Tag Archives: giveaway

STEM Box review and giveaway

It has been a while since we last reviewed a Weekend Box. The boys have had great fun doing the activities from these in the past, but they have now got a bit old for them. However I recently found out that Weekend Box have extended their range to include a STEM box for older children. For those of you don’t know what STEM stands for, it is science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The STEM box sounded right up my boys’ street, as son1 already participates in the YES programme via school. All these acronyms – YES stands for Young Engineers and Scientists. So we were delighted to receive a free STEM Box to review.

STEM box

Son2 was the lucky one who got to put this box to the test.

STEM box

So the first part of the fun is opening the box to find out what exciting activities lie within.

STEM box

Son2 was quick to check out the booklet. He immediately decided that of the three main activities, he wanted to start by making a rocket. Most of the necessary equipment was included in the STEM box, but we would have to provide a plastic bottle. Oh no, there’s a word we didn’t wish to see – plastic! It was son2 who got us started on our journey towards a plastic free future in the first place. I haven’t bought any drinks in plastic bottles at all this year. However I had a rummage in the kitchen cupboard and found a suitable apple drink hiding at the back.

STEM box

So son2 did all the crafting to make his rocket indoors before we headed out into the garden for the scientific action. Add warm water and the effervescent tablets, pop the lid on, give the bottle a shake and put upside down in a mug. Then wait for the rocket to launch.

STEM box

We didn’t manage to capture a photo of the rocket launching.

The other two main activities in our STEM box are making a kite and pinwheels, as this box is on the topic of things that fly. Son2 plans to do those next weekend. Plus the booklet is also packed with plenty of bonus activities on the same theme. There are facts, jokes, puzzles and instructions for making two types of paper planes along with an experiment evaluation table and a “touch down” certificate. And there is even a door hanger to colour on the inside of the box. So lots more fun to be had.

When I had a browse round the Weekend Box website, I was pleased to see that everything contained in a box is either reusable or recyclable and that 95% of each box contents comes from recycled material. So if they are so committed to the environment and sustainability, why ask us to provide a single-use plastic bottle? Could something else have been used to make the rocket instead perhaps?

The STEM Box is a new addition to the Weekend Box range, targeted at older children from age 7-12. It currently retails at £8.95 including free delivery, the same price as a Weekend Box. It is sent out monthly and the one difference is that there are 3 activities, rather than 4. Well worth the price in my opinion for all the educational fun.

We have reviewed the Kids Weekend Activity Box a few times previously. You can see the fun we had before, on the following posts, along with an introduction to the principles of Weekend Box.
A mask and a rainforest
Chinese New Year activities
Cooking Potato Boats and making 3D glasses.
Sand Art and making a bird feeder.

If readers of my blog would like to try out any type of Weekend Box, I have an ongoing unique promo code for you to get your first box for free (including free delivery).

The unique promo code is CLAIRE43 and can be redeemed at www.weekendboxclub.com. If you have any difficulties with the code, try signing up with this direct link www.weekendboxclub.com/main/signup?promocode=CLAIRE43

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a 6 month subscription of STEM Box 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 what STEM or crafting activities you enjoy.

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

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A duo of vegetarian TVP recipes plus giveaway

Regular readers may remember that I made some delicious healthy chocolate puddings earlier this year using ingredients I received free to review from Buy Whole Foods Online. I have now received some more products free to review from their online shop. This time I received two types of TVP (textured vegetable protein) in the formats of mince and chunks.

TVP (textured Vegetable Protein) or soya

This year I’ve been thinking a lot more about sustainability and one thing I’ve been focussing on, is can our family eat less meat and dairy? As an ex-vegetarian, I’ve easily implemented returning to a vegetarian diet at lunchtimes, either at home alone or in our excellent work canteen. However it isn’t so easy when catering for the whole family. My other half is very resistant to the idea plus we’re also restricted by my youngest son being very fussy about what he will and won’t eat.

I therefore decided to take two of son2’s favourite meals, namely spaghetti bolognaise and chicken nuggets and use the TVP to cook vegetarian equivalents. Last year we successfully swapped using shop-bought jars of bolognaise sauce for passata in an attempt to reduce sugar. What would he think this time?

So firstly here is my recipe for the Bolognaise.

