Monday, 30 March 2015

Easter With A Difference At Asda

When it comes to Easter, I like to get away from the usual Easter eggs. With having young children, I find that eggs end up lasting months as they don't eat much chocolate. And of course, the fact that there are 4 newborns in my family (including Joseph) means that I have to think of other gifts suitable for them. 

Starting off with foodie item, the hot cross buns. I'm not usually a fan of these as I don't like cooked fruit, but Asda have a fab range of caramel & white chocolate Hot Cross Buns which are divine and so moorish. If you're not into sweet treats though, opt for the bunny shaped crumpets which are cute and the kids love.

Get Creative With Chocolate
If you're not a fan of the massive eggs, how about a Decorate Your Own Egg kit. It comes with a slab of milk chocolate shaped like an egg, yellow icing and some mini eggs to decorate. Such a great idea for a gift for children but to also give them something to do to get crafty with. 

Thomas loved trying this out. Squirting the icing onto the egg in patterns and then using it like glue to attach the eggs in place. Even better that he got to eat the end result afterwards.

Newborn Gifts
Joseph is learning to grab at the moment and so we try to keep plush toys close by. Something that he can grab easily and is soft so wont hurt him when he starts throwing it around. Asda have a huge range of Easter themed plush toys in at the moment, perfect for little ones.

We received 2 from Asda. A cute grey bunny that is holding its very own carrot. Its a soft, sweet little bunny that will be great in his collection. Secondly, we got a gorgeous knitted chick. Larger in size than the bunny and knitted so makes it extremely soft to the touch. Joseph especially loves this one as its snuggly and bright.

Of course, there are all the Easter eggs in stock too. From little ones to big extravagant ones and all those in between. Whatever you decide you want for Easter, I'm sure Asda have something for you. You can find all of these and more on the Asda website and in store too. 

Friday, 27 March 2015

The BBC Good Food Show Spring Ticket Giveaway

Spring is around the corner which means the days will start to get lighter and that the BBC Good Food Show Spring is almost here.

BBC Good Food has been around for 25 years and is the UK’s most popular food media brand with a total reach of about 10 million people. Good Food is the proud owner of the UK’s market leading food magazine, the UK’s number one food website, an expanding number of live events, including the UK’s largest food event - the BBC Good Food Show Live at the Birmingham N.E.C, and a hugely successful series of cookbooks. 

The BBC Good Food Show Spring will run at the Harrogate International Centre from the 10th to the 12th of April and with over 15,000 visitors in attendance at the first event in 2014, this year promises to be even bigger and better than then.

You will get to discover the tastiest spring ingredients as you eat, drink, shop and explore. You will experience the finest seasonal entertainment as you pick up cooking inspiration to freshen up your culinary expertise and enjoy a delicious day of discovery.

Great British Bake Off's Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood will be there to show off their baking delights whilst you'll get culinary magic from The Hairy Bikers, John Torode, Brian Turner and my personal favourite and fellow Yorkshire-person, James Martin. 

There will also be an interactive Interview Stage, where you can have your questions answered by the top chefs attending, how cool is that! 

How would you like to be a visitor to this great event? Well now you could be as I have 2 pairs of tickets to the BBC Good Food Show Spring to giveaway. These can be used for either the Friday or the Sunday. For your chance to win 1 of two pairs of tickets to the BBC Good Food Show Spring and get to see all those famous chefs, just enter below via the Rafflecopter form.

In the meantime, if you want to book tickets to go to BBC Good Food Show Spring then I have been given a promo code for 15% off for all my readers. When purchasing your tickets online here, use code: 1M6
Photo Credit ©Yuki Sugiura
Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After the one mandatory entry, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

End midnight 5th April

3 Ways to Form and Stick to Good Habits

We all want a quick way to feel healthier, happier and more in control of our lives, but the truth is that long-term progress means working at your goals. That's not to say there aren't a few shortcuts if you're willing to concentrate your effort in the right places though. Here are three ways you can help form new habits and ensure you stick to them: 

1. Patterns are the key to success 
The key to sticking with a good habit is changing it from something you have to do into something you have to choose not to do. For example, if your goal is to exercise, it's no good vowing to visit the gym more, or even to go twice a week. That still means that your future self has to decide to go to the gym. It is far more effective to identify the exact time you're going to do it - say Monday from 6pm to 7pm. Once you've done that, it's not a matter of deciding to go, but rather of breaking plans you already made. You can swap 'time' for 'money' or any other resource you currently dedicate to a bad habit, or want to dedicate to a new one. 

