31 August 2012

Yummy Fish Pie

I'm not one for liking fish. To be honest I usually don't eat any fish but I do love a good fish pie, home made only though. I only like cod or haddock and never use prawny type fish in my pie as it looks weird and I cannot eat it. I just keep it simple.

To make my version you will need:

  • a 2.5lb bag of potatoes
  • 5 fresh pieces of fish (I use either cod or haddock)
  • a pack of Colman's Parsley sauce
  • 300ml of milk (and an extra splash for cooking the fish)
  • margarine
  • grated cheese
- First of all peel and cut up the potatoes, give a rinse in cold water and then place in a pan, covering them with cold water and quite a good sprinkle of salt. Boil for 40 minutes and then mash with a dollop of margarine.
- Place the fish in a frying pan on a medium heat with a splash of water and a little margarine. Cook until it starts to break apart and then sieve away the liquid. Break all the fish up into small chunks.
- Put the parsley sauce powder into a pan and add a little of the 300ml of milk, mix till all lumps have gone and then add the rest of the milk, bring to the boil and then simmer until you get the right consistency. Make sure to keep stirring so you don't burn the base of the pan.
- Put the fish into an oven dish and pour over the parsley sauce, making sure it covers all the fish. Leave to cool.
- Add the mash over the top of the fish and spread out evenly. I then use a fork to make the lined pattern which also helps flatten it out.
- Sprinkle over with grated cheese, I use mild cheddar so it's not overpowering. 


- Place into the oven for around 40 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Take out and serve with any accompaniment. I serve it with peas and carrots as I like the freshness.


I find fish pie is a great hearty meal and great for this cold weather.

Silly Monkey Pillow Pet


Pillow Pets are the plush folding stuffed animals that combine the comfort of a pillow with the joyfulness of a plush pet.
Made of high quality, super soft chenille, Pillow Pets folding stuffed animals make the most precious snuggle friend for you or your loved one.

The concept of the Pillow Pet was thought of by a mum of 2, who was tired of picking up stuffed animals that had been thrown across the floor. It's an ideal sleep time partner, ' Pillow Pets plush folding stuffed animals are anything but just another stuffed animal'.

Pillow Pets have a handy strap underneath that converts them from a pillow into a pet that your child can play with and can keep company on long journeys.

If your Pillow Pets gets dirty all you need to do is simply put it inside a white pillowcase and wash on a cool gentle cycle in the washing machine. The use of the white pillowcase is to stop  your machine bashing up the fibres on your Pillow Pet and in turn increases it's life. Remember, do not tumble dry! Just leave it to air dry. 

They are also practical as I use them to put Thomas's pyjamas inside them, keeping his pyjamas warm and making sure I always know where they are.


Just seeing my sons faces when I opened the packaging was amazing, their little faces lit up as bright as the sun wanting to play with it straight away. We were sent the Silly Monkey Pillow Pet which both the boys love. Tugging at its ears, cuddling it and rolling around the floor with it, the fun that can be had is startling. 

Charlie loved sitting on it and squishing it down only to watch it plump back up when he got off it. The Pillow Pet itself is so soft and cuddly, even I gave it a little squeeze and it felt so plump and luscious
I've found it's the only thing that both my boys will share and cuddle together, it's such a nice feeling to see both sitting and watching TV or playing with the monkey and not fighting  who gets it.
If Thomas is getting tired he gets up onto the sofa and snuggles with it before going to bed and laying his head onto it nod off for the night.

Napping with Charlie or playing with Thomas in the garden, I'm sure the Pillow Pet is having just as much fun as my 2 boys are and I thank Mookie Toys for making the Original Pillow Pet!


You can buy the Pillow Pet for £14.99 from their website and can buy it in 14 different animals.
You can follow Pillows Pets on Facebook.

30 August 2012

Zaggora HotPants


After having 2 babies my dress size has gone up from a 10 to a 14 which makes me very self conscious. After reading very promising testimonials and reviews on Zaggora Hotpants about how people had lost inches and weight I was very keen to give them a try. 

I was then given the chance to take their Two Week Challenge and I jumped at the chance.

About Zaggora Hotpants
According to Zaggora, women can lose weight 4x faster by wearing them because of the specifically designed Celu-Lite technology fabric lining which enhances your natural body temperature. Zaggora Hotpants, if used whilst exercising, can raise your core body temperature by 18%, making your body use more energy and in turn burning more calories. 

You can get Hotpants in 4 different sizes, small, medium, large and extra-large. They have a size chart on their website to help you chose the right size for yourself. As I'm a 14 I decided that a medium is my best fitting size. They are a great fit and feel very tight to skin but not uncomfortable. The only thing is they feel a bit bulky and make a rubbing noise if you wear them with no clothing covering them.


