Category Archives: competitions

HelloSkin skincare plus giveaway

I was very pleased to be offered the chance to choose a selection of 3 products from HelloSkin free to review. The lady at HelloSkin had seen that I have previously blogged about Flexitol footcare products which is a line they stock.

HelloSkin products

HelloSkin is an online store selling skincare products suitable for those people with psoriasis, eczema, acne and dry skin conditions. The site has been designed so that you can easily shop by need, type or ingredient. Alternatively there is a product finder which is refinable by age group, body part, symptom, need and when to use.

I initially chose the following three products
DermaTherapy Fitted Sheet
Moisturising Cotton Sleep Socks
Neutrogena T/Gel 2-in-1 Dandruff Shampoo Plus Conditioner

But as my first choice of socks were out of stock at the time, I swapped to
Jasmine 100% Silk Moisturising Socks for dry and cracked skin

The products were dispatched on a next day service and arrived well-packed. I spotted that they also offer a free standard delivery service, which I always appreciate.

DermaTherapy fitted sheet

So I’ll start with the DermaTherapy Fitted Sheet which is billed as being the first clinically proven Therapeutic Bedding. I chose this in a king size which currently retails for £84.95 but it is also available in single and double sizes. The fabric feels amazingly smooth compared to standard sheets, but to really understand this, you should look at the zoomed in image of the weave. The HelloSkin website focusses on the benefits for those with sensitive skin conditions, but the packaging also indicates that it is ideal for those undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Pity I hadn’t heard about it a few years earlier, as when son1 was diagnosed with leukaemia, I thought I was making the right choice to buy best quality pure Egyptian cotton bedsheets for him.

They also stock duvet covers, pillow case, flat sheets and sleep sacs. I tend to often wake up sweaty in the middle of the night and I found that this sheet is very effective at wicking away heat and moisture. Now I just need the rest of the range, as my ordinary duvet meant I was still sweaty above, although much more comfortable underneath. Significantly more expensive than standard bedding, but definitely worth the investment for those that it helps to a much better night’s sleep in my opinion. It is 50% polyester and 50% polyamide and is so easy to fit on your mattress compared to most sheets. I actually had to double check the packet to make sure I hadn’t accidentally got super-king rather than king size. I washed it on a 60 degree cycle and tumble-dried it on low. It came out almost crease-free, so I didn’t even need to iron. And the packaging indicates that it will withstand washing upto 90 degrees.

Jasmine Silk Socks

Next the socks, which fit size 3-7. I’ve been planning to get a pair of moisturising socks for ages, but had never got round to it. The idea behind moisturising socks is to apply your usual footcare product and then the socks will help the absorption whilst you sleep. I’m loving these. I can definitely say they work. I’ve blogged before about how dry and cracked my feet are, as per image on left. Well I’ve seen a marked improvement in the mornings since I started wearing the socks, as per image on right. At £7.99 for a pair, they are great value in my opinion. Wish I’d got some sooner. Although the socks are silk, they can still be machine washed on a low 30 degree setting, but I chose to hand-wash them.

Neutrogena T/Gel Dandruff Shampoo

And finally the shampoo. I frequently get a flare up of flaky scalp and have tried many different brands of anti-dandruff shampoo, but this is the first time, I’ve tried this brand. At the time of testing, I only had a very mild case of dandruff (as per top left image), which I’m happy to say it treated. I do prefer using combined shampoo and conditioner like this rather than two separate products. This shampoo lathered up well and also had a nice fragrance and my hair felt soft and tangle-free afterwards. This was the 125ml size which currently retails for £3.99 and it is also available in a 250ml size. More expensive than most shampoo at the supermarket but competitive with salon brands.

So in summary, I was very happy with all three products and will certainly be using this site in the future.

Also I have an offer to pass on to my readers – 10% off your next purchase at HelloSkin with discount code: “HELLOCLAIRE”. This offer is valid once per customer.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway HelloSkin products to three lucky winners. The first winner drawn will win a DermaTherapy fitted sheet in their preferred choice of size. The second winner drawn will win a pair of Jasmine Silk Moisturising Socks. And the third winner drawn will win a bottle of  Neutrogena T/Gel 2-in-1 Dandruff Shampoo Plus Conditioner.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your top skincare tips.

