Category Archives: lifestyle

Guest post: Common Keto Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

I understand, it’s hard for you to gauge your progress when you’ve only followed the ketogenic diet for a week or two, or even a whole month. The magic happens internally, and the only way for you to record your progress is using the weighing scale or measuring parts of your body (and how you feel too, to an extent).

A lot of beginner’s screw things up at the beginning once they realize things aren’t as straightforward as it was thought to be.

Here are some common keto mistakes beginners make and how YOU should avoid them, so your keto journey doesn’t have to go through hiccups and you can maintain your ketosis stage.

Obsessing over the scale!!!

If you’re stepping on the scale when you wake up, before lunch, after lunch, and after dinner, then STOP! This obsession will only lead to disappointment. Your weight changes throughout the day, especially after meals.

When you’re frequently disappointed, you’ll start to self-doubt that may lead you to throwing in the towel.

Sure, you’re on a low-carb diet … But you really think your weight isn’t gonna change after a meal? Be reasonable!

Woman on weighing scale

Photo source: https://pixabay.com/ (Creative Commons license)

The best time to step on the scale is the morning when you wake up. If possible, every morning, around the same time for consistency. Keep it fair to yourself, and don’t fret too much about the digits on the scale! Write down what you see every morning for the next few weeks.

Once you see a pattern emerging, you’ll thank yourself for doing this.

Too much meat, bro

Yeap, too much protein can be counter-productive for you in a keto diet. When you’re in a low-carb diet, your liver can convert amino acids into glucose for energy, in a process called gluconeogenesis. Fancy, huh?

Remember, the point of entering ketosis is to prevent the body from using glucose as a main energy source. The protein you consume should only be enough to maintain muscle mass.

You should be keeping your daily protein intake below or at 1 gram of protein per day, per kg of body weight. So, if you weight 60 kilograms (133lbs.), keep your protein at 60 grams a day.

A good place to estimate your keto macronutrient needs that suit your goals is by using a keto macro calculator (like this one from Perfect Keto.)

The wrong mentality

A lot of people start with a diet to lose weight in a short period of time. It is possible, but you must be realistic.

An internet “guru” can claim that he lost 15 lbs within the first week of a diet he discovered (followed by a link to a course you have to buy), just as I can claim I have found the eternal cure to cancer. Don’t be fooled by these crazy marketing claims.

If done right, you can lose a lot of weight (2-10 lbs) within the first week, because your body loses WATER WEIGHT, not fat. And this too, depends on so many factors such as your metabolism, how active you are, and so on.

In the medium term, due expect weight loss of only 1-2lbs a week, and even a slower rate in the long term. You can’t get discouraged. Following a ketogenic diet is a lifestyle and a commitment in the long run. When you’re not there mentally, you’re gonna give in to sugar cravings and the hunger, which will kick you out off ketosis!

Taking the wrong types of fats/proteins

Keep your fats in check. Fats are a necessary part of a keto diet, but not all fats are good. Processed fats, such as hydrogenated oils and partially hydrogenated oils in junk food, fast food, and margarine should be avoided.

Avoid processed vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil soybean oil, and a few others.

The best proteins to take on a Keto diet are plant-based proteins, not to say you can’t have animal meats, though. Too much fatty meat has been linked to heart diseases and high cholesterol levels. You should not follow a ketogenic diet just to lose weight, but to have a healthier life in the long run.

Keto protein supplements are a great way for you to meet your protein needs when it’s not convenient for you’re a strict-protein diet.

Take-Home Message

To every keto beginner out there, you need to have a lot of patience and commitment. Do your research, stick to your plan, be honest to yourself, and the results will come forth. As mentioned, you may lose a lot of weight initially, but don’t expect it to be like that the following weeks!

Guest post by Sarah Peterson
“Sarah is the Content Director at Perfect Keto, with a mission to help as many people as possible achieve optimal health and well-being.”

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Sweet Victory Products review and giveaway

For the last 2 or 3 years, I have become more aware of how bad sugar can be for us. It is known to be one of the worst foods for a variety of common diseases like arthritis, cancer and autism. I enjoy cakes and biscuits far too much to eliminate them, but I do try my best now to reduce my sugar intake. I’ve made a few little changes like always having fruit with my porridge instead of sugar and sometimes opting for something like a cheese scone or slice of fruit bread rather than cake.