Vegetarian Bolognaise

Vegetarian Bolognaise

Ingredients (serves 4)

100g dried TVP mince
boiling water
1 vegetable stock cube
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
500g passata
salt and pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
250g wholewheat spaghetti

Method

Place the dried TVP in a large bowl.
Crumble the stock cube into a jug.
Pour on the boiling water and stir until dissolved.
Pour sufficient stock over the TVP to cover it.
(Any spare stock can be stored in the fridge once cool for a few days for use in another recipe).
Leave to stand for about 20 minutes for the TVP to absorb liquid.
Once the TVP is ready to use, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil.
Meanwhile peel garlic and squeeze through garlic press.
Add spaghetti to the saucepan and cook for about 11-13 minutes.
Gently heat oil in a wok.
Add garlic to wok and cook for about 1 minute.
Stir in the TVP.
Season with salt, pepper and oregano.
Stir in the passata and cook for about 8-10 minutes.
Drain the spaghetti and serve topped with the bolognaise.
Enjoy.

Vegetarian Bolognaise


And secondly the nuggets.

Vegetarian Nuggets

Vegetarian Nuggets

Ingredients (serves 3)

40g dried TVP chunks
250ml boiling water
1 vegetable stock cube
1 clove of garlic
1 slice of stale bread
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano

Method

Crumble the stock cube into a jug.
Pour on the boiling water and stir until dissolved.
Squeeze garlic through garlic press and stir into the stock.
Add the TVP chunks to the jug.
Leave to stand for about 20 minutes for the TVP to absorb liquid and double in size.
Meanwhile tear the bread into pieces and put in blender.
Whizz the bread into crumbs.
Tip the breadcrumbs into a flat dish.
Season with salt, pepper and oregano.
After about 20 minutes once the TVP has doubled in size, drain off any liquid which remains.
(This liquid can be stored in the fridge for a few days for use in another recipe).
Dip the chunks in the breadcrumbs, ensuring they are fully coated.
Gently heat oil in a frying pan.
Cook the nuggets for approx 4 minutes on each side, turning once.
Serve with your choice of vegetables or salad.
Enjoy.

Vegetarian Nuggets

So verdict on the recipes. Son2 was happy with the Vegetarian Bolognaise but the Nuggets did not hit the spot for him. Son1 liked both though as did I. In fact I found the nuggets delicious with my salad. The boys have agreed going forward that we will alternate between a traditional meat bolognaise and a vegetarian version.

In fact, both these recipes are not only vegetarian, they are actually vegan, so long as you don’t serve grated cheese with the bolognaise.

Here are the links to the two products I received. They come in a range of sizes from 500g to the bulk 15kg.

Textured Vegetable Protein – Plain Chunks (TVP) 500g – made from 100% soya beans.

Textured Vegetable Protein – Plain Mince (TVP) 500g – made from 100% soya beans.

I was pleased with both these products and am now thinking up my next recipe. I did ask the boys for recipe suggestions. I wasn’t too convinced when son2 said how about in a banana milkshake but son1’s idea was to put some of the mince on a pizza. I’ll certainly give that a try as I usually make him a pepperoni pizza, whilst son2’s pizzas are already vegetarian as he won’t try anything except Margarita.

I can’t comment on cost comparison, as I haven’t seen these products elsewhere previously. It is great how versatile these can be. It is like having a blank canvas as the TVP absorbs the flavour of whatever you choose to cook it in.

And one other point to note. Don’t misread the chunks pack like I did initially. I thought it was implying that one cup of chunks would need 7 to 8 cups of water. It actually meant seven eighths of a cup, so in the end I decided it was simplest to do a 1 to 1 ratio. However that was after deciding to only rehydrate a small quantity of chunks, as I assumed they were going to massively increase in size. In fact they hardly increase at all.

Finally a mention about the packaging. As it hasn’t been that long since my earlier post, I wasn’t expecting any change yet. And true enough both of these products were again in plastic, even if it is BPA free plastic. I’m still hoping Buy Whole Foods Online will review their product packaging and switch to a paper-based solution.

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 a pack of both TVP products from Buy Whole Foods Online to one lucky winner. You’ll certainly be able to get creative in the kitchen 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 either of these products.

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

Armour Piercing by Peter Aengenheister plus giveaway

I have received a free e-copy of the book Armour Piercing by Peter Aengenheister to review. This is Peter’s debut novel.

Armour Piercing by Peter Aengenheister

Here is the book blurb.

A defecting Russian space scientist, awaiting debrief, is in a Warwickshire safe house that comes under attack by an assassination squad. He escapes with plans for a conspiracy involving key members of secret services across the Western world. The only person he knows in the UK, or could possibly trust, is Pete Armour, the man who was to be his de-briefer. Killed before he can reach safety, he has hidden the secret papers where only Armour could ever find them. Armour becomes the target when he and a female newspaper reporter find themselves thrust together and on the run from at least two secret service agencies and British Intelligence, who seem more hell bent on killing him than helping him. And there is a price to pay. There’s always a price to pay. This is the first of the Armour trilogy. A gripping read. Fast-paced, a thriller packed with action, twists and turns.