You can find HelloSkin on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Family Fever

Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Chewy Moon snack box review and giveaway

I have received a free sample Chewy Moon healthy snack box via Talk To Mums. The box size is designed to fit through your letterbox.

Chewy Moon snacks

These boxes are aimed at children from age 3 upwards and son2 was really excited when he saw the pug on the outside of the box. Even though he is fairly dog-phobic, he has recently started asking if we can get a pug. Whilst son1 who is equally wary round dogs wants a labrador. But no need for them to argue over breeds, as a puppy is not on the agenda since I work full-time.

These boxes contain 5 individual snack portions along with some fun activities and a page of nutrition facts. Our activitites were a pop-out frog, a short comic story and facts about ants.

Chewy Moon snacks

The 5 snacks we received were:-
Snacko Italiano (Tuscany cashews and baked cheese)
Happy BBQ (smokey almonds and coconut chips)
Crazy Crunch (smoothie bites)
Cherry Cola (cola raisins, cherry, cranberry)
Freaky Fruits (blackcurrant drops, apricot sticks, cherry cubes, peach cubes, raspberry strips)

Chewy Moon snacks

Son1 chose the Snacko Italiano first whilst son2 opted for the Cherry Cola. He did insist that son1 give him the empty Snacko Italiano pug box afterwards though. Son1 loved the pieces of toasted cheese, but only liked the Italian herby cashews. He let me try a couple of the cashews and I thought they were delicious. Meanwhile son2 quickly scoffed the Cherry Cola.

Chewy Moon snacks

The next time son2 selected Freaky Fruits whilst son1 went for Crazy Crunch. Once again son2’s snack vanished very quickly and he gave both a resounding thumbs up. Although son1 is a huge smoothie fan, he wasn’t convinced by the Crazy Crunch flavour, so offered them to the rest of us. We all enjoyed them but none of us guessed the flavour correctly which was blueberry and red beet.

Chewy Moon snacks

And to avoid arguments, I got the fifth pack, the Happy BBQ, which was right up my street, as I love almonds and coconut. Very yummy indeed.

Chewy Moon snacks

These packs are ideal for an after school snack. But if your children attend a school that has a nut-free policy like my boys’ school, then you wouldn’t be able to send either Snacko Italiano or Happy BBQ in as a playground snack. However there is a “no nuts” option when ordering.

You get to rate the snacks, to build up a profile of which your child does and doesn’t like for future boxes. Each box currently costs £4.93 including 98p P&P, but you can get your first box free. You select between fruit box, variety box or savoury box and you can order for multiple children. The boxes are delivered weekly and you may cancel your subscription at any time. A competitive price in my opinion.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a month’s Chewy Moon subscription of 4 boxes to one lucky winner. What a tasty prize.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear about your favourite snack ideas.

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

#ThankGoodness for two quick tasty Bolognaise recipes

Britmums have challenged bloggers to take the Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge to create a nutritious mid-week family meal. And as one of the first 100 to sign upto the challenge, I received a bundle of groceries from Tesco.

Tesco Dolmio hamper

When it comes to cooking on a school night, a jar of sauce like Dolmio, is a great bonus for a speedy meal. And son2 prefers the flavour of it, compared to when I do make a tomato sauce from scratch.

What Is In A Jar of Dolmio

A jar of Dolmio Bolognese sauce contains no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or sweeteners. Always a plus point as far as I’m concerned. And a jar provides 1 of your 5 a day portions of fruit and veg for a family of 4.

What a lot of food in the delivery. Certainly more than enough for two meals, which is what I’m going to share with you now. The first night I decided to make a Chicken Bolognaise with Char-grilled vegetables.