So I was delighted when Sweet Victory Products contacted me to offer a free hamper of some of their products to review. They had seen my Zollipops review, which is one of the products they stock. Their aim is to help as many people as possible to change their relationship from High Sugar to Sugar-Free and healthier alternatives. This is exactly what I would like to do, if only I had the willpower.

Sweet Victory hamper

It didn’t take long for a beautifully packed basket to arrive which contained all the following goodies.
Virginias B-San white chocolate coated digestive biscuits no added sugars 130g
Diablo sugar free chocolate chip cake 230g
Jim Jams no added sugar milk chocolate spread 350g
Sweet Switch No added sugar Premium Belgian milk chocolate confetti 22g
Sugar free gummy sweets pick and mix 100g
Sugar free sweets pick and mix jar
2 sugar free cherry lollipops
2 Tplus+ immunitea vitamin tea orange and blueberry sachets
Cadbury highlights reduced sugar hot chocolate 11g
Cadbury highlights reduced sugar fudge flavour hot chocolate 11g

Sweet Victory hamper

So focussing on the individual products and starting with the digestive biscuits, which son2 was over the moon to see, as chocolate digestives are his all time favourite type of biscuit. I don’t think any of us had come across a white chocolate version previously. These contain zero sugar, and are sweetened with an ingredient I haven’t heard of called maltitol. We all enjoyed these. I haven’t done a direct price comparison on any of these products but I would certainly be happy to pay more for these sugar free digestives when I consider how quickly we get through a regular pack in our household.

Virginias B-San white chocolate coated digestive biscuits no added sugars

Next the cake. Once again sugar free and sweetened with maltitol and acesulfame K. I’ve not heard of this sweetener either. However I wished that I hadn’t looked at the ingredient list, as 16 E numbers sounded rather excessive. Luckily I didn’t look until after I had tried it. The boys enjoyed the cake, but I only thought it okay. Like many shop bought cakes, it tasted rather synthetic to me. I’m much more a fan of a homemade cake.

Diablo sugar free chocolate chip cake


And the chocolate spread. Jim Jams is a brand that I heard about earlier this year and have been unsuccessfully looking out for, so I was very interested to try this. Again this contains maltitol rather than sugar. Rather than just spreading it on toast, I decided this deserved a recipe.

Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate Croissants)

Ingredients (makes approx 4-5)

250g puff pastry
approx 75g Jim Jams chocolate spread

Method

Preheat fan oven to 200 deg C.
Grease baking sheet.
Roll out the pastry.
Cut pastry into similar sized rectangles.
Spread a length of chocolate spread along one edge of each rectangle.
Roll each rectangle up from that edge.
Place on baking sheet.
Cook on middle shelf of oven for about 10 minutes.
Remove from baking sheet immediately and place on cooling rack.
Serve either warm or cold.
Enjoy.

These were delicious warm. We all enjoyed them. For a store cupboard essential like chocolate spread, I definitely plan to switch to the Jim Jams brand in future.
Pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant)

And then there were four types of sweets. Firstly the Sweet Switch chocolate confetti which look very similar to smarties. The product name on the website indicates that these are made from premium Belgian milk chocolate, but this isn’t particularly promoted on the packet, with just a small mention of Sweet Switch address in Belgium. Tasty but again I wished I hadn’t looked at the packet, as I was confronted by 8 E-numbers. No added sugars, but more sweeteners that I hadn’t heard of – maltitol again plus sorbitol and steviol glycosides.

Sweet Switch No added sugar Premium Belgian milk chocolate confetti

And then the sugar free Gummy Pick & Mix Sweets with all our favourites like cola bottles. The packaging advises you to refer to their website for ingredients, but as it is a pick & mix product, you would need to look at each sweet type individually. I only looked at the cola bottle page, which does show that they contain pork gelatine, so I feel that this ought to be highlighted on the Pick & Mix webpage itself.

