Category Archives: competitions

Keeping the bugs away plus giveaway

At this time of year, I find that I can be plagued by mosquitos and other biting insects whether walking through the woods, having a picnic near a lake or just in my own garden, so I was pleased to be offered a selection of natural insect repellent or relief products free to review.

Whilst waiting for them to arrive, I heard that familiar whirring buzz of a mosquito whilst trying to go to sleep. Luckily it didn’t bite, but it brought back memories of tropical holidays pre-kids with citronella candles and sleeping under mosquito nets.

Bug fighting essentials

I received the following four products, although I had been expecting Mosquitan patches rather than spray.

Bug Balm
Zap-It
Vie Mosquito Repellent
Mosquitan Spray

So obviously the first ones to try out were the repellents to ward off the bugs before they got in biting distance. I started with the Vie spray. It is all natural, DEET-free and suitable for all ages including babies. Easy to apply and does the job as no bites. This is available in 100 ml size currently at £7.95 from Vie healthcare.

Bug fighting essentials - Vie anti mosquito spray

Then the next day I tried the Mosquitan spray. This was a very similar product to the Vie spray and equally effective at keeping the bugs away. Also simple to apply. Again it is a natural DEET-free product suitable for all the family. This is available in 100 ml size currently at £8.95 also from Vie healthcare.

Bug fighting essentials - Mosquitan

The Zap-It wasn’t required until I was actually bitten, so I had to take a pause from applying the repellents in order to reluctantly get a bite. This is a small handheld device which you press against a bite, then squeeze the button, which causes it to emit a safe electrical discharge. I found about 2-3 clicks were needed. The idea behind this product is that this inhibits histamine release, which means less itching and swelling.  But I found that you therefore do need to use it asap after being bitten to improve how effective it will be. It is available in several different colours from selected health stores, pharmacies, garden centres, Asda, Lloyds Pharmacy, Superdrug and Amazon, and currently retails from £5.95. One Zap-It is sufficient for up to 1000 bites, based on 5 clicks per bite.

Bug fighting essentials - Zap-It

I didn’t need to try the bug balm until I unfortunately succumbed to another bite, which I didn’t then zap in time. The balm  was easy to apply and soothing for the itchiness, which is great as it is important to try to avoid scratching bites. I did need to reapply over the next couple of days until the swelling disappeared. This product came in a small 30g tin, so a nice size for keeping in your bag and it currently retails at £7.95 from Skinshop. And it is 100% natural, containing a concentrated extract of liquorice root. Suitable for adults and children.

Bug Balm

So in summary, I was very happy with all these products, although I would have liked the opportunity to also try the patches, as I don’t need two sprays. They are definitely all travel essentials with peak holiday season upon us. Also I’m glad that my review is now complete, so that I don’t have to deliberately wait to get bitten. I hadn’t realised quite how dedicated I was to my blog! But at least now I’m ready, if I get bitten again.

Zap It mosquito bite relief

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a Zap-It to one 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 top tips for avoiding or dealing with insect bites.

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

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More HelloSkin treats

Regular readers of my blog may remember that I reviewed a trio of products from HelloSkin earlier this year. Well I’ve now received a further selection of goodies free to review.

HelloSkin sensitive skin 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 chose the following three items.
Oilatum Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo also for itchy, flaking scalps – 150ml
Aveeno Daily Moisturising Bath and Shower Oil for dry and sensitive skin – 300ml
EVY Sunscreen Mousse SPF 30 – 150ml

Plus I also received a couple of surprise gifts. How nice!
Relivio Dry Skin Body Lotion – 500ml
Relivio Dry Skin Body Cream – 200ml

The first product I tried was the Oilatum Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo also for itchy, flaking scalps – 150ml. I frequently get a flare up of flaky scalp. Currently retailing at £9.99 for a 150ml bottle, this was a more expensive brand than the Neutrogena T/Gel 2-in-1 Dandruff Shampoo Plus Conditioner that I tested last time. However I would say it was equally effective, no better or no worse, although it didn’t particularly lather up much. With both, I don’t end up scratching my scalp afterwards causing soreness and flakiness like with some less skin-friendly products. On that basis, I continue to prefer the Neutrogena T/Gel product, both on price and on being a combined shampoo and conditioner, which is always my preference. But equally happy with the quality of this product. It does advise you to leave on for 3-5 minutes for best results.