Chicken Bolognaise with Char-grilled vegetables

Chicken Bolognaise with Char-grilled vegetables

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 chicken fillets
1 500g jar of Dolmio Bolognaise Sauce
1 aubergine
1 green pepper
1 courgette
1 large carrot
1 medium onion
2-4 tbsp olive oil

Method

Peel the onion and carrot.
Deseed the pepper.
Prepare the vegetables, chopping the aubergine and onions into discs and the other vegetables lengthways.
Cover the wire rack in your grill pan with foil.
Preheat grill to a moderate heat, using combined grill / fan setting if you have that functionality.
Add 1 tbsp of the olive oil to a wok and heat gently.
Add chicken to wok and cook for about 25-30 minutes, turning regularly.
Meanwhile place carrots on the foil and drizzle with olive oil, brushing the oil over them.
Place under the grill.
After about 5 minutes, add the aubergine, again drizzling and brushing with oil.
After about another 5 minutes, add the onion, again drizzling and brushing with oil.
After about another 5 minutes, add the courgette, again drizzling and brushing with oil.
After about another 5 minutes, add the pepper, again drizzling and brushing with oil.
Throughout this, keep turning vegetables as required to avoid burning.
If necessary, cover those vegetables that are more well cooked with those that are less cooked.
Once the chicken is fully cooked, pour jar of Dolmio Bolognaise Sauce over the chicken.
Allow sauce to heat fully.
Serve and enjoy.

Chicken Bolognaise with Char-grilled vegetables

A really tasty meal. The next night I went traditional with a Spaghetti Bolognaise with the addition of some more of the fresh vegetables for the adults. The boys prefer theirs just as it comes.

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Ingredients (serves 2 adults and 2 children)

500g beef mince
1 500g jar Dolmio Bolognaise Sauce
250g spaghetti
1 onion
1 courgette
1 yellow pepper
200g mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
50g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Method

Peel the onion and deseed the pepper.
Chop the vegetables.
Add a few drops of olive oil to a pan of water and bring to the boil.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a wok and heat gently.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a frying pan and heat gently.
Add the mince to the wok, turning regularly.
Add the spaghetti to the saucepan and cook for 8 – 10 minutes.
Add the onion to the frying pan.
After a couple of minutes, add the rest of the vegetables to the onion. stirring regularly.
Grate the cheese.
Once the mince is fully cooked, pour jar of Dolmio Bolognaise Sauce over the mince.
Allow sauce to heat fully.
Drain the spaghetti.
Tip spaghetti onto dishes.
Cover two portions of spaghetti with the bolognaise.
Stir vegetables into the bolognaise before serving the other two portions.
Serve with grated cheese and black pepper.
Enjoy.

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Yummy bolognaise and some leftover for me to take to work tomorrow.

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Spaghetti Bolognaise

We all enjoyed both these meals. And I’ve still got plenty of the groceries left to use.

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Disclosure. This post mentions products I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.
This post is an entry for the #Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge, sponsored by Dolmio. www.dolmio.co.uk/thankgoodness.

Tea and Biscuits Bingo giveaway

Did you know that this month over 100 years ago the Oreo biscuit went on sale in American shops. In the USA the Oreo is the no.1 biscuit and it is rapidly becoming more popular in the UK. Our all time UK favourites, according to biscuit studies, are the bourbon, the chocolate digestive and the custard cream. Those are 3 of the favourites in our household, so we were very pleased to receive a large free box of Family Circle Biscuits including all three, along with 4 boxes of Twinings English Breakfast tea and a Family Bingo game.

tea, biscuits and bingo

It’s always nice to take some time out for tea and biscuits in this rainy, cold British weather. And we had great fun playing bingo, with son2 being the overall winner.

tea, biscuits and bingo

tea, biscuits and bingo

I’m hosting a giveaway to win a vintage inspired prize bundle which consists of:

· A box of Traditional English Breakfast tea from Twinings
· A large box of the nation’s favourite biscuits from Family Circle
· A family game of bingo

tea, biscuits and bingo giveaway

These prizes are supplied by http://bingo.paddypower.com
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear what you like to do indoors on a cold rainy day or your favourite type of biscuit?

