Category Archives: Giveaway

KIND2 you, KIND2 the planet – review and giveaway

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

Saving the planet doesn’t have to mean bad hair! I recently discovered the natural plastic-free haircare brand KIND2 via the Ethical Influencers network. KIND2 is a small, independent, ethical haircare company founded by Sue Campbell, because she wanted to make a difference for the planet.

plasticfree KIND2 shampoo bars

I received a KIND2 shampoo bar and a conditioner bar free to review. There are two shampoo bars in the range and I chose to test out the sensitive one as my scalp is very prone to dandruff. Their other shampoo bar is a hydrating one, so targeted at dry, curly and coloured hair.

Dispatch was quick and the packaging was also plastic free, even down to using paper tape. I hate trying to remove sellotape prior to recycling so thumbs up for that.

plasticfree KIND2 shampoo bars

KIND2 products are vegan and free from plastic, soap, sulphates, silicones and parabens. They are made in the UK, supporting local industry and lowering their carbon footprint. Plus you’ll see on their website, that all their bars have won awards.

Now I started using shampoo bars over 18 months ago, but I have to say it has been rather hit and miss as to which ones I like and those I don’t. I particularly hate it when one leaves a residue  in my hair which won’t rinse out and then causes extra tangles when combing.

plasticfree KIND2 shampoo bars

However this is my first time using a conditioner bar. Initially I still had open bottles of conditioner left to use up when I first made the swap to shampoo bars. I did donate any unopened bottles to The Hygiene Bank but no point in throwing away what you already have. And since then, I have been making my own homemade zero waste apple cider vinegar from apple scraps as a hair rinse. Something else that I must get round to writing a blog post about.

So putting the KIND2 bars to the test. I made sure my hair was fully wet first, before wetting the shampoo bar and rubbing it into my roots and through my hair. It lathered reasonably well, but note we do have soft water here, so I can’t comment on how it would be in hard water. My hair is thick, but I found it easy to wash through and it rinsed out well too without leaving residue. No need for a second wash.

plasticfree KIND2 shampoo bars

I then followed it up with the same procedure using the conditioner bar. This smelt lovely with a subtle aroma, whilst the shampoo bar was fragrance free. I was able to easily comb my hair afterwards with no tangles. And as it was a lovely summer’s day, I went out to the garden and allowed my hair to dry naturally. The result was soft and shiny, so I am very pleased.

I am sold on these products and not just because they are plastic free, including the box. I am putting it down to them also being soap free. Read this interesting article about pH balance on their website.

I found I could easily go well over a week between hair washes, with my hair still looking clean and glossy, which was unheard of before I swapped to shampoo bars. The box indicates that one 80g shampoo bar equates to two 250ml bottles, which should be around 60 washes. So great value for money as well as for the environment at £12.50 for a bar. Similarly the conditioner bar should last for 80 washes. Wow that is just 1g per wash.

plasticfree KIND2 shampoo bars

These numbers do depend on you allowing the bars to dry out between washes. When I first swapped to a shampoo bar, I didn’t have a spare soap dish for it, so to keep it dry, I took a Heath Robinson approach. I put elastic bands round the bottom half of a travel soap holder which I already had and balanced the shampoo bar on this. This works fine, but I do love the look of all the sustainable soap dishes that KIND2 also sell. They have ceramic, enamel and wood soap dishes available.

plasticfree KIND2 shampoo bars

And just to let the gents know that the box says that the shampoo bar is great as a beard wash too. Also the ingredients in KIND2 shampoo bars and conditioner bars should be gentle enough for children of 5 years and over. So suitable for all the family.

Regular readers of my blog will be aware from my series of posts on reducing waste that I am doing my best to reduce my use of plastic. So KIND2 scores full marks from me on this front and I am more than happy to recommend this brand. If you haven’t tried a shampoo bar yet, then give it a whirl. Plus if you sign up to the KIND2 newsletter, you’ll get a 10% discount off your first order, along with other special offers.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition courtesy of KIND2 to giveaway a shampoo bar and a conditioner bar 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 what is your favourite product from KIND2 or your suggestions for additions to the range. And how about sharing your top tips for eco-friendly bathroom swaps you have made.

The only thing now for me still to sort out is a post-lockdown hair cut. However I’ve heard several non-eco friendly tales of disposable towels and gowns. So I am torn between wanting a haircut, but not with lots of single use plastic involved. What has anyone else’s experience been?