Oilatum anti-dandruff shampoo

Next up is the EVY Sunscreen Mousse SPF 30 – 150ml. This was a real winner for me, as in a mousse format, it was easy to apply, wasn’t sticky and felt nice on my skin. And best of all, it is long-lasting and I didn’t burn. I’ll certainly be buying this again in the future. Of course, the real test will come when I get an opportunity to try it out in a sand and salt environment, as that is when I usually get very itchy and uncomfortable. It currently retails at £16.95 for 150ml. This is also available in SPF 10, 20 and 50 variants, plus a kids version.

EVY Sunscreen Mousse SPF 30

And finally the Aveeno Daily Moisturising Bath and Shower Oil for dry and sensitive skin – 300ml. This smelt nice and worked excellently in the shower on my very dry skin. However I wasn’t convinced. I think this is because I am a shower creme person through and through. I don’t think I want to swap to an oil. For me, oils are reserved for massage. Perhaps I should have opted to try the Aveeno body wash instead. But it does contain oatmeal, which has a high reputation in skincare, so definitely worth a try for those who have a more serious skin condition than myself. This product currently retails at £7.99 for a 300ml bottle.

Aveeno Daily Moisturising bath & shower oil

I will certainly be visiting the HelloSkin website 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.

HelloSkin products

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway HelloSkin products to three lucky winners. The first winner drawn will win an EVY Sunscreen Mousse SPF 30 – 150ml. The second winner drawn will win a bottle of Oilatum Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo also for itchy, flaking scalps – 150ml. And the third winner drawn will win a bottle of Aveeno Daily Moisturising Bath and Shower Oil for dry and sensitive skin – 300ml.
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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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Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice by Katarina West

I have received a free advance PDF copy of the book “The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice” by Katarina West  to review. I was looking forward to this, having read Katarina’s previous novel “Absolute Truth For Beginners” back in 2015. To find out more about the author you may visit her website or blog.

The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice by Katarina West

Here is the book blurb.

Meet Irene Nylander, a frumpy housewife from Finland… and a yo-yo dieter. She feels trapped in an unhappy marriage, looking after her domineering mother-in-law and living vicariously through romantic movies.

Meanwhile, in Florence, Mimi Kavanough’s star is rising. She has the body of a Barbie princess, the iron will of an army sergeant – and Hollywood in her sights.

On her fiftieth birthday, Irene discovers her husband is having an affair. Devastated, she prays for a way out: she wants to die.

In heaven, a mischievous angel called Aaron hears her prayers. He decides to make Irene and Mimi swap bodies.

How will the two women cope with their unexpected, and very different, second lives? And will Aaron’s meddling get him evicted from heaven?
What will happen if he has to transform into a human being and live on Earth?

This book is set over the course of a fortnight commencing 23 June. It starts with Irene heading to Helsinki for a night out to celebrate her 50th birthday with her best friend Saara after more rudeness from her mother-in-law Horrible Harriet. But Saara doesn’t show, giving an excuse about working late. Irene decides to go to the restaurant alone, but then she spots her husband Henrik, who is supposedly on business in Stockholm. Instead he is having a cosy intimate meal with Saara. Irene rushes out and back to her car, just praying to die, as her life is so unhappy.

Meanwhile up in Little Heaven, prankster punk angel Aaron has already caused havoc that day by pretending he spotted a demon. Now he realises Irene needs help and he says Jump as her car is just about to crash.

At the same time, Hollywood star and model Mimi is enjoying herself on a yacht near the Italian island of Monte Cristo when she hears a voice in her head saying Jump. It makes perfect sense to her, as she jumps into the sea.

And just like that Irene and Mimi swap bodies. But what will happen to Aaron, since angels are not permitted to meddle with humans like that. And how will Irene and Mimi get on in their new lives? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

This book is available on Amazon and is currently 99p in Kindle format. I loved this book with its mixture of fantasy and chick-lit. It is the first story in the Angel Aid series, so I’m really looking forward to book 2.

And the author is hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway 10 Amazon Kindle copies of The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice. Open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice by Katarina West

I’m participating in the book tour and you may like to check out some of the other blog stops on the tour.