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

How to relieve sleep disturbances, plus giveaway

Regular readers of my blog may have heard me mention previously that I am a shiftworker. This means that I have to adjust my body clock whenever I work nights. I usually find it okay adapting from day to night, but very hard adjusting back to days afterwards, feeling tired and irritable. So I was delighted to be given a chance to try out some sleep goodies for free.

Sleep goodies including wake-up light

I received the following products.
Lumie Bodyclock
Whittard Dreamtime Hot Chocolate
Baylis & Harding french lavender relaxing bath foam
Pack of 2 Moleskine ruled journals

First up is the Lumie Bodyclock, a wake-up light. My other half used to use something similar by another brand, but it broke about a year ago. He really misses it, so we were both very keen to try this one out. It was well packed and all I needed to do was install the light bulb, plug in, set the time and alarm.

Lumie Bodyclock Wake-up light

It does both a gradual 30 minute sunrise and sunset, with an optional audible alarm. The sunrise and sunset features were great but I didn’t like the alarm sound. It was too harsh for me with no choice to change to a gentler sound. Although I’m sure some people appreciate a loud alarm in the morning. Our previous wake-up light had a range of natural sounds like bird song. However on the positive side, the Lumie Bodyclock was a lot simpler to operate than our old one.

Then the Hot Chocolate. This is a malted variant including Barley malt extract on the ingredients. You just need to add hot milk. We all found it to be a very yummy drink. Malted drinks are ideal at bedtime. For a good night’s sleep, you certainly want to avoid stimulants like caffeine. I try to only drink decaffeinated tea and coffee anyhow.

Whittard Hot Chocolate

Next the bath foam. It felt so lovely relaxing in a bath with this and smelt divine. I was very chilled and ready for bed after my bath. I’ve always known that lavender is reputed to have calming and relaxing properties. Years ago I used to make lavender bags, primarily aimed at putting in my clothes drawers, but I used to scatter them round the bedroom too.

And lastly the mini journals. At just 6.5 x 10.5cm, there is plenty of space on my bedside table for one of these to jot down any thoughts or worries I may have whilst trying to go to sleep. A great idea that I’ve never thought of previously.


One in three people suffer from poor sleep and it’s often identified by feelings of tiredness, low energy and irritability. However, worryingly, it can also lead to impaired judgement, reduced memory, and even a reduction in life expectancy.
It’s no surprise that sleep deprivation can have a considerable negative impact on quality of life and a good night’s sleep is essential to allow us to feel refreshed and ready to perform at our best every day. See here for why lack of sleep is bad for your health.

Here’s a list of 10 Things to Relieve Sleep Disturbances.

Try these lifestyle changes and you might find a good night’s sleep a lot less elusive. For some people it could be enough to fully address their sleeping problems. There’s certainly quite a few that I ought to address myself, particularly the no smart phone in the bedroom.

  • Always get up at the same time – even at the weekend.
    It might seem like you need a lie in to make up for the sleep you haven’t got, but to break a cycle of sleeping problems you need to train your body into a good sleeping pattern.
  • Avoid catnaps during the day.
    It’ll only make it harder to get into good sleeping habits.
  • Replace caffeine and alcohol with hot milky drinks.
    Alcohol won’t help you sleep properly. If you are having trouble cutting out caffeine, set yourself a time in the day past which you don’t have it.
  • Unwind with a hot bath and lavender bubbles.
    Both will aid sleep by helping you feel more relaxed.
  • Exercise during the day.
    Exercising at night will actually make you more awake and you’ll find it harder to get to sleep.
  • Get to bed at the same time every night.
    It’ll help your body prepare itself for sleep.
  • Make your bedroom a shrine to sleep.
    No TV, no smart phones!
  • Alleviate your worries.
    Try writing them down before you go to bed.
  • Don’t lie there frustrated.
    If you can’t sleep, get up and do something (non-strenuous) for a while.

Kalms Night and Kalms Night One-A-Night are traditional herbal medicinal products used for the temporary relief of sleep disturbances, exclusively based on long standing use as a traditional herbal remedy – Contains Valerian Root. Always read the leaflet.

To offer assurance that Kalms Night meets the Traditional Herbal registration (THR) requirements, the Certification Mark can be found on the product packaging.