Sugar free gummy sweets pick and mix

Wow what a lot of different varieties of sweets in this pick and mix jar. Just looking at it brought back happy memories of visiting the local sweet shop as a child. And just think, these are all sugar free. There are a few familiar brands like Werthers and Mintoes, nether of which I realised did a sugar-free variant. But mostly just dip in for a tasty surprise. Again you would need to refer to individual sweet webpages for ingredients, but you can request for a particular sweet to be excluded. All of Sweet Victory weigh-out sweets can also be purchased in 100g increments. With Halloween round the corner, these would be fab for Trick or Treat.

Sugar free sweets pick and mix jar

And of course lollipops. I didn’t get to try these myself as there were only two and both boys wanted one. However they said they were good. These are sold in packs of 10. Again more unknown sweeteners on the ingredient list – acesulfame K again, plus sucralose and isomalt.

sugar free cherry lollipops

Next for a cup of tea. This was very pleasant and apparently contains an immune boosting blend of beneficial herbs, green tea, fruit and 50% RDA in 9 daily essential vitamins; Vitamin C echinacea and ginseng. I’ve never really thought about tea in the context of free-from but according to the website, this is gluten-free. So does that mean that some teas contain gluten? I never knew. This is sold in boxes of 15 sachets.

2 Tplus+ immunitea vitamin tea orange and blueberry sachets

And finally the hot chocolate. This is marketed as a low sugar product, rather than sugar-free and is something I have purchased previously. So I already knew that I liked both flavours. However I just scanned the barcode with my food scanner app and found that they still have 3g (original) or 3.4g (fudge) sugar in an 11g product. That is not really low sugar in my opinion.

Cadbury highlights reduced sugar fudge flavour hot chocolate

After sampling all the goodies, I had a look round their online store and can certainly see plenty of other tempting products, including some which would make lovely gifts. I think I would like to give the Xylitol a try, to see how that works in baking. And I also noticed that they stock Real Good Tomato Ketchup which is another product that I have previously reviewed. I have looked for this in vain at a couple of local branches of the Co-op, so very pleased to identify an online stockist.

And I was pleased to see that delivery costs are very reasonable, starting at £3.55 for second class. There is also a reward points scheme. I am definitely happy to recommend Sweet Victory Products.

But looks like I need to do some research into sugar substitutes next. Find out a bit about maltitol, acesulfame K, sorbitol, steviol glycosides, sucralose and isomalt.

And I have an offer to pass on to my readers – 10% off your first order at Sweet Victory Products with discount code: YABM10

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a hamper of treats from Sweet Victory Products to one lucky winner. What a tempting prize bundle. Contents will be similar to those that I received.

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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 reduced sugar treats.

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

Britmums #ACEforSchool Challenge ad

So the boys are back at school and as usual the washing pile has grown exponentially. There is all the school uniform and sports kit. I just groan thinking about the sports kit. Why is there so much of it? There are different types of tops for each sport they play, so at least two get worn each week. The boys take it to school in trolley bags, as it would be too heavy to carry.

Britmums #ACEforSchool Challenge

Luckily neither of the boys are that sporty, so tend to be in either the C or D team. This does generally tend to mean less matches against other schools than for the A or B teams. But even so, my washing machine always seems to be on. And of course, most of it can’t go in the tumble drier. I’m just glad it is still mostly sunny and mild, as once we head into November, I have just one word to say to you – mud!

Mud is the bane of my life when it comes to washing. Even if they haven’t slipped over and sports kit isn’t looking too bad, they need to take their muddy boots off before getting the bus home. And do they remember to put those in their boot bags? Sadly usually not. Instead the boots go loose into their trolley bags right on top of their school uniform. Oh dear!

This all adds to the washing nightmare. All I can say is thank goodness that the blazers are washable. The ones for their last school were dry-clean only. So I immediately signed up, when Britmums challenged bloggers to take part in the #ACEforSchool Challenge. I received a free bottle of ACE for Colours and a free ACE Stain Remover Spray to help tackle the stains.

Britmums #ACEforSchool Challenge

But even without the mud, I still needed to put these products to the test straightaway, on the dried-on lunch remnants on son2’s tie. A squirt of the spray in advance of washing, followed by a capful of the bottle in the washing drum did the trick on cleaning it up.