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Guest post: Spotlight on Justice Gone plus giveaway

Guest post by Nick Lombardi.

Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi Jr

WINNER OF FIVE AWARDS

2020 INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD

NEW YORK CITY BIG BOOK AWARD 2019

2019 AMERICAN FICTION AWARD

NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCY AWARD – Best Legal Thriller of 2019

SILVER MEDAL WINNER 2019 READERS’ FAVORITES AWARDS

Chosen by Wiki.ezvid.com among their list of 10 Gripping and Intelligent Legal Thrillers

20 ipa logo Gold Award

The courtroom scenes are wonderfully written…the characters are well described and the author paints a picture of each in the mind of the reader…Strong plot, strong characters and a strong writing style that I really enjoyed. This one is a definite “thumbs-up.” Strongly recommend! I look forward to reading additional works by N. Lombardi, Jr.
Kim M Aalaie, Author’s Den

One of my favorite suspense novels of the year. It will make you question the legal system.
The Eclectic Review

The courtroom action is excellent, trimmed to the most gripping parts of the trial, with plenty of emotional impact…a fairly realistic portrayal of the way small-town US society works…a fast-moving story with plenty of dramatic moments, and a big twist in the final pages.
Crime Review 

Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi Jr

An act of police brutality hurls a small town into a turmoil of rage and fear, igniting a relentless witch hunt and ending in the trial of the decade.

“When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down.

A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase.

Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers gets there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture.

Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?”

You may see Yet Another Blogging Mummy’s review of this book here.

Book Links
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Goodreads
Barnes and Noble
Book Depository
Waterstones
Kobo

About the author

N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).

In 1997, while visiting Lao People’s Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.
Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc. http://plainofjars.net

His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.

His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.
Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Visit his goodreads page:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6982373.N_Lombardi_Jr_

Author Nick Lombardi

And we have a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a paperback copy of Justice Gone to one lucky winner. Open worldwide.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

Kick a caffeine habit with Barleycup – review and giveaway

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

Although I will quite happily have caffeinated drinks, given a choice I always opt for decaf, so I was interested in the opportunity of trying a caffeine free drink called Barley Cup. I initially received 2 free sachets.

Barley Cup

I think I may possibly have come across this drink once before, many many years ago. I believe I had a colleague who had a jar of it on her desk, but I don’t recall if I ever tried it. The Barleycup website doesn’t have a history page, so I can’t even check if it existed back then.

Barleycup is an instant cereal based powdered product designed to be drunk hot, as a natural, caffeine free alternative to tea or coffee. It is suitable for all the family from age 3 up, although I didn’t get enough to involve my kids in the taste test. The ingredients are barley (47%), rye and chicory, so no artificial additives. Also low calorie and a source of fibre.

Very simple to make. Put 2 teaspoons of Barleycup in your cup. Fill with hot water (250ml) and if desired, add any type of milk. I didn’t try this, but if you have a sweet tooth, add a bit of honey or maple syrup. I was amazed how similar to coffee it tasted. A very nice drink. This could certainly be the way forward for kicking that caffeine habit.

Barley Cup

Besides the Barley Cup that I tried, there are 3 other products in the range. These are Barley Cup Organic, Barley Cup Granules and Barley Cup with Dandelion. Great to note that there is an organic variant. They come in either 200g or 100g jars depending on the variety. Barleycup can be purchased in-store at Holland and Barrett and selected independent health food shops plus various online stores.

There are several interesting recipe ideas on the Barleycup website. I didn’t get enough to try out any recipes yet, but apparently I now have a free full-size jar on the way.

barleycup drink

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a 200g jar of Barleycup to 3 lucky winners.

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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 drink.

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Mr. 100% by Lance Morcan – book review and giveaway

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

I have received a free e-copy of the book Mr. 100% by Lance Morcan to review. You may find out more about the author on his website.

Mr 100% by Lance Morcan

Here is the book blurb.

New York defense lawyer Madison Harley only takes on clients he believes innocent. He’s known as ‘Mr. 100%’ because he has never lost a case, and consequently he is Public Enemy No. 1 in the eyes of the NYPD, the District Attorney’s Office and the media.

The bad press has taken a toll on his personal life. His wife has moved out, taking their two young sons with her and instigating divorce proceedings. When his latest client confides that he is guilty of the horrific rape-murder he’s accused of, a depressed and guilt-wracked Harley hires a contract killer to terminate him after the jury delivers a Not Guilty verdict.