Kalms Night tablets
Kalms Night tablets are available to purchase online at www.kalmsrange.com and supermarkets and pharmacies nationwide.
Kalms Night RRP: £4.89 for 50 tablets, Kalms One-A-Night RRP £5.19 for 21 tablets.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a hamper of sleep goodies to one lucky winner.  The prize comprises a Lumie Bodyclock, Whittard Dreamtime Hot Chocolate, Baylis & Harding french lavender relaxing bath foam and a pack of 2 Moleskine ruled journals. What a great prize.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

The prize is one hamper as detailed above to be sent to the winner directly from the prize sponsor. Available to UK residents over 18. The winner will be chosen wthin 5 days of the competition ending and has 28 days to acknowledge their win. Please allow 28 days for delivery. Should any issues arise I will do my utmost to help resolve this. the competition will run until the 08/04/17. Please make sure to enter options carefully and fully, any incorrect entries will be void, I do check.

I’d love to hear your sleep tips.

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Disclosure. I am working in collaboration with Kalms and I was provided with the #wakeupready sleep hamper to assist with writing this post and hosting the giveaway. All opinions are my own.

Leek and Kale pan fried Hake

The British Leek Growers Association have challenged bloggers to create a leek-based recipe. Excellent timing as British Leeks are in season right now. I love leeks so I didn’t need asking twice. I decided to combine the sweet flavour of leeks with kale and hake.

Leek and Kale pan fried Hake

Leek and Kale pan fried Hake

Ingredients (serves 3)

100g leeks
100g kale
3 fillets of hake
2 tbsp olive oil
50g margarine
50g plain flour
450 ml milk
75g grated cheese
salt and pepper

Method

Chop the leek and kale.
Grate the cheese.
Gently heat 1 tbsp oil in each of 2 woks or large frying pans.
Add the leek to 1 pan and fry for 2 – 3 minutes.
Add the hake to the other pan and fry for about 10 minutes, turning half way.
Add the kale to the leek and continue to fry until vegetables are softened.
Meanwhile melt margarine in a jug in the microwave.
Mix in the flour.
Gradually stir in the milk, microwaving for short bursts between stirring.
Once the sauce has thickened, stir in the grated cheese.
Microwave for 1 more minute.
Heap the leek and kale onto the plates.
Place the hake on the bed of leek and kale.
Pour cheese sauce over the hake.
Serve and enjoy.

Leek and Kale pan fried Hake

A delicious leek recipe for St David’s Day. And I’d love to hear your favourite dishes using leeks.

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A selection of Primula Light Cheese recipes plus giveaway

Regular readers of my blog may remember that I have created a number of recipes using Primula Cheese for various occasions. Well I’ve now come up with another selection, this time using Primula Light Cheese, which is 40% less fat than Primula Cheese Original. I received 3 free tubes of Primula Light for this purpose.

Primula Light Cheese


First up, we have a warming soup, just right for this time of year. I’ve kept the proportion of Primula fairly low in this recipe, to give it a more delicate flavour, as I do find that some cheese soups like broccoli and stilton can be rather overpowering. So if you prefer it cheesier, then do increase the amount of Primula.

Cheese and Onion Soup

Cheese and Onion Soup

Ingredients (serves 3)

350g onions
1 beef stock cube
30ml sunflower oil
1000ml boiling water
1 tbsp cornflour
Approx 50g tube of Primula Light

Method

Peel and chop the onions.
Crumble the stock cube into a jug and add boiling water.
Stir until dissolved.
Gently hear the oil in a large saucepan.
Add the onions and fry until lightly browned.
Mix in the cornflour and cook for 1 minute.
Gradually add the stock, stirring continually.
Stir in the Primula.
Simmer for a further 15 minutes, stirring continually.
Tip soup into bowls.
Carefully float cheesy bites (see recipe below) on the top of each bowl.
Serve and enjoy.

Cheese and Onion Soup


And I also made some Cheesy Bites to float on the top of the soup. Alternatively these can be served as appetisers.