2. Set achievable, observable goals and constantly update them 
As already mentioned, vague statements are the enemy of forming patterned behaviour. Saying 'I want to get slimmer' is a good overall goal, but there's no way to say how close you are to attaining it and therefore no way to say what you're losing if you ignore your plans. Good goals have numbers attached - whether it's how much weight you've lost or how much money you haven't spent on your vices. 

Take it one step at a time until you reach your target

Good goals are also attainable. Don't try to reach your ultimate goal the first time out, because then you can only either succeed or fail. Instead, aim for smaller successes, allowing you to succeed multiple times on your journey. Even when you fail, you'll still have that achievable goal within reach, and all your past successes to assure you that you can do it. 

One great tip for smokers is to start making an e-cig a part of your smoking routine. This can replace more and more cigarettes; each time you choose to use the e-cigarette, it is a small success and can lead to you eventually kicking the tobacco habit for good. 

Just remember not to get stuck on a low level goal - once you can lift the small weights, move on to the bigger ones. 

3. Be kind to yourself 
We can't help but acknowledge our failures, so be sure to reward your successes. The nature of the reward doesn't really matter - it's about providing yourself with evidence that you can use to motivate later behaviour. Even a sticker chart will be surprisingly helpful, as it makes your progress something you can observe.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Gro-Hush - The Baby Calmer

When I saw the Gro-Hush on social media, I have to be really honest and thought it wouldn't work at all. I mean, a machine that makes quiet sounds and settles babies? Come on, that's not going to work, is it?

Well, after getting the Gro-hush I thought that I would do a review to show what it is, what we thought about it, and most importantly, whether it actually worked.

The Gro-hush is a white noise baby calmer. Yes that's right, it emits a soothing ‘white noise’ directly to your baby which allows your baby to be soothed and calmed. This is done at a low tone so as to not disturb others around, so only your baby will hear the calming tones. It has a choice of three soothing white noise sounds to choose from, heartbeat, ocean waves or rain falling on a tin roof, which are all set at a safe volume. 

It comes with a high quality protective travel case so can be used whilst out and about and the cushion which goes against the baby's ear is made from soft 100% jersey cotton and is machine washable to make things extra easy.

To save battery life and to not keep running unnecessarily, it automatically switches off after 10 minutes which I think is plenty enough time to sooth a baby. just hold down any of the buttons to switch it on and then choose one of the 3 tones to start it off working.

So, does it work? In fact, yes it does!

I know, I know, even I'm shocked. I wasn't expecting it at all. When Joseph was a little unsettled I thought I would give it a go and within only a few minutes of listening to the heartbeat tone, he was asleep. Maybe this could have been a coincidence I thought, so I took it up to bed with us and used it during the night when he struggles to get back to sleep after his night time bottle, and yes it did settle him. It didn't always send him off to sleep, but it did calm him down to whereby he wasn't crying or grumbling.

Out of the 3 tones, we use the heartbeat one only as this seems to be the one that Joseph likes the most. He doesn't like the sound of rain and so the 'rain falling on a tin roof' one doesn't work for him. The ocean waves does settle him but he much prefers the sound of the heartbeat. I guess this reminds him of being in the womb and hearing my heartbeat to calm him.

So overall, I am impressed with the Gro-Hush. Not only how it works to settle babies and is super quiet to not disturb others, but I am happy to say that it proved me wrong and that machines like this do actually work.

you can find more information on the Gro-Hush and check out the rest of their products on the Gro website.