights. I love seeing their excitement when they get their tins of decorations out and start putting them on the tree.

Because our new tree has so many branches, the decorations have been spread out more and you can see them much better.

Decorating Tips

For tips on decorating your tree, check out this useful blog post from the people at Christmas Tree World

Last year I wanted a real Christmas tree as I’d never had one. I had all these idealistic visions of walking in the room every morning and being greeted with the Christmas tree smell they always talk about in the movies.

Our tree didn’t smell. At all! It was smaller than we were used to and high maintenance because I had to keep remembering to water it!

Suffice to say, I won’t be buying a real tree again. Our new one is much nicer than a real one could ever be :o)

Decorated Christmas tree

 

I think this tree is going to last for years to come and I can’t explain how happy that makes me. Christmas, as you may know, if you know me at all, is my absolute favourite time of year and to finally have a Christmas tree that I really love, makes me happy 🙂

Please note: I was sent a tree in return for an honest review.

Milk Banitsa Recipe #ExpediaWorldonaPlate

Milk Banitsa

We love trying recipes from different countries and the kids especially like it when we do a themed breakfast so I jumped at the chance to make this milk banitsa recipe from Bulgaria when I was challenged by Expedia.

Milk Banitsa

After doing some research, I found that Banitsa is a very popular Bulgarian recipe and it’s really versatile, you can have so many different fillings.
I picked a milk banitsa recipe because I read that children love it and they have it for breakfast. It’s sweet, quite like our egg custard but instead of a shortcrust pastry, you use filo pastry.
I’m afraid I didn’t make the filo pastry (I’m really rubbish at making any kind of pastry!), but the recipe below, from European Cuisines, includes making your own pastry.
Mlechna Banitsa (Milk Banitsa)
Ingredients
500g Flour (I’m assuming it is plain flour but don’t take my word for it!)
8 eggs
1-litre milk
Half a cup of sugar
Half a cup of semolina
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup of water
180g butter
Confectioner’s sugar
Method
Mix the flour, 1 egg, oil, vinegar and water together to create a medium-hard dough.
Roll into sheets (sorry, I have no idea how many sheets because the recipe doesn’t say!) and place in a tray, basting each sheet with melted butter.
Bring the milk to the boil then add the sugar, remaining butter and semolina, stirring constantly.
When the mixture has cooled, stir in the beaten eggs.
Pour over the pastry sheets and bake in a moderate oven. One recipe I saw said to cook it for 25 minutes but that wasn’t long enough to set the custard so we covered it in foil to stop the top from burning and ended up cooking it for about 2 hours in total (including the first half hour of our first try!) and it finally set!
Cut into squares and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.

 

This is a collaborative post

Aniworld Rabbit Watch Review @aniworldkids

It’s just sooooo cute, I want this Aniworld rabbit watch for myself but Ella’s hanging onto it! She started learning to tell the time a while ago but sometimes gets a little confused. Having a proper watch face will help her really get to grips with telling the time.

Aniworld Rabbit Watch

The watch is easily taken out of the rabbit face, so you can set the time, but it’s still very securely held in place and the snap band, in place of traditional watch straps, is excellent for ease of use.
The girls love bracelets that snap on the same way so I knew the watch would be a hit!

Even Kaycee loves this Anisnap rabbit watch, which surprised me because I had thought it would be a bit too young for her now she’s 10 but I think she was a little upset that her sister got a watch and she didn’t. She put on her brave face though and hid it well, bless her.

Ella loves taking selfies and couldn’t wait to take one with her new watch!

#anisnapselfie

For some reason, she keeps sticking out her tongue when taking selfies!

 

 

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