Britmums #ACEforSchool Challenge

Britmums #ACEforSchool Challenge

Britmums #ACEforSchool Challenge

Next test will be when the school jumpers go back on after half-term. I know that there are several paint stains on one of them that defeated me week after week last winter. Why do schools use permanent paint these days rather than water paint like they did in my schooldays? Will Ace be up to the challenge?

Britmums #ACEforSchool Challenge

About ACE

  • ACE keeps garments bright, robust and clean meaning clothes last for longer
  • Keep those colours bright and fresh with ACE for Colours
  • Tackle germs, grease and stubborn stains with ACE Stain Remover

I’d love to hear about your washing tips or nightmares.

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Family Fever

Disclosure. This post is an entry for the BritMums #ACEforSchool Challenge, sponsored by ACE. Get help for all kinds of stains with the ACE Stain Helper or to buy head to your local Tesco’s, Morrison’s, Waitrose or Sainsbury’s.
This post mentions products I received for free. All opinions are my own. This post is classed as an advert because of the requirement to include the #AceforSchool hashtag.

Soundiculous game including giveaway

Time for a family game and once again we have received a free product from Gamely. Having really enjoyed playing their other two games, we were looking forward to some fun.

Soundiculous game

I was very pleased to see that just like the other two games, Randomise and The Pretender, it comes in a nice small box, the size of two decks of playing cards. Always a plus point for me, as the boys’ possessions seem to be gradually taking over the rest of the house.

The game gets its name Soundiculous from the ridiculous sounds you have to make for the other players to guess. You are only permitted to make sounds, no words, hints or actions. The cards range from easy, through medium to hard, with potential scoring of 1, 2 or 3 points accordingly.

Soundiculous game

So yes I can happily make the sound of a train, but how am I going to convey the sound of a tractor, to distinguish it from any other vehicle. Luckily you are permitted to nod, if someone makes a close guess. And if you get stuck, you can try associated sounds, although the guessers can end up diving down a false trail, as I found when swapping from bird sounds to oinking for a pigeon.

The rules suggest that it is for 3-10 players and suitable for age 8+, with the aim to get the most points. When someone shouts the correct answer, both of you score but if at least half the guessers give up, your turn ends. So plenty of strategy, regarding whether to opt for easy, medium or hard. We certainly had loads of fun playing this game.

We’re out of shot in this video, to convey how it is the sounds that are key to this game. You’re even supposed to sit on your hands whilst playing, to avoid making gestures.

Soundiculous currently retails at £11.99 on Amazon and John Lewis. Great value in my opinion, especially if you are starting to think about stocking fillers. I highly recommend this game.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a Soundiculous game 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 your idea for a new game.

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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.

Preserving Photographic Memories ad

So the end of summer is now upon us. We’ve been away on two holidays to Spain and Edinburgh, plus had plenty of fun days out.

Throughout it all, I’ve been snapping happy memories with my phone. I always upload my pictures to my computer, but what happens after? A few get shared on Facebook or Instagram. Some get chosen to be made into Christmas cards or fridge magnets to be sent to other family members. And of course, I have my own selection on my fridge, along with our photo table mats and mugs. I even used to have a fab photo phone case, but haven’t got around to ordering a new one since it wore out.

What about the rest of the images that did not make the cut? Will these photographic memories never get the chance to see the light of day again, languishing on the hard drive or a USB stick? You might have a lovely picture of little Johnny at school sports day, but you couldn’t share it on Facebook for relatives to see because there are other kids in the picture, what with all the privacy rules.

So I was delighted to be contacted by Nixplay, who offered me the opportunity to review one of their digital photo frames for free. This could be just the answer.

Nixplay Seed Digital Frame

Nixplay sent me one of their Seed frames and it arrived in just 4 days. I was pleased to see that it comes in a sturdy box, and that it is available in a choice of 4 colours and 4 sizes.

I received the 8 inch blue frame. It comes with an attached USB cable, a remote control and a two-part power plug that allows the user to switch between UK 3-pin or European 2-pin.

However once I started the set-up process, the frame kept switching off at inconvenient moments. In the end, I put the USB cable into a different plug which worked perfectly, so the plug must have been faulty. Luckily I encountered no such issues with the frame itself. The instructions were simple to follow, with the main points being to give it access to my Wi-Fi and to set up a Nixplay account to link my frame to.