It’s 1987 and groundbreaking developments in the field of forensic science sees DNA profiling used for the first time in criminal investigations in America. The release of DNA test results causes Harley to rescind his order to carry out the hit on his client. Unfortunately for him, the killer doesn’t change direction once a ‘kill’ order has been placed.

The nightmare scenario that follows sees Mr. 100% negotiating with the Mafia for his client’s life, his own life and the lives of his estranged family, stalking a contract killer and acting as a minder for a client who it appears really is innocent and who is oblivious to the mayhem unfolding around him.

Throughout it all, Harley is sustained by the affections of a new woman in his life – a prosecutor with the DA’s Office no less.

This is a short story of just 85 pages, so I read it very quickly. I am surprised at how much of the story has been revealed in the blurb, so there is not too much more that I can add.

The story set in 1987 begins 2 days after Harley, a defence lawyer successfully achieved a ‘Not Guilty’ verdict for the rape and murder charges against his client Hughes. Harley currently only represents clients that he believes innocent so was shocked when Hughes then thanked him for helping him get away with the perfect crime. So devastated that he was contemplating suicide.

But then he comes up with a better idea. Why not right a wrong by hiring a contract killer to take out Hughes. The blurb already reveals some of what follows and I’m certainly not going to give away more.

A good short story. Mr. 100% is available on Amazon, currently priced at £1.99 in Kindle format and the story also features in Lance’s 5 Short Story Gems compendium which I mentioned in my review of Once Were Brothers.

I’ve now read 8 of Lance’s titles, but my favourite remains Silent Fear which he wrote jointly with his son James.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a kindle copy of Mr 100% to one lucky winner. Open worldwide.
Plus you don’t even need to own a kindle to read this, as you can download the kindle app free to your phone or tablet.comper friendly badge

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 read.

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Shared to The Monthly Book Blogger Link-Up with Lovely Audiobooks

Who wants to win a pair of environmentally friendly hummingbird earrings?

Disclosure.  Although I am hosting this giveaway, I have not received any products.  All opinions are my own.

With the lockdown continuing, perhaps the chance to win something sparkly might cheer you up, either for yourself or as a gift for a special person. So read on for details of a great prize.

Worth £69, these handmade silver hummingbird ear studs will add sparkle and charm to your look. Inspired by the amazingly unique and tiny hummingbird, these dainty earrings have been hard carved and cast in sterling silver by master goldsmith Jana Reinhardt. Measuring 10 x 6 mm, the studs would make a lovely addition to any jewellery collection. Hummingbirds are believed to represent strength-of-being and resilience, things we all need a little more of at the moment. They are beautiful earrings that are subtle and classic enough to be worn every day, as a little reminder to hang on in there, whatever challenges you face.

Hummingbird Earrings

Based in Sussex since 2006, Jana Reinhardt handcrafts fine jewellery and bespoke pieces for people who appreciate the lighter side of life. Jana Reinhardt jewellery designs are inspired by the natural world and the naive art movement. They don’t use machine manufacture, preferring the old techniques of wax carving and fabrication to create our products. These traditional methods have no negative effect on the environment, making Jana Reinhardt a more sustainable choice for jewellery lovers. All metals used are from accredited suppliers, based in the UK and Germany, that continually buy back and recycle scrap metal, thus helping to create more environmentally friendly jewellery.

Hummingbird Earrings

And I’m hosting a giveaway to win a pair of these beautiful hummingbird earrings, courtesy of Jana Reinhardt jewellery.

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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 might cheer you up during lockdown.

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Chicken Fajitas with Spice pods plus giveaway

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

It has been a little while since I shared a recipe post, as I rather lost my blogging mojo lately following my mum’s death. But now that I am confined to my home apart from when I am volunteering to help the vulnerable or a quick essentials shopping trip or a daily run / walk, it seems time to take up the blogging mantle again.

I think I got my love of cooking from my mum, although it had been a while since she had been able to cook due to increasing frailty herself. As a small child, I can remember kneeling up on a stool at the kitchen table beside her and learning to make the likes of jam tarts and gingerbread men. My mum would encourage me to enter the children’s cookery section at the local WI show. And when I unwisely chose broccoli and melon as ingredients for my cookery practical exam, it was my mum who searched to locate them for me. Those were the days before such items became commonplace on the supermarket shelves all year round. And now for a different reason, they may again have disappeared from the shelves.

