#BlockThatCold Challenge

Some of my regular followers will remember that when I recently ran a giveaway for NasalGuard Cold&FluBLOCK, I told you that I would be participating in the Spink Back to School “Block that Cold” Mummy Blogger Challenge.

Son2 and I started using our free tube of NasalGuard Cold&FluBLOCK on Saturday 23rd August, more than a week ahead of the start of term. So after over a week’s usage I thought I’d give you the first report on how the challenge is going. I had woken up that morning with a slight tickle in my throat and I’m pleased to say that hasn’t developed into anything nasty. Both son2 and I are very well, although I still experience the throat tickle from time to time.

The NasalGuard Cold&FluBLOCK is very easy to apply by rubbing a small drop on the nostrils and upper lip. The packaging suggests reapplying 4-6 times a day but I have to admit that we are only managing 2-4 application each day.

#BlockThatCold

#BlockThatCold

Of course the real test is yet to come, when son 2 goes back to school on Tuesday, a day after son1. So I will update this post at intervals during September on our progress.

And I hope that the NasalGuard Cold&FluBLOCK has worked for prizewinner Danika. When I notified Danika of her win, she said it was very timely as she had a cold then.

NasalGuard Cold&FluBLOCK

NasalGuard Cold&FluBLOCK is an innovative, drug free, clinically proven cold and flu prevention treatment. The clear, non greasy gel is applied to the nostrils and upper lip regularly throughout the day which creates an invisible barrier in which airborne pathogens are snared and immobilised, reducing the likelihood of getting ill. Being drug free, this product is safe for children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mums. It can be worn over and under make up.

The current RRP for NasalGuard Cold&FluBLOCK is £11.99 for a 3g tube of 150 applications and it is stocked at Boots, Superdrug, Alliance Pharmacies and Sainsbury’s.

Family Fever

Disclosure.  This post mentions a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Cheesy Plum Robot Faces

The boys love it when I make their meals look fun. So I thought I’d share a way of jazzing up a slice of cheese on toast into a robot face.

Cheesy Plum Robot Faces

Cheesy Plum Robot Faces

Ingredients (makes 1)

1 slice of bread
butter
4 slices of mild cheddar cheese from a block
3 plums

Method

Preheat grill to a moderate heat.
Cut 1 plum in half lengthways for the eyes.
Cut 1 plum in quarters lengthways for the mouth, (the other 3/4 are spare).
Cut 1 plum in half widthways for the nose, (the other half is spare).
Cook the bread under the grill for a few minutes until the first side is toasted.
Turn over and spread with butter.
Then cover with the slices of cheese.
Put back under the grill for 30 seconds to start to melt the cheese.
Decorate with the pieces of plum.
Return to the grill for a few minutes until cheese is fully melted.
Serve and enjoy.

cheesy plum robot faces

The boys usually eat any spare pieces of plum as part of their pudding afterwards.

Our Norfolk holiday

UKbreakaways have challenged bloggers to share their passion for the UK destination of their choice. I was already planning to tell you about our great holiday in Norfolk.

Son1 has been remarkably well during the maintenance phase of his chemotherapy, so we felt confident enough to book a holiday in advance rather than leaving it to the last minute. We booked a cottage in Norfolk, an area of the country I have not visited before in memory. Although my mum told me I had been to Cromer aged 3.

We stayed in Snettisham in the north of Norfolk and from there visited nearby places and attractions including Hunstanton, Sandringham, Kings Lynn and Wells-next-the-Sea. Our favourite beach was at Holme, sandy rather than stony. Being more remote, it was quieter than most. We discovered that beach by following a previous guest’s recommendation in the visitor’s book at our cottage. One of my top travel tips is to research your holiday locality by checking out the leaflets at the tourist information and I always read visitors books for ideas.

tourist leaflets

Fun on Holme beach

Fun on Holme beach

We were staying within walking distance of Snettisham Nature Reserve. It was lovely wandering round the lake, seeing the geese and wild plants. Although the anglers and bird watchers may have preferred it without our two loud boys’ presence. And the boys enjoyed having a few early blackberries as we walked.

Snettisham Nature Reserve

Snettisham Nature Reserve

Our favourite attraction in Kings Lynn was Lynn Museum. There was lots to occupy the boys giving us time to properly read about the exhibits. I found it fascinating to find out all about Seahenge there.

Horse ride at Lynn Museum

Horse ride at Lynn Museum

At Wells-next-the-Sea we walked from the town to the beach. And afterwards whilst I walked back, the boys loved riding back on the miniature railway. They also enjoyed eating pancakes on board an old sailing boat, The Albatros which has been converted into a restaurant.

Harbour Railway, Wells-Next-The-Sea

Harbour Railway, Wells-Next-The-Sea

Our cottage was small and cosy, but well equipped with plenty of games and toys to entertain the boys, and lots of books for me. We didn’t know that in advance, so I had followed my other usual travel tip of packing small things like balloons, bubbles, beach balls, colouring for the boys. There was no WiFi at the cottage, so it was great to spend less time online.