Nixplay Seed Digital Frame

I’ve only tested it with a few photos so far, most of which were downloaded from my computer. I also tried downloading one directly from my phone using the Nixplay app. I soon realised it was better to keep portrait and landscape photos in separate playlists, so as to fill the entire frame. The frame is easily turned between portrait and landscape as it only uses the cable for balance, no additional back support required.

Aside from the infrared sensor between the frame and the remote, the frame also has a motion sensor that enables it to switch off when nobody is in the room. You can set the time-lag on this, as well as the time periods. I set it off between 23:00 and 07:00 hrs. I couldn’t see any details on the instructions regarding the type of battery in the remote or how to replace that when necessary.

Nixplay Seed Digital Frame

The best part is the frame’s scope. A single playlist can contain up to 1000 photos. You can link multiple frames to the one account, so you could buy frames for other family members like your grandparents. Think of the benefit of a frame like this if someone were away from home for a long period, like when one of my sons was an in-patient at the hospital back in 2013 after his leukaemia diagnosis. Everything can be managed remotely, so all they have to do is watch. It’s great for keeping them up to date with the children’s progress, especially when they don’t tend to see them very often.

I could even use it for long-term projects like scanning my old pre-digital photos before the colours deteriorate further and loading those into playlists. It would be nice to show the boys some of the countries we visited on holiday before they were born.

Also, when I was a child, my Dad took all his photos on slides, but he has now gotten rid of his projector and large screen, which we used for viewing his images. So another long-term project could be to send those slides somewhere to be converted into a digital format and saved onto a memory stick. I can then upload these into playlists, which I can display on my Nixplay frame. There are lots of photographic memories that my parents would like to see again. We’ve even got some old family photos from the 1800s – just imagine watching those on a Nixplay frame!

Nixplay Seed Digital Frame

The Nixplay 8 inch Seed Frame currently retails at £129.99 / $139.99. It comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, a 1-year warranty and free shipping. A great way to view your memories, in my opinion, as well as a fabulous gift idea!

Now I just have to work out what other functionalities it has. I’ll try uploading videos onto my frame next. I’ve even heard that you can ask Alexa to manage your frame, too Wow!

You may see more details about Nixplay on their website. The Nixplay digital photo frame range is available to purchase from their online shop or from Amazon.

I’d love to hear what you do with your favourite photographs.

There is a version of this post on the Nixplay blog here.

Disclosure. This post is a review of a product I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.
This post is classed as an advert because my content has been checked by Nixplay.

Pluto the Dwarf Planet

Regular readers of my blog may remember that I recently reviewed the fabulous WonderKid Space Bumper Pack and ran a very popular giveaway for one.

Wonderkid Space subscription box

I am delighted to say that Anneka is the lucky winner. She correctly answered the following question.

In 2006 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) decided that Pluto could no longer be classified as a planet. What is Pluto now classified as?

And the answer is that Pluto is now classified as a Dwarf Planet.

And here are some facts provided by WonderKid about Pluto, the Dwarf Planet.

Pluto was considered a planet for 76 years. First discovered in 1930 at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff Arizona, the planet is named after the Roman God of the underworld. Wait a minute! Isn’t that Hades? No; Hades was the Greek God of the underworld. The name Pluto was proposed by an eleven year old schoolgirl from Oxford, England called Venetia Burney.

“I think Pluto would be a good name for it.” said the young Venetia at the breakfast table after her grandfather had read out the news of the planet’s discovery from The London Times on 14 March 1930. Venetia was familiar with Greek and Roman mythology and the name was apt as Pluto (the Roman God of the underworld) could make himself invisible and dwelt in a cold dark place where the sunlight did not reach.

The former planet Pluto orbits our Sun far out in an icy region of the Solar System called the Kuiper Belt. In the 1990s scientists began to find many similar sized objects in the Kuiper Belt. Some of the newly discovered objects were even bigger than Pluto. One such object, called Eris, was discovered in 2005. Astronomers had to make a decision on whether all of the newly discovered objects would become planets or whether they would have to create a new, narrower definition of a planet. They went with the latter.

