Category Archives: Reviews

My Duke’s Desire by Tammy Andresen

I have received a free e-copy of the book My Duke’s Desire by Tammy Andresen to review.

My Duke's Desire by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

Lady Violette knew two things for certain. She must make an advantageous match to save her family and the lord who agreed would be less than desirable. It didn’t matter that she wished to sail off on a great adventure. It wasn’t her choice to make.

His Grace, The Duke of Waverly, had no intention marrying, no matter what his mother expected. That was one of the few advantages of being a duke and he’d sailed back from Barbados to inform her. On his journey home, however, a beautifully proper lady rescues him when his horse is injured. He can’t help but notice that Lady Violette is in need of rescuing herself. Much as she tempts him, he can’t be the man that saves her.

This is the fourth book in the Wicked Lords of London series. I’ve enjoyed all the previous titles so was looking forward to reading this one.

The story starts with Theo, the Duke of Waverly reluctantly arriving back in London from Barbados. He takes a horse for the 2-day ride to his country estate where his mother is waiting to introduce him to a prospective bride, something he does not wish for. But his horse hurts a leg in the rain. Luckily a carriage, bearing Lady Bradford and her daughter Lady Violette Chase, stops to transport him to the next town. Noticing that they appear short of money, he introduces himself as Mr Theodore Riley, hiding the fact that he is a duke. And they share dinner at the inn, where there is a spark of interest between Theo and Violette, before going their separate ways the next day.

However, surprise surprise it is Violette whom his mother has lined up. Before coming face-to-face with the duke, she overhears him tell his family that they are trying to force him into marriage against his wishes. He apologises and Violette admits her family’s need for her to marry someone rich.

Are they right for each other or not? Can they reach an agreement?

My Duke’s Desire is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.27 in Kindle format. Another nice short romantic story, when you want something light to read. And it is fine as a stand-alone read.

Here are the links to my reviews of the previous titles in The Wicked Lords of London series.
My Duke’s Seduction
My Duke’s Deception
My Earl’s Entrapment


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

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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Berkley, A Nose Tail by David Hillman

Although son2 is very advanced with his reading, he also still loves his picture books. So he was pleased when we were offered the chance to review ‘Berkley, A Nose Tail’ by David Hillman for free. You can find out more about the author on his website.

Berkley, A Nose Tail by David Hillman

Here is the book blurb.

A little bit about Berkley…
Berkley has a huge nose and is always sticking it where it doesn’t belong, always getting into trouble.
Can Berkley ever find a way to put his super sniffer to good use?
This is a fun and funny story of how being a little bit different can be an asset, not a disadvantage.

Berkley, A Nose Tail by David Hillman

This is what son2 had to say about the book.

I liked Berkley (Not Barkley) because at the end Jeremy tells Berkley – Not Barkley – that they can help more often but Berkley, Not Barkley, is too busy smelling stinky socks!

Let me first explain why son2 keeps referring to the dog as being Berkley (Not Barkley). This was due to me saying that Berkley was an excellent name for a dog, due to the fact that dogs bark. However son2 refused to accept my suggested pronounciation and said that would be spelt Barkley.He pronounces Berkley in the way that berk would rhyme with perk and not park.

This book has been both written and beautifully illustrated by David Hillman. The lovely colourful pictures are just great for small children listening to the story being read and with 34 pages, it is also ideal as an early reader too.

Berkley has the biggest nose ever, so he is always chasing after smells and getting into trouble. But then we hear how he puts his nose to good use. And of course he gets a special smelly reward.

Berkley, A Nose Tail is newly published today and is available on Amazon currently at £12.95 in paperback. This is a delightful picture book.

I’d love to hear about your child’s favourite books.

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MamaMummyMum

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

Have you heard of Wallaroo – plus giveaway

I’m always on the lookout for healthy snacks, particularly as son2 is always ready for a snack on the bus on the way home from school. He would very happily munch on biscuits or crisps, but I do prefer him to have something more healthy. So I was very pleased to be offered the opportunity to review some natural snacks from Wallaroo for free. And I love their unique name. When I googled it, I wondered how I hadn’t spotted the obvious – a wallaroo is a marsupial size in-between the kangaroo and wallaby. I wonder how they came up with that identity for their snacks?