13 June, Tuesday

Rocksprings Crafts

14 June, Wednesday

The Cosy Dragon

Creative Misfit

15 June, Thursday

Hall Ways

The Writing Desk

16 June, Friday

Joyful Antidotes

Mademoiselle Women

17 June, Saturday

Linda’s Book Bag

18 June, Sunday

Novel Gossip

19 June, Monday

Yet another blogging mummy!!!

20 June, Tuesday

Sarah Smiles

Leila’s Bookshelf

Kraftireader

22 June, Thursday

Hello Booklover

Katarina West

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

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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Martha the Blue Sheep by Gabrielle Yetter plus giveaway

I have received a free e-copy of the children’s book Martha the Blue Sheep by Gabrielle Yetter to review. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

Martha the Blue Sheep by Gabrielle Yetter

Here is the book blurb.

When an accident made Martha’s coat blue, her world turned upside down. She was no longer like the rest of the flock. She stood out and she didn’t like it. She wanted to fit in. But a series of surprising events and the help of an unexpected friend showed Martha that being different could be a blessing, not a curse. Martha, The Blue Sheep is a story about acceptance, tolerance and diversity. It’s a charming story to inspire children not to be just one of the flock, but to celebrate being an individual who brings richness and colour to the world.

My mum had a phrase she used to quote at me as a child when I just wanted to do what other children were doing. I was embarrassed about the idea of being different from the crowd. She would say “All we like sheep” and this story follows that theme.

Martha had been born a white sheep but an accident with a paint pot resulted in her becoming blue. Being shy, she was unhappy to stand out from the flock like this. So she often hid and got quite lonely. Whilst hiding, she heard whimpering and rescued a baby wolf from the path of a tractor. The father wolf was very grateful and uses Martha’s blue coat as a distinguishing feature to tell the other wolves to keep away from attacking Martha’s flock. Finally Martha was pleased with the individuality of her blue coat.

Martha the Blue Sheep is available on Amazon, currently priced at £6.95 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A beautifully illustrated picture book.

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a paperback copy of Martha the Blue Sheep to 1 lucky winner. Open to UK and US only.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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Cheesy Cinnamon Sausage Hotpot plus giveaway

I recently received 7 free cans of Cinnamora, a cinnamon soft drink to review, 6 sparkling and 1 still. I love cinnamon toast, so was very interested in the idea of trying a cinnamon drink. And although there are no established health claims related to cinnamon, there are many studies supporting its beneficial effects on diabetes and cholesterol.

Cinnamora cinnamon soft drink

I was slightly dismayed to see that they arrived in one of those Royal Mail “damaged in transit” wrappers. A few cans were slightly dented, but otherwise okay. I would recommend that they pack them in a box for better protection.

Cinnamora cinnamon soft drink

So onto the taste test. I’m not personally a huge fan of fizzy drinks, so as expected I preferred the still variant. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I would rate the flavour as okay, so not quite as tasty as I was hoping. However on the plus side, there is no sugar, artificial flavouring or colours in these drinks. And it was very refreshing. The rest of the family also tried the sparkling variant. My other half liked it but the kids weren’t that keen.

Cinnamora cinnamon soft drink

Now as regular readers know, I enjoy cooking, so I decided to try it out in a dish. I decided on making a hotpot with it.

Cheesy Cinnamon Sausage Hotpot

Cheesy Cinnamon Sausage Hotpot

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 375g pack of 12 good quality sausages
1 250ml can of Cinnamora sparkling cinnamon soft drink
1 medium onion
1 420g can of baked beans
500g potatoes
50g cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degree C.
Choose a lidded casserole dish which is suitable for both oven and hob.
Peel and finely chop the onion.
Add the olive oil to the casserole dish and heat gently on hob.
Add onion and cook for a couple of minutes until softened.
Prick the sausages and add to the dish.
Continue to cook for a further few minutes.
Meanwhile peel and slice the potatoes.
Pour the Cinnamora over the sausages.
Stir in the baked beans.
Cover with the sliced potatoes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Grate the cheese and sprinkle over the top.
Cover with lid and cook in oven for 40 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
Remove lid and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.

Cheesy Cinnamon Sausage Hotpot

This time, I got a resounding thumbs up from all the family. So it would be great to see Cinnamora develop a section of recipes on their website.

Cinnamora currently retails at £1 for a 250ml can and is available to purchase online or at selected retailers in London.