In 2006 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) got together to decide what the definition of a planet should be. The IAU came up with a new three step test for whether an object could be classified as a planet in our Solar System:

1. Does it orbit our Sun?
2. Does it have enough mass to make it (almost) round?
3. Has it removed other small objects from around its orbit? (unlike asteroids)

Only if an object (which is not a satellite to a planet e.g. a moon) meets all three of these criteria can it be called a planet. Unfortunately for Pluto, and its fans, it only passed the first two criteria of the test and was no longer classified as a planet! However, in a way the Solar System became a more interesting place; now there was yet another type of object discovered spinning around the Sun – which astronomers called ‘dwarf planets’!

Let me remind you that I have a special offer to share with my readers. 20% off your first WonderKid box when you use the code BLOGGINGMUMMY20 at checkout. The code is valid for the first 10 people who take up the offer and is limited to one per person.

I’d love to hear about your favourite space facts or your ideas for themes to feature in future boxes.

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

A Visit to Dinosaur World Live

We were delighted to be offered the chance to visit Dinosaur World Live for free, courtesy of Let’s Go with the Children.

Dinosaur World Live

Dinosaur World Live

We attended this show at G Live in Guildford. There were free stickers for all the children plus a range of dinosaur merchandise available to purchase. Son2 had come prepared with 3 of his cuddly dinosaurs, but he still managed to persuade us to buy another for his menagerie, this time a triceratops.

Dinosaur World Live

Dinosaur World Live

Leading lady Miranda played by Elizabeth Mary Williams is supported by a team of puppeteers who skilfully control the dinosaurs. These range from small handheld puppets to the huge 10m long T-rex. Miranda draws in the audience right from the start when she places a dinosaur egg at the corner of the stage, asking everyone to call her name if it looks like hatching. Of course there are plenty of false hatching alerts throughout the performance. Miranda weaves her magic, telling us about the dinosaurs she grew up with who have come from a far-off island, introducing each one in turn.

Dinosaur World Live

The large triceratops was son1’s favourite whilst the huge T-rex was his Dad’s favourite. We did get to meet baby versions of both of these earlier.

T-rex at Dinosaur World Live

A few children are invited up onto stage to participate in activities like feeding or tickling a dinosaur. It was nice to see that they weren’t all from the front row. We all got the chance to roar. And at the end of the show, there was the opportunity for all children to meet and touch some of the dinosaurs – a large one on stage and 2 small ones in the foyer.

Dinosaur World Live

It was a fantastic interactive performance and dinosaurs looked so realistic, that you almost forgot the puppeteers standing there. Miranda had the whole audience mesmerised, even the youngest children were watching in awe.

The audience were actively encouraged to take photographs during the performance, although mine were shared afterwards as I had already discovered before the start that there didn’t seem to be any internet connection in the venue.

Suitable for all ages from 3+ and just under an hour long. Not too scary or loud, although I did notice some small children in front of us wearing headphones. With some lighting effects and smoke.

This show is touring round the country and I do highly recommend that you take your children to see it.

Son2’s favourite part was when the dinosaur egg finally hatched just before the end and then its mum turned up. He loved the tiny voice of the baby as the two communicated together. In fact, the puppeteers all had marvellous ventriloquist skills with different sounds for each species.

Dinosaur World Live

And G-Live is a very nice modern venue, with a large tiered auditorium. It does have it’s own carpark, but there were only a few spaces left when we arrived half an hour early, so do allow plenty of time before the performance. It also has its own cafe which we didn’t sample as well as a bar. We checked that drinks could be taken into the show.

Let's Go with the Children

I’d love to hear what is your favourite dinosaur. Mine is the brontosaurus.

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This review also appears on https://letsgowiththechildren.co.uk

Disclosure. This post is a review of a show which we saw for free.  All opinions are my own.

WonderKid subscription boxes and giveaway

When WonderKid approached me and asked if I would like to review one of their kids educational subscription boxes, the boys and I took a look at their website. The current theme was dinosaurs but son2 immediately spotted that the previous box had been on space, which is one of his favourites interests. So we asked if it would be possible to review that one instead.