It is set in 1978 when Vasilli, a scientist defecting from Russia has just arrived at the safe house in Warwickshire. The only person he knows in the UK is Pete Armour, who has remained a good friend since Vasilli came on a cultural exchange to Oxford back in 1961 in their university days. And by coincidence, Pete is going to be his debriefer and has advised Vasilli of an emergency backup plan.

He is looking forward to seeing Pete again, when things go wrong as a KGB hitman enters the room. Vasilli suffers a bullet shoulder injury before the secret service agents manage to take the hitman down. Whilst gunfire continues, he hides in another room, where he finds secret documents abandoned on the table. He grabs them and escapes after reading of a major conspiracy. He needs to get to Pete, as now MI5 will be after him too.

Indeed they are. Several different secret service teams and I did get confused as to who was working for who. Every so often, I had to go back and re-read parts of the story. And less than a quarter of the way through the book, Vasilli is killed, but he had succeeded in hiding the papers first. Now Pete along with Clare, a newspaper reporter, whom Vasilli had dropped a cryptic message for Pete in her bag, become the lead characters. Suddenly they find they are now the targets. Can Pete decipher the message and keep one step ahead?

After a slightly slow start, this turns into a real page-turner with loads of twists and turns, although some of it is rather far-fetched.

This book will be published tomorrow and is available for pre-order on Amazon currently priced at £9.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A gripping read. Highly recommended. I’m certainly looking forward to book two.

About the author

Peter Aengenheister was born in Amersham, Bucks. At the age of 18, Peter became a trainee reporter at weekly The Bucks Herald in Aylesbury and the Buckingham Advertiser. Over the next three decades, Peter worked as a reporter, News Editor, Sub Editor and Editor. He worked at The Chronicle and Echo for nine years, and edited the Daventry Express and Rugby Advertiser for nine years a piece.
He then left journalism to work as a fully trained clinical hypno-therapist. Since then, with one of his colleagues, he set up a business selling LED lighting to the industrial and commercial sector. Despite writing stories on a daily basis during his 36 years in journalism, ARMOUR PIERCING is his debut novel.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PeterAengenheis

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a paperback copy of this book to one lucky winner. Open to anyone in the UK, US or Canada.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.


The book tour kicks off today, so you may like to check out some of the other blog stops on the tour.

Armour Piercing by Peter Aengenheister

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

Dark Inheritance by P B Lawson – book review and giveaway

I have received a free e-copy of the book Dark Inheritance by P B Lawson to review. You may find out more about the author on his website.

Dark Inheritance by P B Lawson

Here is the book blurb.

A serial killer is on the loose and a prominent doctor discovers she is not the person she grew up believing herself to be. These seemingly unrelated characters find themselves drawn together by an ancient lineage.

Detective Doug McKenna is baffled by a series of bizarre killings that have shocked the city of Toronto. All the victims have had their throats brutally slashed, yet there is little blood at any of the crime scenes.

Dark Inheritance questions the concept of good and evil and looks at how an ancient predisposition for evil might be genetically passed from generation to generation.

This story, mainly set in Toronto starts with a few short chapters introducing the mysterious killer and detective Doug McKenna. The killer has murdered a prostitute on a path between 2 houses in a residential area. We are then introduced to journalist Jodie Sommers, who is after a scoop, and the residents, who are now suspects.

We then seem to go off at a tangent, as we meet Doctor Stephanie Salkind who has just discovered via paperwork in an old suitcase that she is adopted. From this point onwards, I realised there were several stories entwining with more main characters yet to be introduced. Plus it includes narrative from the fourteenth century, which blends in surprisingly well.

Lots more twists and turns to come in this tale including further deaths.

Dark Inheritance is available on Amazon, currently priced at £7.93 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A gripping thrilling plot.

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

And you may see my other giveaways here.

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

Healthier Chocolate Puddings plus giveaway

Time to share a very tasty recipe with you using a selection of products I received free to review from Buy Whole Foods Online. I was offered carte blanche to select any product from their online shop to use in a recipe of my choosing.

I found there was a great extensive range, so it was a difficult choice, but in the end I opted for cacao, almond flour and date sugar. I’ve never used any of these 3 products previously. In fact I’ve always been mystified as to what is the difference between cacao and cocoa since they look similar, so I decided that now was the time to investigate this question. I discovered that cacao is raw whilst cocoa has been roasted.