Cheesy Bites

Cheesy Bites

Ingredients (makes 10)

2 slices of bread
Approx 75g tube of Primula Light

Method

Leave bread to dry out before use.
Preheat fan oven to 200 deg C.
Using a cutter, cut fluted shapes in the bread.
Spread all over with Primula.
Carefully press out shapes from underneath.
Place on a greased baking tray and cook for about 5 minutes.
Serve with soup and enjoy.

Cheesy Bites


And finally, when I blogged about my jam pinwheels last month, one of my readers suggested that I try making some cheese and marmite ones. I thought this an excellent idea and great for Primula. Since not everyone in the family likes marmite, I did half with Primula alone and half with Primula and marmite. I liked the ones with marmite best.

Cheesy Pinwheels

Cheesy Pinwheels

Ingredients (makes approx 14)

1 sheet puff pastry
Approx 100g tube of Primula Light
1 tsp marmite

Method

Preheat fan oven to 200 deg C.
Unroll the pastry
Spread all over with Primula.
Dot one half of the pastry with marmite.
Roll the pastry up.
Cut into slices, approx 1cm wide.
Place on greased baking sheets.
Cook on middle shelf of oven for 10 minutes.
Remove from baking sheets immediately and place on cooling rack.
Best served warm, but can also be served cold.
Enjoy.

Cheesy Pinwheels

A 150g tube of Primula Light Cheese currently retails at £1.45 at Tesco which I believe is a fairly consistent price with other cheese spreads. It contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

And if you wish to see more Primula recipes, you may check out my Cheesy Chicken BreastsSummer sides, Easter or Christmas recipes.

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a tube of Primula Light Cheese to 1 lucky winner.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your ideas for a recipe using Primula.

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Family Fever

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

VicksTricks for coughs and colds

Britmums have challenged bloggers to take part in the #VicksTricks Campaign. I received a free goody pack comprising a bedtime book, finger puppets, magic tricks videos and Vicks First Defence nasal spray.

#VicksTricks goody pack

Regular readers of my blog will know that son1 was diagnosed with leukaemia back in 2013 and was on chemotherapy for over 3 years which he completed last summer. During this period, the chemotherapy drugs suppressed his immune system, so he was much more prone to catching the bugs going round school. We had to follow a protocol of checking his temperature several times every day and if it spiked above 38 degrees, he was admitted to hospital for a course of intravenous antibiotics for at least 48 hours. He was always confined to an individual cubicle and not permitted to leave it for risk of catching infections from other children, so he never got to see the fantastic playroom in the ward.

in hospital

Instead my number one tip distraction was down to Mum and Dad. Short bursts of tv, games, WiiU, iPad, reading to keep him entertained but not overtire him between resting.

Secondly regular trips by Mum or Dad to Costa to fetch him smoothies and a panini, as needless to say, he didn’t like the hospital food.

Favourite cuddly toys must be there.

And finally making sure I didn’t succumb to any bugs myself. In particular, I remember son1 getting admitted to hospital on Boxing Day 2015. I was the only member of the household who avoided the vomitting bug, which I put down to zealous hand washing. And I’ve always been a big fan of Vicks First Defence even before son1 got cancer, using it whenever I feel the slightest tickle in my throat.

#VicksTricks finger puppets

Nobody is ill at the moment, but we’ve been having fun, reading the book, playing with the puppets and watching the magic tricks videos. Son1 has a magic set which he enjoys. And as a child myself, I went through a phase of telling everyone that I was going to be a magician when I grew up. Never materialised along with other equally bizarre planned occupations of farmer or spy. I used to put on magic shows for the babysitter, poor lady.

I’ve attempted the sliced banana trick, but I need to practise it more, as I hadn’t sliced it that well.

Here are the key findings from Vicks consumer research:

  • Over half (52%) of parents said that rest was the most important thing for making children feel better
  • This was followed by ‘medicine’, which 40% of parents rely on
  • More than a third of parents (36%) believe in the power of TLC

And when it comes to keeping children entertained:

  • Three out of four (75%) British parents put on the TV or a DVD
  • Over a quarter (27%) read to their children
  • 1 in 10 parents get really creative; either telling jokes (8%) or even do magic tricks (2%)

I’d love to hear what tricks you have up your sleeve, to make your children feel better when they are unwell.