The boys had great fun on the beaches, paddling, building sandcastles and collecting shells. And when we got torrential rain, there were indoor play areas, museum, ten pin bowling, swimming pool and arcades.

Son1 was overjoyed to win a toy at kids Bingo at one of the nearby caravan sites.

And it was a delight to see the ducks and chickens wandering round outside from the small-holding behind the cottage. There were even alpacas.

I’ve written a separate blog post on the wonderful lavender farm at Heacham also encompassing Farmer Fred’s Play Barn, a favourite of the boys. I also intend to blog about our lovely day at Sandringham , so watch out for that.

Norfolk fun

Norfolk was wonderful. I certainly want to go again. Where do you love visiting most in the UK?

Disclosure. I’m entering this post to the Ukbreakaways travel competition.

Norfolk Lavender

On our recent holiday to Norfolk, we visited Norfolk Lavender in Heacham. I love lavender but I was amazed to discover that there are over 100 different varieties of lavender. It was glorious wandering around the lavender, herbs and gardens. Unfortunately I missed the guided tour of how the lavender distillery operates. The boys had fun too at Farmer Fred’s Play Barn which was on the same site.

norfolk lavender

norfolk lavender

Norfolk lavender

I tried a lavender ice-cream there and bought a lavender cake and other tasty goodies from the farm shop to take home. I also bought some lavender syrup for my mum from the gift shop.

Lady's Mantle

It was really interesting to read about each herb. I loved the fact about Lady’s Mantle that in the 18th century, women applied the leaves to their breasts to make them recover their shape after breast feeding.

I’d love to hear any other unusual herb facts.

lavender distillery

The lavender distillery

Norfolk lavender

A couple of unusual items for sale

Norfolk lavender

Manneskjur

Pilgrims Choice Pick N Mix

My other half has been chosen as a Very Important Pilgrim to join the Pilgrim’s Choice special VIP club and has won some free cheese. He received a pack of Pilgrim’s Choice Cheddar Crumbles with Black Pepper and a selection of 6 flavours of Pilgrims Choice Pick N Mix Cheese.

Pilgrims Choice Pick N Mix

I have previously reviewed Pilgrim’s Choice Cheddar Crumbles and had agreed to also review the Pick N Mix range, so rather than wait for the identical review products to arrive, I thought I’d get ahead and review these.

The 6 flavours of Pick N Mix are
Vintage Cheddar
Smokey Cheddar
Firecracker
Indian Spice
Wensleydale and Cranberry
Apple and Wensleydale

So we decided to have a cheese and crackers picnic lunch in the garden. I loved all the flavours except for the Firecracker, for which I found the fieriness of the jalapenos dominated too much over the cheese.

Pilgrims Choice Pick N Mix

Son1’s favourites were Indian Spice and Smokey Cheddar and I think I have to agree with him. Although Apple and Wensleydale was a close contender, probably because cheese and apple is one of my favourite toast toppings. My other half’s all-time favourite cheese is Wensleydale and Cranberry, so I didn’t even need to ask him his favourite Pic N Mix.
Pilgrims Choice Pick N Mix

They all come in 80g size, a very generous portion for Pick N Mix, large enough to share. These currently retail at Tesco for £1.50 each or 3 for £3. I will certainly be looking out for our favourite flavours next time I’m at the supermarket.

Family Fever

Disclosure.  This post is a review of products that we won.  All opinions are my own.

National Crisp Sandwich Week

Did you know that it was National Crisp Sandwich Week this month? I didn’t. In fact I didn’t even know there was such a thing. But I do love a good crisp sarnie or even a chip buttie.

So I was pleased to find out that Tots100 have teamed up with Seabrook Crisps and challenged bloggers to share their favourite crisp sandwich recipe.

beefy crisps

My favourite crisp sandwich is grated cheese and apple with cheese and onion flavour crisps. However as I received a free pack of Beefy flavour crisps, I decided to try something new. I thought the Beefy crisps would compliment pâté or potted meat best. So as I had a tin of duck terrine in the cupboard, I decided to use that.

Crisp sandwich

Duck Terrine and Crisp Sandwich

Ingredients

2 slices of bread (I used homemade brown seeded)
butter
duck terrine
1 pack of Seabrook Beefy Crisps

Method

Cut 2 slices of bread from your loaf
Spread both with butter
Cover the bottom slice with a generous helping of duck terrine
Top with the crisps
Add the top slice of bread
Cut sandwich in two
Serve and enjoy.

crisp sandwich

The verdict. Delicious. I loved it and will be making this one again.

A crisp sandwich needs to be eaten immediately to savour the crunchiness of the crisps. So if you wish to have a crisp sandwich for your packed lunch, you will need to make your sandwich without the crisps, then open it again to add the crisps at lunchtime.