I’m certainly feeling rather sad about all the panic buying we are seeing currently, as I’m sure it is leading to increased food waste, particularly with regards to fresh food. So it may still be a little while before I feel ready to post again on my series of “Reducing Waste” topics.

The Spice Pioneer

However after turning down a few product review requests whilst grieving, I agreed to do a review for The Spice Pioneer, who caught my attention due to their fabulous tree planting initiative. They kindly sent me a set of their five flavours of spice power pods to try for free. The flavours, which can also all be purchased individually are as follows…..

Fajita
Chicken Lollipops
Chilli Con Carne
Katsu Curry
Peri-Peri Chicken

Spice Power Pods


So I decided to try out the Fajita Power Pod first and cook a tasty Tex-Mex dish of Chicken Fajitas, along with all the traditional accompaniments. The power pod box includes this recipe on the back. However I did adapt it slightly to include an additional vegetable, namely courgette, as due to empty shelves, I couldn’t get three colours of peppers.

Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients (serves 4)

Fajita seasoning
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp oil
1 onion
3 mixed bell peppers
4 skinless chicken breasts

Method

Peel and slice onion.
Peel garlic and squeeze through garlic press.
Slice pepper, (saving seeds to sprinkle in a salad).
Slice chicken into 1cm strips.
In a large bowl, mix the fajita seasoning, garlic, oil, onion and peppers.
Add the chicken, mix to coat evenly and marinade for 10 minutes.
Stir- fry in a large frying pan on medium to high heat for 10-12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
Add more oil while cooking if needed.
Enjoy in heated tortilla wraps with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese.

chicken fajitas

I made a batch of tortilla wraps and you can see my guacamole recipe below. But I did cheat with the salsa and used a shop-bought jar. However part of the joy of power pods is the simplicity with the spices being perfectly portioned, so I didn’t feel at all guilty for cheating. In fact, I wished that I had cheated with guacamole too, as my avocado was rather under-ripe for the recipe. The power pod spice mixes aim to make cooking an easy, stress-free and enjoyable experience.


Chicken Fajitas

Guacamole

Ingredients

1 avocado
Juice of half a lime
1 small clove of garlic
Half a spring onion

Method

Cut avocado in half and remove stone.
Scoop out avocado flesh, with a fork, roughly mashing it.
Squeeze the juice from half a lime.
Peel garlic and squeeze through garlic press.
Mix together avocado, lime juice and garlic.
If the avocado isn’t that ripe, blend the mixture in a blender.
Serve and enjoy.

guacamole

I was pleased to see that the power pods are 100% natural ingredients. They are free from oil, preservatives, additives and refined sugar and are also gluten free. The products were all long-dated, best before December 2021 and they have been handmade in the UK. The boxes indicate that you can make your meal for 4 people in just 30 minutes. And they also show how mild or spicy each mix is.

The outer box was nicely sized to fit through a letterbox, so no missing a parcel if your delivery arrives when you are out. And look how well packed it is, certainly no excess packaging.

Spice Power Pods

It is a nice touch to have a recipe suggestion on each packet, plus there are plenty more recipe ideas on The Spice Pioneer website. The power pods can be purchased individually or as a subscription. All are reasonably priced.

Do take a look at The Spice Pioneer website to see the rest of their products. They also sell a range of recipe boxes and gin infusion kits. Great gifts for foodies. Every purchase contributes to their tree planting in the Scottish Highlands, which definitely gets my seal of approval.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a starter set of spice power pods like I received from The Spice Pioneer to one lucky winner. You’ll certainly be able to cook some great easy meals with these.

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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 recipe suggestions using any of these products. I’m going to make chicken lollipops next, so check back soon to see that recipe.

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A Gladiator’s Love by Lance Morcan – book review and giveaway

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

I have received a free e-copy of the book A Gladiator’s Love by Lance Morcan to review. You may find out more about the author on his website.

A Gladiator's Love by Lance Morcan

Here is the book blurb.

In this action-romance short story, dashing Greek gladiator Leonidas promises his true love he’ll buy her freedom if he wins his own in the Colosseum of Ancient Rome. First he must defeat an opponent he knows he cannot kill.

The year is 83AD and it’s nine years since Roman soldiers killed a young Leonidas’s family in their farmhouse outside Athens and consigned him to the life of a gladiator at Ludus Magnus, one of the biggest and best ludi gladiatori, or gladiator schools, in Rome. Since then, he remains undefeated after twenty-five fights and has risen to the top of the gladiator rankings.