Doing the Challenge
I was so excited to get a chance to do the Two Week Challenge. Zaggora claim that by wearing Hotpants  whilst exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, you can drop 2 jeans sizes in 2 weeks.   

I started out on the first day by just wearing them whilst I cleaned the house top to bottom and definitely agree that they make you sweat more. Doing a high paced exercise session it felt as though sweat was pouring off me but the great thing about Zaggora Hotpants is that this didn't make me uncomfy as the material seemed to absorb the moisture. 

The best thing about the Hotpants is that they can be worn underneath clothing so I used them even when I was out and about an no one could tell I even had them on. I actually wore them to go out with my husband for the night under my dress so I was slimming whilst having fun too.


Results
Although I didn't drop 2 jeans sizes, I did go down to a size 12 and I'm very happy that a pair of Hotpants could do that in just 2 weeks. One of the main reasons I wanted to try the Zaggora Hotpants is because I had bought a very expensive dress, before I had Charlie, in a size 12 which was too tight for me, now I can fit into it easily and am extremely happy that I can finally wear it.


Price
The Nude Hotpants can be bought from the Zaggora website for £44.99. When I first read about Zaggora I thought this was very expensive for something that might not even work but after using them and seeing how they worked for me I think the price is fair. I mean if you can drop even just 1 jeans size in 2 week, like me, just by buying a pair of Hotpants for £44.99 I know most people would jump at the chance.

You can follow Zaggora on Facebook and on Twitter.

26 August 2012

Silent Sunday


Silent Sunday TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky

25 August 2012

This week in pictures


The boys love it at playgroup. A chance to play with other children and get out of the house for a bit. Thomas loves playing in the sand, not really building but shovelling into the bucket and pouring back out. Whereas Charlie just loves the toy food, trying to eat it all the time. 
I coloured my hair with Bblonde and it went a fab colour.


Playing in the garden as always, Thomas enjoys playing football with daddy.


Ahhh, the beach ball! May seem insignificant to me and you but to Thomas and Charlie it's the greatest toy ever. For a full day they just chased it and threw it around the room.
That's our week in pictures, always a joy seeing pictures of my 2 boys, hope you enjoyed.

23 August 2012

Angelcare AC401 Movement & Sound Monitor


I remember being a first time parent when I had Thomas and during the night would constantly wake to pop into his bedroom just to check he was breathing. The Angelcare Movement and Sound Monitor detects all your babies movements and sounds, watching over your baby when you can't but back then I didn't know a monitor like this existed so every night, nearly every hour I would be checking on him which became very tiring. No we have Charlie it seems to have gotten worse as he sometimes just holds his breath for no reason so I'm constantly checking on him.

The Movement and Sound monitor comes in 3 parts, there is the:
  • Nursery Unit
Is a cute design, connects to the sensor unit and has a night light feature on the handle, great for checking on baby during the night or for helping sooth baby to sleep.

  • Sensor Mat
Monitors all babies movements even the slightest breathing movements. The alarm will sound if there has been no movement for 20 seconds to let mummy know. Sensitivity settings can be altered to suit.

  • Portable Rechargeable Parent Unit
The parent unit comes with its own holster for when it is charging or just to stand it in. When fully charged it can be portable for upto 8 hours. Volume level can be changed to suit and it even has a vibrate function and a temperature function monitoring the temperature in babies room.
It also has a 'hold' button, the sound and movement alarm is deactivated whilst this is pressed for if you need to feed or change baby and then repressed to turn the sound back on.



The monitors are quite easy to sort out at first, that is until it comes to setting what you want on and off then it can get a bit fiddly but the instructions explain everything step by step. You can set to have sound, tics, vibrating or a mix of the 3. You can also turn the volume up and down to suit your household and can do the same with the sensitivity of the sensor mat. Once sorted though it's very simple to use.
I love the reassurance of the sensor mat. With Charlie holding his breath sometimes this part of the monitor helps so much to help me get a nights sleep without worrying that I wont now if anything happens to him.

The monitor has no interference at all which is great as I've had monitors in the past that pick up neighbours radios which means I cannot hear my baby. It also has rechargeable batteries which means that it can be taken from its holster to used outside and will last for upto 8 hours if fully charged. The nursery monitor takes AA batteries so if you have a power cut the monitor will still be fully functional which is also great reassurance to myself.
The AC401 monitor has won quite a few awards including a Practical Parenting Best Buy, a Mother and Baby silver award from Best Baby Monitor and a Parenting Media award.
All in all, I love the simplicity of the monitor, the fact that you can change settings to suit what you want from it and I also love the fact that I can now at last get a nights sleep without worrying about my son.