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Disclosure. This post is an entry for the #VicksTricks campaign.  This post mentions products I received for free. All opinions are my own.

Chicken and New Potato Hash

When I was a child, my dad used to grow most of our own vegetables, but he never bothered planting potatoes, as he said they would strip most of the nutrients from the soil, so that there wouldn’t be anything left for the following year’s crop. Instead my parents used to buy huge sacks of potatoes straight from the farm which would last us for months. But occasionally when they came into season, my mum would buy some new potatoes from the greengrocer. I loved how the texture and taste always seemed better than the potatoes we ate the rest of the year.

Nowadays we don’t have to wait for the British crop of new potatoes to be in season. Good job as it is the middle of winter. Instead just pop along to the supermarket, where in Tesco, you’ll find Cypriot new potatoes on the shelf in branches nationwide until the end of March.

Cypriot New Potatoes

I received a free £10 Tesco voucher to purchase ingredients including Cypriot new potatoes for a tasty recipe. For me, a new potato is all about the texture, so no point mashing it, making soup or using it in the slow cooker. Instead I’ve opted to boil my new potatoes and then make them into a yummy hash.

Chicken and New Potato Hash

Chicken and New Potato Hash

Ingredients (serves 4)

500g new potatoes
100g frozen spinach
150g mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
150g cooked chicken
2 eggs
salt
pepper

Method

Scrub the potatoes to remove any blemishes, no need to peel.
Chop into small pieces.
Allow the spinach to defrost.
Chop mushrooms into quarters.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the potatoes.
Boil for about 10 minutes until just cooked.
Add oil to wok and heat gently.
Add the mushrooms and then the potatoes and stir-fry gently for about 5 minutes.
Mix in the spinach and chicken.
Season with salt and pepper.
Crack the eggs directly into the wok and mix in.
Cook until egg has set.
Serve and enjoy.

Chicken and New Potato Hash

I’d love to hear what is your favourite new potatoes dish?

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Disclosure. This post is an entry into the #CypriotNewPotatoes Challenge with Tesco and Foodies100. It mentions products I purchased using a voucher I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Country House in Spring jigsaw puzzle review and giveaway

Although I don’t often find the time now to sit down and do a jigsaw puzzle, I’ve always loved them ever since childhood. Nowadays it is usually only on holiday or our annual gift from a friend of a 1000 / 2000 piece jigsaw made from one of his stunning photographs. Wish I could take a decent photo.

So I was pleased to be offered the chance to review a 300 piece jigsaw of a beautiful country house in spring design.

Country House in Spring Ravensburger jigsaw puzzle

I checked the dimensions before I started to ensure I chose a big enough surface to make it on, as I don’t possess one of those puzzle mats. Something that has been on my wishlist for a while. It was 49 x 36 cm, so would easily fit on our breakfast bar. Not a problem as we usually eat at the dining table.

I think everyone has their own method of tackling a jigsaw. I tend to work on the edge first to give me a frame for the rest of the puzzle. I then pick out easier features, so for this jigsaw, it was the chimney, the top of the roof and the bright pink flowers in the bottom right hand corner.

Country House in Spring Ravensburger jigsaw puzzle

I forgot to time how long it took me to do, but I did it over one weekend. Occasionally son1 popped a piece in place for me as he passed by.

The pieces all fitted together well, as you would expect from a premium brand like Ravensburger. This was one of their bigger pieces range and the puzzle came with a guarantee. Not needed in this case, but great if you were to experience an issue. I can’t think of anything more frustrating than to discover you are missing a piece from a jigsaw puzzle.

Country House in Spring Ravensburger jigsaw puzzle

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a Country House in Spring jigsaw puzzle to one lucky winner. What a fun prize.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear about your favourite jigsaw ever. Mine was a 500 piece circular one from York Castle museum that I did over and over again as a child. I can’t remember who gave it to me, as I’ve never actually visited the museum.

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