Wallaroo snacks

I received one pack of each of the current range as follows:-
Gently dried mango slices
Gently dried pineapple chunks
Toasted organic coconut chips

So firstly the mango. Son2 was very pleased to see this as he already loves mango, whether fresh or dried. And this packet certainly lived upto his expectation. He reluctantly let the rest of us have a small taste. From my point of view, it is great that it is in a portion-controlled size, as son2 has been known to take a 100g pack of dried mango from the store cupboard and quickly scoff the lot.

Wallaroo snacks

I’m the only one in our household who loves coconut, so I took this pack as a snack to work with me. It was yummy and very moreish. However I managed to only eat a few at a time, so that it lasted throughout my entire shift. Great result therefore avoiding eating additional snacks. And the coconut is 100% organic.

Wallaroo snacks

Similarly, I am the only one in our family who usually eats pineapple, but son1 gave the pineapple flavour a try, seeing as son2 had hogged most of the mango. He was very surprised to find that he did enjoy it, although he said he preferred the mango.

Wallaroo snacks

Wallaroo snacks are 100% natural with no added sugar, salt, preservatives or sulphites. They are also vegan, gluten free and non-GM. And the mango and pineapple packs are each equivalent to 1 of your 5 daily portions of fruit and vegetables. However I must warn you that the packets mention that they have been packed in a facility which handles nuts, peanuts and sesame.

One feature that I was especially delighted to see is that the packaging is home compostable with no plastic waste. I’ve not come across such a feature before, so full marks to Wallaroo. We’ve all got to do our bit to beat plastic pollution. I’ve popped the empties in my food waste bin, but I can’t stop to watch them biodegrade before I post my review. That could be ages, as the best before dates range between January to March 2019. I just hope, that unlike my food bin liners which are already biodegrading on the roll and splitting, that the packaging really does last until that date for anyone who can hold out that long before munching these tasty snacks.

Wallaroo compostable packaging

Wallaroo snacks are available online with a current RRP of £1.45 per 30g pack and are also sold in boxes of 10 for £12.50. I do not know where you can purchase them in-store, although I understand that they are also sold in-store. And certainly their eye-catching packet designs are very attractive. In summary, a great snack in my opinion and I hope they add some more flavours to the range.

Also as a runner, it was nice to read that Wallaroo had sponsored a running event in their local community. Their snacks would be an ideal energy boost after a long run.

And I have an offer to pass on to my readers – 15% off all purchases at Wallaroo with discount code: AUTUMN15

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway one pack of each of the three Wallaroo varieties to one lucky winner. That is 3 packs in total.
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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 other flavours you think should be included in the range? Son2 has suggested apricot.

With only one pack of each variety, there wasn’t enough to think about saving any for a recipe. However I would be keen to hear your recipe ideas using any of the flavours.

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

Quick Fix by J. Gregory Smith

I have received a free e-copy of the book Quick Fix by J. Gregory Smith to review. You may find out more about the author on his Amazon page.

Quick Fix by J. Gregory Smith

Here is the book blurb.

Military contractor Kyle Logan’s luck has gone from bad to worse ever since he returned home to Philadelphia following an injury by an IED in Iraq. First, his marriage crumbles, then his career after he’s pushed to the brink and assaults his wife’s lover, who is also her divorce attorney. When Kyle’s shady best friend turns up and offers him a “once in a lifetime” chance to regain his job and his life, all for just a couple night’s work, Kyle figures he’s got nothing to lose. The police, Philly Irish Mob and a couple of drug cartels all think otherwise. Now forced to fight for his life, and those around him, Kyle must turn to allies from his old neighborhood in a desperate effort to stay alive and out of prison. Quick Fix is one man’s fall into a world of unintended consequences that seeks to tread the razor-thin lines between right and wrong, loyalty and treachery.

This story starts in Fishtown, Philadelphia with Kyle being served his divorce papers in the bar. He sees red and punches Fenster, his ex-wife Beth’s lawyer boyfriend, but with an assault charge against him, he then loses his job too.

A week later, Kyle’s shifty best friend Ryan turns up with a proposal to rob three statues from a police station and replace them with fakes. Ryan wants Kyle to be the driver for a $50k cut plus the promise of pulling strings to get the assault charge dropped. Then part two of the plan will be to sell the statues for a cool $2m.

What could go wrong? Plenty! And lots more characters still to be introduced.

However I do find jargon somewhat off-putting. What with IED in the blurb and then KOed and POed in chapter 1, I was in two minds whether I wished to carry on reading. But certainly glad I did.

Quick Fix is available on Amazon, currently priced at £10.57 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A great crime read.