Son2 kept asking when it would arrive, as it took longer than usual, since WonderKid had to go back to the manufacturer to source the old edition. So he was delighted when we got back from holiday to find not one, but two large boxes waiting next-door for us.

Wonderkid Space subscription box

We had been sent both the WonderKid Space Bumper Pack and the WonderKid Junior Space version for free. They were very well packed.

I was very pleased to see that all items included were of high quality including the WonderKid magazine, books, games and activities. The boys have dipped into the contents but all this is going to keep them happy and occupied for many hours.

Wonderkid Space subscription box

Son2 shares all the contents with you in this video.

There are two ways to subscribe. You can either pay for just one box or you can subscribe for a year at a discounted rate. Boxes are sent out quarterly. Current pricing is £43.97 per quarter or £34.99 for the junior version for younger children. Please note that pricing does fluctuate in GBP sterling, as it is based in Euros.

The previous editions can still be purchased via the WonderKid website. The WonderKid Space Bumper Pack is currently retailing at £70.88 and is targeted at children age 7-12. Meanwhile the WonderKid Junior Space is currently retailing at £34.99 and is targeted at children age 3-6.

Wonderkid Space junior subscription box

The  mission of WonderKid is to inspire and encourage children to actively explore their curiosity, so that they engage in learning and discovery at an early age. They believe that introducing children to a broad range of ideas and concepts, through science, history, philosophy and literature, allows them to grow and learn as people, and in turn form and cultivate their own ideas, and their intellectual and creative genius; to become WonderKids! And I myself wholeheartedly support this ethos.

Wonderkid Space subscription box

Other previous topics have included Dinosaurs, Robots, Ancient Greece, Insects, Bugs and Creepy Crawlies. The next edition will be on Oceans.

We even had 2 packets of Astronaut’s neapolitan ice-cream (one in each box). Not a patch on real ice-cream but still a tasty little treat. Must be very strange having all their food freeze-dried like that.

Astronaut's freeze-dried neapolitan ice-cream

My boys are having so much fun. This is the best educational kids subscription box I have come across in my opinion. I highly recommend WonderKid.

The only small negative point I have to make is that I couldn’t get any of the FAQ answers to display on their website. Possibly a browser issue, but hopefully something that gets resolved asap.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a WonderKid Space box to one lucky winner. What a fabulous prize. The winner will be able to choose between the Space Bumper pack and the Junior Space pack, according to which is more appropriate to the age of the child who it is intended for.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

Plus I have a special offer to share with my readers. 20% off your first box when you use the code BLOGGINGMUMMY20 at checkout. The code is valid for the first 10 people who take up the offer and is limited to one per person.

I’d love to hear about your ideas for themes to feature in future boxes.

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

Who is The Pretender plus giveaway?

We love playing games together as a family, so were delighted to be offered the chance to review a new game The Pretender for free. This is manufactured by Gamely who also came up with Randomise that we reviewed a couple of years ago.

The Pretender game

Just like Randomise, this is a nice compact size, which always gets the thumbs up for me. The boys possessions are overflowing the storage space in our house, which is not helped by most games coming in half empty, huge boxes.

This is a game of mini charades, bluffing and suspicion. Basically one player is the Pretender and the aim of the game is for the other players to discover who the Pretender is, whilst the Pretender must fake their way through the game, escaping detection and trying to work out what on earth everyone else is miming!

The Pretender

The rules suggest that it is for 4-6 players and suitable for age 12+, but son2 at a younger age was in his element playing this, even if he didn’t quite know what a word meant. And we found that you definitely do need at least 4 players, 3 wouldn’t really be enough, particularly as we soon twigged  that whoever chose the item number for a round wasn’t the Pretender.

The Pretender

After the charades, come the accusations. I seemed to get accused a lot more times than when I actually was the Pretender, so looks like I need to brush up on my charades skills. Most embarrassingly, when I was miming knitting, as I’m the only one of us who actually knows how to knit. And jaws dropped when at least a couple of times, they thought they had caught me out, but I escaped by successfully identifying the item.

There are 10 items in each category and 36 different categories in total, 2 categories per card so it will continue to feel fresh and new after many games have been played. Scoring is optional, so we didn’t bother.