The Greek gladiator craves freedom. The one good thing in his life is Fatuma, an Ethiopian beauty who is a gladiatrix, or female gladiator, and who has stolen his heart. They share fleeting but precious hours together after dark in Leonidas’s cell – a concession occasionally granted to the gladiators by their Roman masters.

The outcome of Leonidas’s next fight will decide both their futures for he’ll be fighting Gaius, another undefeated gladiator who held the Greek to a bloody draw when they met in the arena previously. At stake will be the rudis, the small wooden sword given to gladiators who are granted their freedom.

This is a short story of just 43 pages, so I read it very quickly.

The story begins with a flashback nightmare to when Greek Leonidas was enslaved and the rest of his family killed 9 years previously. He was kept alive to be sold as a gladiator and he has been climbing the rankings ever since due to his great fighting skill. In 2 months time, he will be pitted in a fight to the death against Gaius, where the winner will be granted freedom, so long as he wins tomorrow’s fight against Philo.

Meanwhile as tradition dictates on the night before a fight, he has been allowed to sleep with someone. Of course, as always, he has chosen Ethiopian Fatuma, a female gladiatrix, whom he is in love with. If he wins his freedom, he plans to earn lots of money, to buy Fatuma’s freedom too.

But how will it all play out? As the story unfolded I did guess one of the twists, but not the ending.

This is the second short story of Lance’s that I have read, the first being The Last Tasmanian Tiger and in my opinion they would both be better suited to being part of an anthology rather than a book on its own. Still a good read though.

A Gladiator’s Love is available on Amazon, currently priced at £1.99 in Kindle format. An enjoyable short story. Lance is a very versatile author as this is quite a different genre to the brilliant Silent Fear full-length novel that I absolutely loved, which Lance wrote with his son James, plus they write non-fiction and novellas too.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a kindle copy of A Gladiator’s Love to one lucky winner. Open worldwide.
Plus you don’t even need to own a kindle to read this, as you can download the kindle app free to your phone or tablet.comper friendly badge

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 read.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Read With Me

Shared to The Monthly Book Blogger Link-Up with Lovely Audiobooks

The Me Too Girl by Lance & James Morcan plus giveaway

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

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Me Too Girl by Lance & James Morcan to review. You may find out more about the authors on their website.

The Me Too Girl by Lance & James Morcan

Here is the book blurb.

Young Los Angeles public relations exec Suzie Fox is being blackmailed for sex by a bad cop, a senior officer of the LAPD no less. Suzie fights back the only way she knows how, and, in the process, unwittingly becomes a beacon, a shining light, for America’s Me Too movement and for abused women everywhere. But will justice be served?

The story starts by introducing Suzie who has recently turned her life around, reflecting back over the past week from hell. We then flashback over the course of that week to discover that a face from her past has caught up with. This is Heck Williams, Deputy Chief of Police in LA, but he was and still is a bad cop.

In the past, he had sexually abused Suzie and now having found where she lives, he is trying to blackmail her for sex again. He threatens to pull her in for heroin possession, using a packet of heroin from his own pocket and to tell lies to her employer, accusing her of being a hooker and a junkie.

When a junior officer appears with a message for Heck, she uses the interruption to negotiate a week’s grace to give him an answer. But what can she do in a week to avoid her world being turned upside down?

This clever short story then follows the course of that week and beyond.

The Me Too Girl is available on Amazon. Another nice short story from father and son duo, and certainly a switch from their previous book The Heathrow Affair. Very versatile authors as quite a different genre to their brilliant full-length Silent Fear novel that I absolutely loved, plus they also write non-fiction.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a kindle copy of The Me Too Girl to one lucky winner. Open worldwide.
Plus you don’t even need to own a kindle to read this, as you can download the kindle app free to your phone or tablet.comper friendly badge

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 book.

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MamaMummyMum

 

Macadamia Energy Bites

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

I do enjoy cooking, so I was very pleased to receive the following selection of products from Buy Whole Foods Online free to review.

Organic Carob Powder 500g
Ceylon Cinnamon Powder (True) 250g
Organic Amla Powder 125g
Raw Wild Flower Bulgarian Honey 900g
Macadamia Nut Halves, Raw 250g

I had already formulated a tentative recipe idea in my head when I chose this selection which was to make some healthy raw energy snacks.

I do like this brand and have previously blogged some TVP meal recipes and my healthy yummy chocolate puds, made using their products. However this was back near the start of this year, so I was keen to see whether they would have taken on board my packaging suggestions, as I hadn’t had any feedback.