Cinnamon cinnamon soft drink

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway 7 cans of Cinnamora to one 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 favourite drinks or your idea for a recipe using Cinnamora.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

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

Learning Success plus giveaway

Son1 has had memory and concentration issues and is very slow with his schoolwork since undergoing chemotherapy, but is very bright at maths. He also has to attend an extra handwriting lesson weekly, plus use an ergonomic pen and occasionally has one-to-one sessions with the special needs teacher. Meanwhile son2 seems to take everything absolutely literally and have some social difficulties. So I was quite interested to find out more when Learning Success approached me to test out their Learning System for free.

Learning Success System

When I read their blog, I found out that the Learning Success System is a simple method parents can use to help children overcome learning difficulties. It simplifies the process and enables a parent to work at home with their child.

They say that the Learning Success System is:
• Convenient for both children and parents
• Minimizes high costs of learning centres
• Uses cutting edge neuroscience research

Their learning strategy is divided into three parts.

Strategy 1 – Calm the emotions
Strategy 2 – Incorporate the Body
Strategy 3 – Build up the Fundamental Skills of Learning

Statistics show that at least 20% of children suffer with some sort of learning difficulty. This could be with reading, writing or maths. Learning Success offer analysis of what symptoms your child exhibits.

Once I signed up, I received daily emails with exercise suggestions. I also had access to the Learning Success System portal where I can find the full range of exercises and can sort by type. There are member forums where I can seek expert advice or interact with other parents. It also focusses on what you need to do as a parent, such as praising your child for effort.

The boys were quite engrossed in some of the on-screen exercises like tapping where each smiley appeared or shouting out what a picture would be when it starts as a dotted outline and gradually more appears. Some of the other exercises do additionally require you to source the materials, so I adapted a letters memory game to be based on numbers and used playing cards. You start with 2 pairs face down and see how many turns it takes to find the matching pairs. Then you gradually add an extra pair every round. The boys loved taking turns at this and we went upto 13 pairs.

Memory number game

Memory number game

It is too early for me to identify any difference in my sons but I shall continue doing some of the exercises with them. I haven’t managed to get into a routine with this yet.

The Learning System is currently available for either a one-off payment of $297 or 12 monthly payments of $49 with a 90 day money back guarantee. The monthly payment option can be cancelled at any time. I’ve checked the exchange rate and these figures equate to about £230 or £38 at present, so quite expensive in my opinion. But for some, it may be a well worth while investment and really make a difference to a member of your family.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway access to the Learning Success System portal to one lucky winner. Open worldwide.
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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 learning tips.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

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

Board Games Championship Bloggers Event

On Saturday I was very excited to be attending my first ever blogger event, namely the annual Board Games Championship Bloggers Event, held at The Owl and The Pussycat micropub in West London and hosted by Pork Farms. This event was scheduled to tie in with National Board Games Week 2017 which is this week, from 8th – 14th May.

Pork Farms Board Games Championship Bloggers Event

So train into London, then a couple of tube rides to Northfields. A short walk later and I found the venue. My first visit to a micropub and it certainly lived up to its name. The smallest pub I have ever visited and very cosy, with plenty of Owl and PussyCat decor. Book shelves lined the walls, very fitting as the premises was previously a childrens’ book shop. They even brew their own beer out back, so definitely no room for a kitchen. But not a problem, as naturally the Pork Farms team had brought along plenty of pork pies. A selection of brand new Hasbro games were laid out ready to play.

Pork Farms pork pies

So first up was Trivial Pursuits. This was the 2000s edition and I was rubbish, earning no points in the first round. My knowledge was abysmal. Think I’m too old for this and should stick to the original edition.

Next was monopoly. I bought plenty of property, but no full sets, so no building houses for me. Bad mistake. I should have looked at the score sheet, like winner Lea had obviously done, with her hotels on Whitechapel and the Old Kent Road. You only scored for houses, hotels and the most cash. So my property portfolio was worthless. A second big fat zero, but at least I was having fun with a lovely friendly bunch of bloggers.

Pork Farms Board Games Championship Bloggers Event

We were so into the games, we didn’t break for lunch, but kept snacking on the pork pies as we played. Boggle was next and I was really looking forward to this. It was the game I chose to review with my family. And finally I had something to write on my score sheet. A respectable second place with 26 points.

Then onto Jenga which I’m usually useless at, but by some fluke, I didn’t knock the very precarious tower over on either round.