The monitor is £99.99 from Angelcare  and can also be purchased from Amazon, Boots and Mothercare.
You can follow Angelcare on Twitter and on Facebook.


22 August 2012

Bblonde Powder Bleach and Cream Peroxide


As a child I had really light blonde hair, it was near enough white but as I've got older my hair has got darker and is now a mucky blonde colour which looks grey and I hate it. For about 10 years now I have dyed my hair lighter blonde which, although I have light hair anyway, is very hard. No matter which hair colour I chose it would go orange, then yellow and then too light. 

When Bblonde offered to send me out their products to try I jumped at the chance. Maybe for the first time in 10 years my hair would go the right colour first time. 
The box of powder bleach actually comes with 4 sachets. You only need to use one sachet per bottle of cream peroxide but if you have longer hair, like me, you'd be best to use 2 sachets with 2 bottles of cream peroxide. to cover the whole of your hair. It also comes with instructions on how to test your hair and skin before use and about how to apply it and how long to keep it on. 

The colour was actually very easy to spread onto my hair and socked in very well, almost immediately I could see my hair changing colour which I was surprised at as usually it takes a while for my hair to take to the dye. I left it on for 30 minutes but for darker hair it can be left for upto an hour. I washed it off thoroughly  and left it to dry naturally overnight. Waking up in the morning I couldn't believe the colour, a perfect blonde! Not orange, yellow or too light but perfect.



I'm so happy with how my hair looks and cannot believe that I've never tried Jerome Russell's Bblonde range before but from now on will be using it for perfect coloured hair.


You can follow Bblonde on Facebook and on Twitter.
The Bblonde range can be purchased from Boots, Superdrug, Lloyds Pharmacy, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons. 

19 August 2012

Spotty Silent Sunday



Silent Sunday TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky

This week in pictures!

I love taking photos which is why we have albums full of memories overtaking the cupboards. I think it's nice to look back and show a full life in pictures, even just cutting the grass can tell a story of family life and working together.


Learning to draw objects is on the agenda for Thomas at the moment. Using his easel and chalk board seems to help him and we have mastered the circle and are onto trying the square, triangle and heart.


Charlie loves playing in boxes, more so than playing with toys. In and out of it all day keeping him happy. 


I love the fact that the only thing I see in the tv is the reflection from our living room. No cartoons, no football, just peacefulness!

12 August 2012

Silent Sunday




Silent Sunday TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky

10 August 2012

Chocolate by Genevie Review and Giveaway


Chocolate by Genevie is a new online chocolate store making high quality handmade luxury chocolates. All the chocolates are made by chocolatier Genevie and even her boxes are hand finished by either her or family with ribbons and silk.

Genevie wanted to be different from other large chocolate companies who roll out boxes and boxes of the same chocolates and so no 2 boxes are ever the same so you know the product you are getting is unique and just for you.
The website is simple and easy to use, lots of luscious chocolatey pictures are shown to entice you in even more. 
All orders are delivered free to UK mainland and can include a gift card.

I was sent a gold box of 6 chocolates to review, priced at £7.99 and with a random assortment of chocolates. You could tell just by looking at the chocolates that they were high quality and lovingly made. Each one with it's own flavour, scrumptious with every bite. We love the different flavours in our house. Thomas loves white chocolate, my husband dark and me milk so it was great to have a mix of them. I must admit after the box was devoured I could have easily eaten more and now know where I'll be going when we next need chocolates.

You can follow Chocolate by Genevie on Facebook.


COMPETITION

The lovely Genevie has agreed to give a box of her gorgeous chocolates to one of my lucky followers. Up for grabs is a box of 24 chocolates in a black box with a butterfly design, priced at £21.99.
These will be set direct from Genevie once the competition has finished.



To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. If the form isn't showing please refresh your page till it does. UK only.

WINNER

The winner has now been drawn by Rafflecopter and is announced on the widget below. I have contacted you by the email address which was given on your entry.

Congratulations x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

9 August 2012

Dishmatic and EcoForce


Have you ever wondered whether your cleaning products are eco-friendly? Well Easy Do have. They manufacture and supply everyday products that are more sustainable, environmentally friendly and greener than other similar products. EcoForce is their range of kitchen and outdoor products. They include:


EcoForce Recycled Peg Basket
This is made from 93% recycled plastic, comes with 24 pegs but has the capacity to hold 72 and has a clip on it's handle to keep it on your washing line.

EcoForce Recycled Clothes Pegs
The eco peg is made form one piece of plastic which in turn makes it energy efficient to produce, stronger and safer than normal pegs. They contain no metal parts and are almost impossible to break.