Disclosure. This post mentions a product I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.
This recipe is an entry into the National Crisp Sarnie Week competition with Seabrook crisps.

My Dream Bedroom

Good to be Home are running a competition for bloggers to show what their unique interior design style would look like by creating a blog post with samples of the furniture, wall paper, furnishings, art, etc that would be in your dream bedroom or living room.  This is being run in partnership with Laura of Little Stuff and Arianna from Heart Home.

I have decided to show you my dream bedroom. I’ve created a moodboard on Polyvore. I still need to work out why prices are automatically displayed in dollars rather than pounds and the product names also modified. I had to change them all back manually.

I’ve chosen the antique brass “Krystal” bed in a spacious king size as I love its classical look.  And I’ve never had wallpaper, so it was exciting to choose the Beka design in a gorgeous lavender shade.  I think 4 rolls should be sufficient.  I’ve then continued the colour scheme of purples and mauves for the duvet cover, pillow cases, curtains, cushions, throw and a comfy bedroom chair.  Then a light fitting in antique brass to compliment the bed.

My current wardrobes are fitted, so I plan to keep them along with the matching drawers, dressing table and bedside cabinets.  However I have chosen a beautiful mirror for the dressing table.  I couldn’t find any purple table lamps, but these grey ones will go nicely.  And finally I have always wanted a tea maker in the bedroom.

I’m linking my post up with Heart Home.

My Dream Bedroom

Grey lamp
£75 x 2 – debenhams.com

Tea Maker Alarm Clock
£60 – debenhams.com

Lavender Beka Wallpaper
£12.50 per roll x 4 – debenhams.com

Silver hinged dressing table mirror
£40 – debenhams.com

Designer Purple Geometric Applique Cushion
£26 x 2 – debenhams.com

Krystal Antique Brass Bed
£504 (kingsize) – debenhams.com

Plum Miramar Chair with light feet
£432 – debenhams.com

Plum Velvet Throw
£112 – debenhams.com

Lilac ‘Connaught’ bed linen
£62.40 king duvet cover
£22.40 pair of pillow cases – debenhams.com

Good to be Home Dream Room Competition

 

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My Bad Habits

My latest bad habit started about a year ago after we got son1 back home from the hospital following his diagnosis of leukaemia. I had been totally devastated by the news and I turned to comfort eating at bedtime. Usually something unhealthy like cake, chocolate or crisps. Absolutely the worst time of day to eat. A couple of months ago, I had to have three fillings. I probably hadn’t had one for 10 years or so and I expect these were due to my bad bedtime eating habit. However even after the wake-up call of the fillings, it hasn’t had any effect on stopping my bad habit. I know its bad but I crave these snacks, even if not really hungry.

chocolates, biscuits and crisps

However I did manage to overcome a previous bad habit of computer gaming which I blogged about here. So hopefully I’ll manage to kick the late night snacking habit, although I admit that I do still spend too much time online.

This post is my entry into the Bobatoo.co.uk Bad Habits blog competition.

’Bad

Center Parcs August Challenge: Dear Diary

Tots100 and Center Parcs have challenged bloggers to record their fun summer moments this month.  See this webpage for more details, where Center Parcs Community Manager, Steph Tilley, has shared her top tips on how you can chronicle your summer activities. I was most inspired by Steph’s fifth tip which says Create a scrapbook by sticking in different mementos of your summer – train tickets, photos and handwritten diary entries always work well, or why not try something a little more unusual? Ask your little ones to decorate your scrap book with hand prints and finger painting, cut out words from old newspapers and magazines or even have a go at creating a digital scrapbook, complete with video clips.

Son 1 was keen to do this and spent about 10 minutes each morning during the second week of our holiday sticking in leaflets to his scrapbook and writing a short sentence or drawing a picture.

holiday journal

This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 August challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Longleat Forest.

Flowerbeds in Boats

Whilst on holiday in Norfolk, I came across a trend of using old boats as flowerbeds. I was quite taken with this idea. An attractive way of upcycling boats that were no longer sea-worthy. I didn’t get photos of many as mostly they were seen on roundabouts from the car, but here are a couple. The canoe was on the road we were staying at and the sailing boat was outside a nearby caravan site.

upcycled canoe

upcycled sailing boat

When I was a child, there was a sailing boat hidden under a tarpaulin for years in our back garden. My dad had used to sail it many years ago, but I don’t recall it ever being used whilst I was growing up. Eventually it got scrapped due to mice having eaten it. But wouldn’t it have been nice to upcycle into a flowerbed?

There must be a thing for me about boats and flowers. I’ve always admired the roof-top gardens of the barges when strolling alongside canals.

I’d love to hear what unusual items you’ve seen upcycled into flowerbeds or planters?

Manneskjur