Finally Taboo, a team game in which your team has to guess the word you’re trying to describe without saying it or any of the 5 other taboo words within the allotted time. This certainly had us all in stitches, plus quite a few oops moments when someone accidentally uttered a forbidden word. Think I’ll be buying Taboo for Christmas as I’m sure my boys would love it. And hurrah I was on the winning team.

Pork Farms Board Games Championship Bloggers Event

And then to reveal the winners. I knew I wasn’t in with a chance after my bad start, even though my scoring had started to pick up. So in reverse order, in third place was Lea from Food Steam Ahead then second was Chynna from The Invisible Child and the grand prize winner of a huge pork pie was Laura from What’s Hot.

Of course we all got pork pies to take home too. My favourite variety were the Branston pickle topped pies. What a clever innovation as who doesn’t like pickle with a pie?

Pork Farms pork pies

And a huge thank you to Charlotte, Lotte and team from Pork Farms who kept us entertained and topped up with pie and drinks throughout the event. I won’t forget the story about the Christmas Day pork pie breakfast.

Lastly I must wish good luck to all those who have made it through the heats of the National Board Games Championships. The semis and grand final will be held at BeerheadZ Grantham, next Saturday, May 13th. They will be battling it out at Boggle, Taboo, Monopoly, Jenga and Trivial Pursuit 2000s, just like we did. Hope they have as great a time as us bloggers.

I’d love to hear about your favourite board games.

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Disclosure.  This post mentions an event I attended and products I tried all for free.  All opinions are my own.

Sapphire Pavilion by David Grogan plus giveaway

I have received a free e-copy of the book Sapphire Pavilion by David Grogan to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

Sapphire Pavilion by David Grogan

Here is the book blurb.

Steve Stilwell’s former Navy JAG Corps buddy Ric Stokes has been jailed for possession of heroin in Vietnam. He was found in the same room with his traveling companion Ryan Eversall, dead of an overdose and in the company of a prostitute. Steve knows his friend is a straight arrow. Was he set up? If so, for what reason? Steve travels to Ho Chi Minh City in search of the truth.

In no time Steve is targeted by the people who framed his friend. A beautiful young American businesswoman insinuates her way into the case. Can she really help, or is she just a dangerous distraction? Ric and Ryan came to Vietnam in search of an Air Force transport plane that disappeared in 1968. The pilot was Ryan’s father. Before the heroin bust, they had located the wreckage. Ryan’s notebook, which Steve manages to obtain, spells out the exact location. Ryan’s widow has given Steve’s associate Casey another piece of valuable evidence, a file labeled “Sapphire Pavilion.” Someone is willing to go to any lengths to steal both the notebook and the file.

From Virginia and Texas to DC and Vietnam, powerful, all-seeing forces with unlimited resources are determined to bury the truth about Sapphire Pavilion. But they have grossly underestimated Steve Stilwell and his associate Casey, a former Army pilot who lost her leg in a helo accident. And the ability to inspire loyalty wherever you go can come in handy when danger lurks behind every corner.

Book 2 of the Steve Stilwell Thriller series, which began with The Siegel Dispositions.

The story starts in 1968 with a US air force plane taking off from an airbase in Thailand on a top secret mission. But it crashes after being hit by a missile from another unidentified plane. We then fast forward to Vietnam in 2000 where Ric Stokes has been mugged. Things get even worse when he gets back to the hotel and finds his room mate Ryan dead. A prostitute runs from the room. When the police arrive, they discover heroin in Ric’s suitcase and arrest him.

Back in the US, Ric’s wife Noriko comes to ask their lawyer friend Steve Stilwell and his new recruit Casey to help get Ric released. She says he has been set up. Steve travels to Vietnam whilst Casey pays a visit to Ryan’s widow, Angela in Texas. After a very brief meeting with Ric in the prison, Steve retrieves Ryan’s notebook from the hotel safe. And Angela lends Casey a file labelled “Sapphire Pavilion”, containing Ryan’s research into the disappearance of his father’s plane.

But both Steve and Casey are being watched. Steve is soon approached by Wendy Gallagher, and he realises she is pumping him for information. Things start getting dangerous and that’s all I’m going to say.