EcoForce Recycled Clothes Line
The clothes line comes in a bright green colour to brighten up any garden. It is 20m long, can hold weight of upto 30kg and is made from 89% recycled materials.

EcoForce Recycled Bag Grips
Like the eco pegs, the eco bag grips are made one from piece of plastic but are also frost proof and dishwasher proof making them great for gripping together open packs of food in the freezer or to keep fridge food fresher for longer.

EcoForce Kitchen Scourer Pads
These come in 2 varieties, white are non scratch and green are heavy duty. They are made from at least 90% recycled fibres and are shaped for easy grip. 

EcoForce Recycled Sponges
Again these come in 2 varieties, the same as the scourers and are again contoured for easier grip. Every day sponges that are sustainably and ethically made from recycled materials.

EcoForce Recycled Dusters
Made from high quality recycled materials, the dusters can be used for dusting and polishing furniture, car interiors, mirrors and wood and can be used wet or dry with or without polish. 

EcoForce Recycled cloths
EcoForce cloths are high absorbent and extra soft. They can be used for cleaning any surface and are machine washable. The cloths have also been made using a Z stitch to make them stronger so can be reused over and over.

I found using all these products very satisfying know that I am doing the planet good and am creating a greener environment for my children in the future just by helping with a few eco friendly products. All the products were simple to use and very strong, whether it was for outside or inside use, extra care has been taken to ensure all of the products are fit for purpose and will last longer than other similar products.
As a mum I am always cleaning up spills, washing dishes, putting out washing, cooking food and so all the EcoForce products are thoroughly used in our house and will be from no on! 

Dishmatic
Dishmatic comes complete with a sponge scourer and has a flexible handle that dispenses washing-up liquid as it is used. Long last, efficient and easy to use. All you have to do is fill the handle with washing-up liquid and away you go. When the sponge wears out it can just be unclipped and another attached. 

There are 5 different attachment, they are:
  • White, non scratch
  • Green, heavy duty
  • Black extra heavy duty
  • Micro Soft
  • Steel scourer
Each replacement pack some with 3 refills and some retailers also sell them in packs of 2.


I personally love the Dishmatic product. I find it so much easy than having a whole bunch of different products for washing-up. Basically the handle and a few attachments and your away. No need to be messing with dirty washing-up liquid bottles or routing round for scourers as they all are with it. Just a little clip and unclip and a new attachment is ready to use. I have really sensitive skin so prolonged water usage or touch washing-up liquid can cause very dry skin on my hands, the Dishmatic combats this as I now don't need to put my hands into the wash to wash up and don't need to touch and liquid. 

Easy Do really have made great products in EcoForce and Dishmatic and they'll be staying in my kitchen from now on!


Dizolve Washing Sheets


One of the worst things about washing is when you spill powder everywhere. It seems to go in every crease that can't be reached and is itchy when on the skin. We usually buy boxes in front but then bulkiness means we have no space to store them all. 
Dizolve are concentrated washing sheets that are simple and easy to use. Basically pop one into that washer and ... your done! Just one sheet is enough for a full wash as they have been pre-measured for one load but if there's a particularly stubborn mark then use as many as you like. 

Dizolve laundry sheets dissolve completely during the washing cycle and are biodegradable. Not only that but they also take up a minimal amount of space in my cupboard as opposed to hefty boxes and big plastic containers that are usually used. This also means more packs can fit onto each delivery lorry lowering CO2 emisions.  

Dizolve comes in 2 different varieties, they are Original and Lavender. I'm not one to usually like scented washing but it is so subtle and not overpowering which is nice and because both types are non-biological means they are a more natural wash and kinder to the skin which is always great in our house since me and both boys have really sensitive skin.
One sheet is enough for one full load but for larger or heavily soiled items you can use 2 or as many as you want really and Dizolve can be used in cold water.
Using the Original pack I found that our clothes came out perfectly clean and whites were bright and fresh. I was a bit more sceptical of using the Lavender sheets as with us having sensitive and dry skin we usually don't buy scented but they were fine. I threw us in at the deep end and washed our bedding in them so I would know straight away how the affected the skin and to be honest they didn't cause problems at all. Just lovely smelling clean bedding that felt great to sleep on and the scent was so soothing.


I love the fact that they save so much space in my cupboards meaning I now have more storage space for other things which is always great. I've never seen such an innovative product and can safely say that from now on I will be using Dizolve.
No more dirty washing machine draw, no more horrible powder residue on skin, just nice clean washing every time!

You can buy Dizolve from most Waitrose and Sainbury's stores and from Dizolve's website.
Follow Dizolve of Facebook and on Twitter.