The Pretender game currently retails at £11.99 on Amazon and John Lewis. Very good value in my opinion for all the fun we had. I can highly recommend this game. We’ve now got our eye out for the other new game from Gamely, which is Soundiculous.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway The Pretender game 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 your idea for a new game.

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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.

Guest post: Coconut Oil – Miracle House Hold Remedy

Coconut oil has several uses that make it a super household item that you must always keep it in your home. It can be used in food for better health, in skin and hair care products and as a natural treatment for certain diseases in certain medicines. If you are unaware of benefits coconut oil, this blog is dedicated to you.

Coconut Oil and Weight Loss:

Coconut oil has magnificent health benefits for you. Coconut oil contains High-density lipoprotein cholesterol that is healthy cholesterol which helps in elimination of fat lipids from the body by carrying them to the liver. In addition to this, coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that fight against harmful microbes in your body and maintain the balance between healthy and unhealthy bacteria. This keeps your gut flora healthy and as a result, your digestive system improves. Similarly, there are two reasons behind weight gain either it is the weak immune system or weak digestive system. Taking coconut oil resolves both of these issues. In addition to this, the saturated fatty acid in coconut oil reduces your appetite naturally and helps to maintain sugar level. All these benefits aid in weight loss. You can cook your meal in coconut oil or just eat a tablespoon of coconut oil in the morning.

Coconut Oil and Hair Care:

Shampooing and conditioning are not all that your hair requires for thickness and shine. You owe to show some extra love to your hairs by taking advantage of nature’s gifts to keep your hairs healthy. One of these is coconut oil. Do you know why people living in Tropical coastal areas have thick and shiny hairs? The most suitable answer is that they use naturally extracted coconut oil on their hairs. Coconut oil contains a chain of fatty acids such as capric acid and lauric acid that behaves as an antifungal and anti-bacterial that kills the bacteria and detoxifies the scalp. In addition to this, Coconut oil also contains vitamin E that helps to protect the skin cells on the scalp, reduces oxidative stress in the scalp and improves blood flow which results in better hair health. According to Home Remedies for Life, Coconut oil is among best oils that can be used for better hair growth. However, using extra virgin coconut oil is a better option as compared to other commercially available coconut oil as they also contain mineral oils that reduce its efficiency.

Coconut Oil for Skin Care:

Coconut oil is one of the perfect moisturizers you can apply to your skin. As mentioned previously coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, not only this it is also a natural coolant. Therefore, if coconut oil is applied to the skin it can help in reducing sunburn, itching or burning. In addition to this, the mono-saturated fats present in coconut oil promote collagen growth that makes the cell wall stronger and Vitamin K aids new cell production that helps in reducing stretch marks. Coconut oil can be used to get rid of skin conditions such as rashes or eczema as it fights against bacteria and nourishes your skin.

You can also use coconut oil to prevent bacteria enter your dead skin. Coconut oil also contains healing properties. You can apply it on wounds and the Multi-Chain fatty acids will boost up the healing process.

DIY Coconut Oil and Sugar Scrub:

Coconut oil is used in various skin care products however these products are filled with harsh chemicals. Therefore, we are sharing a recipe to make exfoliator at home. You will require:

  1. ½ cup of Sugar
  2. ½ cup of coconut oil
  3. Few drops of essential oil or Lemon juice.

Mix all the three ingredients and use once a week. Sugar granules will remove the dead skin that will help coconut oil penetrate in the skin easily which will nourish your skin. You can use this scrub on dark patches on your body to reduce them.

Coconut oil for Dental Health:

Oil pulling is a method used for dental health as coconut oil has antimicrobial properties performing oil pulling with coconut oil can help in preventing tooth decay and tooth loss. However, on the other hand, multi-chain fatty acids will make gum stronger that will result in less gum bleeding.

Coconut Oil as Makeup Remover:

You can use coconut oil as a makeup remover; it will also hydrate your skin and will keep it moisturized without any side effects.

Author Bio:

Jane Scott is currently working as a nutritionist at a renowned firm. With an experience of more than a decade, she is considered as a go-to person in her field of work. She also writes blogs for her website Home Remedies for Life.

Guest post by Jane Scott