I did have to look up what JAG refers to and it is a Navy Advocate Judge, the role that Tom Cruise played in A Few Good Men. The author also had a lengthy career in this job before writing, so a familiar subject for him to base his story on. And he even visited Vietnam, a country he had never been to previously, for the purposes of research for his novel.

Sapphire Pavilion, published by Camel Press is available on Amazon, currently priced at £12.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A gripping story that had me on the edge of my seat. I shall certainly be adding David’s first book “The Siegel Dispositions” to my wishlist.

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a paperback copy of Sapphire Pavilion to 1 lucky winner. Open worldwide.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Boggle – National Board Games Week

Did you know that 8th-14th May is National Board Games Week 2017? For the second year running, Pork Farms have been hosting National Board Games Championships in micropubs across Britain with the grand final to be held at BeerheadZ Grantham on May 13th. Contestants have been battling it out at Boggle, Taboo, Monopoly, Jenga and Trivial Pursuit 2000s.

And families can get involved from home by downloading a free printable pack from Pork Farms website to help them plan a board games activity night, and then share a photo of their evening on social media for the chance to win a stack of board games and a year’s supply of Pork Farms pork pies.

We love playing games as a family, so we were very pleased to be offered the chance to choose one of the five Hasbro games for free. We opted for Boggle.

Boggle
We had great fun playing this. We adapted the rules slightly so that the boys could score for all their words, whilst the adults had to stick to the proper rule of only scoring for those words that nobody else spotted.

Playing Boggle

The boys loved shaking the letters too.

Such a quick fun game. You can opt for a set number of rounds or first to a pre-specified number of points.

Playing Boggle

A dictionary was required to verify some of the more dubious word suggestions.

Playing Boggle

I’ve always loved the taking part element and remember fun time spent one lunchtime every week at my first job playing board games. One of my colleagues owned enough games to fill a whole wardrobe sized cupboard and would bring a different selection into the office each time. I think that was my first introduction to Taboo, one of the games mentioned above.

Both boys belong to Chess Club at school and son1 has qualified for the county Megafinal again.

Is there a game you would like to play? I’ve got Ticket To Ride on my games wishlist after trying it out at a café last year.

And I’m looking forward to attending the Board Games Championship Bloggers Event on May 6th. Watch out for my post on that afterwards.

I’d love to hear your favourite board games or your best memories of playing games. Son1 likes the Harry Potter version of Cluedo best whilst the Doctor Who board game is son2’s favourite.

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

Turning tears into smiles

Britmums have challenged bloggers to participate in the #TearsIntoSmiles Campaign. I received two free packets of Elastoplast plasters and a garden ring toss set. We already have a quoits set and the boys have come up with the idea that they can both play simultaneously now.

Elastoplast challenge

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 that period he had a weekly blood test for which we tried to numb the pain sensation by applying Emla cream an hour in advance. We then had to talk soothingly to him whilst he removed the large sticky dressing holding it in place. He would never let anyone else take it off. So by the time the blood test was completed, he had had enough of anything adhesive and my brave boy would always refuse a plaster.

But at least now son1 has finished chemotherapy and had his portacath removed, we can enjoy outdoor play so much more, without the worry of bumps and tumbles. So he now can join in with his classmates playing rugby and he has done his Bikeability. He’s slowly building his stamina back up again.

Playing Quoits

Meanwhile son2 is usually distracted by a picture on a plaster whenever there is a scrape or a cut. Luckily we didn’t need any first aid on this occasion, but he likes the look of the Star Wars pack. Both my boys are keen Star Wars fans. However he has declared that we can give the Frozen pack to my niece. I wish there had been pictures on plasters when I was a child. What a clever innovative step forwards.

Elastoplast challenge

So my top tip for happy outdoor play in the event of tears, besides remembering to pack the plasters and rest of my mini first aid kit in my bag before we head out for some fun is distraction. This could be pointing out nice things nearby, telling a fun tale, singing a song, promising a treat or finding something your child will want from your bag like a biscuit or toy. Don’t forget to follow through if you make a promise. Hugs and cuddles used to be good too, but sadly the boys are now getting to the stage of rebuffing me, if I try to give them a hug.

I’d love to hear how you turn tears into smiles?

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Disclosure. This post is an entry for the Britmums #TearsintoSmiles Challenge, sponsored by Elastoplast http://campaigns.elastoplast.net/plastermoments/uk. This post mentions products I received for free. All opinions are my own.