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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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Scottish Devil by Tammy Andresen

I have received a free e-copy of the book Scottish Devil by Tammy Andresen to review.

Scottish Devil by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

One family united by loss, driven to find love…

Known as the devil, Stone Sinclair, Earl of Alban, is carved of rock, hard and uncompromising. He bends for no man. A fiery lass with golden hair and a will as strong as his own? Surrender has never sounded sweeter.

Eliza McLaren detests all lairds. They are selfish, self-serving, arrogant men who only care for themselves and build their fortunes on the backs of their people. And Lord Stone Alban is the worst of the lot. When her father attempts to make a match between them, Eliza pledges to never give herself to a man like Stone, no matter how tempting his lips or how strong his arms. He isn’t the only one carved of stone.

After the death of their parents, six siblings unite around their eldest brother, Stone. They consider blood a binding oath and vow to protect one another. They all must face their own demons as they find love and their places in the world.

This is the first story in the Brethren of Stone series of which I have previously read the prequel, The Duke’s Scottish Lass. It is set in the Scottish highlands in 1780.

It starts with Stone Sinclair and his siblings at their parents funeral, who died trying to rescue miners from a collapse at the mine. Stone is now the new lord of Alban. He welcomes the family solicitor Allister McLaren and his daughter Eliza, who have arrived from Perth just too late for the burial, having had their own bereavement. However Eliza has been listening to rumour and thinks of Stone as the devil and tells her father so. She assumes Stone only cares for himself and not his tenants.

Stone of course, has heard all the rumours and feels deeply hurt about being labelled as the devil by the rumour-mongers. Meanwhile Eliza starts to get to know Stone and realises how she was mistaken as she observes him providing financial aid to the widows of the dead miners.

Will Eliza’s words come back to haunt her?

Scottish Devil is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.08 in Kindle format. Yet again, Tammy has delivered a nice short romantic story, ideal when you want a light read between thrillers.


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

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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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.

The Rufford Rose by Margaret Lambert

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Rufford Rose by Margaret Lambert to review.

The Rufford Rose by Margaret Lambert

Here is the book blurb.

When gifted young woodcarver Cuthbert Watts is sent to assist in the building of a new hall in Lancashire in 1530 little does he realise what difficulties lie ahead. The Master builder, Abel, resents his presence, refusing to see his work whilst Abel’s apprentice, Will is a lazy, jealous young man who thwarts Cuthbert at every turn. Supported by his fellow workers Cuthbert perseveres and after saving his life, befriends the young son of the owner, another reason for Abel to hate him. What is the reason behind this animosity? What great secret dominates Abel and Will’s life to the extent that lives are threatened, jealousies grow and violence, arson, kidnap and murder are committed?

Set in the Lancashire countryside in the 16th century this is a story which combines the practical difficulties of building a Tudor Hall with the loves and jealousies of those involved. When will Abel realise the value of Cuthbert’s work, when will Will realise he is not who he believes he is and can Cuthbert win the heart of the girl he loves. Follow Cuthbert through the trials and challenges of his new life and discover whether the hall can finally be completed.

This book is set in Lancashire back in the 1500s. For the first few chapters, the storyline runs in parallel setting the scenes introducing us to the Hesketh family and to Cuthbert, a gifted carpenter. We get to understand why the new Lord Hesketh has commissioned his new home to be built at Rufford. And we follow Cuthbert’s path from Chester, via Whalley Abbey to Rufford.

There at Rufford, the main body of the story takes place, as Rufford Hall is being built. Abel the master builder is resentful of having Cuthbert foisted onto him by Lord Derby. Meanwhile Will, Abel’s lazy apprentice starts by playing petty tricks on Cuthbert, but this spirals out of control. However Cuthbert becomes great friends with everyone else and manages to continue his wood carving. How will it all progress?

I could tell that the author had invested huge effort in the research of Tudor building methods. It was all so detailed and vividly brought the story to life for me. In comparison, I was surprised that we were told Thomas Hesketh had divorced his first wife. I may be wrong but I thought divorce wasn’t invented until Henry VIII wanted a way to get rid of Catherine of Aragon.

Reading about Cuthbert’s time at Whalley Abbey brought back memories from many years ago of visiting the ruins. So of course, I had to look up Rufford and I’ve found that Rufford Old Hall is now in the care of the National Trust. I definitely plan to visit whenever I’m next in that area of the country.

This book is available on Amazon currently priced at £9.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A fascinating read. Highly recommended.

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MamaMummyMum

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

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.