I was also pleased to see that everything was long-dated, with best before dates of October 2020 and beyond. Even the nuts, which was quite a pleasant surprise to me.

Buy Whole Foods Online products

Now let me tell you a little about these products, especially if like me, you get confused between cocoa, cacao and carob. Carob powder is produced by grinding the dried carob pods into a powder. I have now discovered that unlike cacao and cocoa, carob is naturally caffeine-free and much lower in fat than other forms of chocolate, plus it has a naturally sweet flavour. And 2 tablespoons contains almost 20% of your fibre RDA. It is also a form of calcium, which is great news for the bones as well as the taste buds!

Amla powder is something I hadn’t heard of previously. I have now discovered that it is made from drying Indian gooseberries and grinding them down to make a powder. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and has had Ayurvedic uses for centuries.

Raw honey, unlike your average honey, is unfiltered and unpasteurised, so it retains all the precious nutrients which are normally lost through heating and filtering. Plus raw honey is a natural sweetener free from additives that other conventional honeys may have. And raw honey contains a considerable amount of bee pollen, which is a complete source of protein.

Cinnamon is a spice which I often add to the likes of cookies and buns, but it also works well in savoury dishes too. However I didn’t realise there are variations in the grade of cinnamon. Apparently this Ceylon cinnamon is the purest form of cinnamon you can buy. Packed with nutrition, there are a number of health benefits associated with consuming Ceylon cinnamon on a daily basis including anti-inflammatory properties and easing digestion issues.

Macadamia nuts are something that I buy on an adhoc basis for snacks. Ideal as they are high in protein, fibre and healthy fats. But I’ve also now discovered that they are great for creating your own macadamia nut butter. That is something I’ve never tried yet.

So let me share my Macadamia Energy Bites recipe with you.

Macadamia Energy Bites

Macadamia Energy Bites

Ingredients (makes 10 – 12)

125g macadamia nuts
2 tbsp carob powder
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp amla powder

Method

Grind the nuts in a blender.
Tip ground nuts into a mixing bowl.
Mix in the carob, cinnamon and amla powder.
Mix in the honey.
Break off walnut-size amounts of mixture and roll into small balls.
Serve and enjoy.
These may be stored for upto a week in the fridge.

Macadamia Energy Bites

These were absolutely delicious and didn’t last long. I used half the macadamia nuts in the recipe, so there is only enough left to make one more batch. After that, I need to come up with some more recipe ideas for the other products, particularly the cinnamon, which is a huge packet. I’ve got about a year to use 250g, when a small spice jar usually lasts me about that length of time. I’ll have to see if the boys like cinnamon toast. I used to eat that quite regularly, but haven’t had it in years. So please hit me with your recipe suggestions.

The honey is one standard size extra large jar, but all the dry products come in a wide range of sizes from 50g to the bulk 25kg.

Unfortunately no change in the packaging as yet. Apart from the honey, the products are all in plastic, even if it is labelled as BPA free plastic. I’m still hoping Buy Whole Foods Online will review their product packaging and switch to a paper-based solution. Or the fact that some of them can be purchased in sizes upto 25kg, maybe they could start selling those via bulk stores, so we could take our own containers to fill.

I do recommend that you take a look at the Buy Whole Foods Online store. There is a huge amount to choose from.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway the same selection of products as I received from Buy Whole Foods Online to one lucky winner. You’ll certainly be able to make some tasty treats with these.

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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 recipe suggestions using any of these products.

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Jewellery box giveaway for Christmas

Disclosure.  Although I am hosting this giveaway, I have not received any products.  All opinions are my own.

Songmics jewellery box

Now that we are in November, I hope it is okay for me to mention the C word. Are you starting to think about Christmas presents? Well if you’re looking for the ideal gift for a special person in your life, then read on for details of a great prize.

Songmics jewellery box

I’m hosting a giveaway to win a fabulous 8-layer large white jewellery box with plenty of space to store rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and watches, keeping them all organised. This is a sturdy wooden box with a synthetic leather cover and soft velvet lining, which currently retails on Amazon for £56.99.

Songmics jewellery box

This prize is supplied by Songmics, who specialise in a variety of storage items including the ottoman that I reviewed a couple of years ago.

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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 would like to give or receive for Christmas.

Songmics Advent Calendar giveaway

Plus more chances to be lucky every day with Songmics early Xmas Advent Calendar giveaway which is already live! No need to wait until December for Advent to begin this year.

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