BuyWholeFoodsOnline cacao, almond flour and date sugar

Regular readers of my blog will know that in 2019, I am doing my best to reduce our household waste and in particular plastic. So I cast a critical eye over the parcel when it arrived. Thumbs up to Buy Whole Foods Online for using paper packaging to protect the products in transit. However the products themselves were all packed in plastic, which is still plastic even if the packets were labelled as BPA free. I’m sure a paper-based solution could be achieved. Even the supermarkets who have a very high plastic usage, sell most flour and some sugar in paper packets. Hopefully Buy Whole Foods Online will review their product packaging.

I had a recipe idea in mind, when I chose my products and this was to try to make a healthier version emulating those delicious hot chocolate desserts from Gü. I’m not sure if date sugar truly counts as healthy, but I’m sure it must be better than regular sugar. At least I hope so, since I am trying to reduce my use of sugar. So here is my recipe.

Chocolate Puddings

Healthier Chocolate Puddings

Ingredients (serves 4)

75g cacao powder
125g almond flour
100g date sugar
4 eggs
50 ml milk
75g butter

Method

Allow butter to soften at room temperature.
Preheat fan oven to 160 degrees C.
Grease 4 small ramekin dishes.
Beat together all ingredients.
Spoon into the ramekin dishes.
Place dishes on a baking tray.
Cook on middle shelf of oven for 10 minutes, until outside of puddings is set but inside is still soft.
Turn out of ramekins into pudding bowls.
Serve with your choice of creme fraiche, cream, greek yoghurt or ice cream.
Enjoy.

Chocolate puddings

These were delicious, although the inside is only slightly soft. I had originally intended it to be more gooey inside.

Here are the links to the three products I received. They all come in a range of sizes.

Organic Date Sugar 500g – made from 100% organic dried dates. Date sugar is far less processed than other popular sugars and retains the high fibre content of the fruit. It also has a naturally low glycemic index.

Organic Raw Cacao Powder 500g – 100% organic and fully raw. Cacao is highly antioxidant.

Almond Flour 500g (x2) – Low-carb, paleo-friendly, gluten free. They also stock an organic version.

I was very pleased with all three of these products and am now thinking up my next recipe. I can’t comment on cost comparison, as I haven’t seen these products elsewhere previously.

Wish I’d had them before Christmas, as I always make marzipan stuffed dates for Christmas and this year in an effort to reduce sugar, I tried blitzing flaked almonds with a little chopped date together, to use as the filling. It would have been so much easier to have used date sugar and almond flour instead, plus the texture would have been more like marzipan.

I do recommend that you take a look at the Buy Whole Foods Online store. There is a huge amount to choose from. They currently have a special offer of 10% off everything, plus 20% off selected products, using coupon code NEWYEAR19.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway cacao powder, almond flour and date sugar from Buy Whole Foods Online to one lucky winner. Think of the yummy treats you’ll be able to bake with these goodies.

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

Evo by Diane May – book review and giveaway

I have received a free e-copy of the book Evo by Diane May to review. For more information on the author, you may see her website.

Evo by Diane May

Here is the book blurb.

Livio Marchiori, a legendary homicide detective with the highest rate of solved cases in Verona, is faced with The Hypnotist, a serial killer whose modus operandi borders the supernatural and who is as elusive as a ghost. He never touches his victims and he leaves no evidence behind, except for the pen drive showing a dark figure who has the ability to hypnotize people to death…their own.

The more Marchiori digs, the less he finds while the city is on edge with the mayor and the press putting pressure on the police. And when The Hypnotist threatens to kill the love of his life, the chief medical examiner, Marchiori knows that he is quickly running out of time.

So when Captain Victor Miller from Interpol walks into town, Marchiori is more than happy to partner again with the man who two years ago helped him put an entire mafia clan behind bars. But Miller has his own agenda and Marchiori soon discovers that there is more to this than meets the eye, an entire thread of things way beyond his pay grade – secret experiments, dastardly research, and the most terrifying threat humanity has to face.

And just when Marchiori thinks the situation can’t get any worse than this, he finds out that Miller isn’t what he claims to be.

Feeling at the end of his tether and not knowing who to trust anymore, Marchiori begins a race against time to save both the woman he loves and millions of people from dying.

EVO is a gripping serial killer thriller with a shocking twist that will keep you awake until the first light of dawn.

The story starts with a flashback 20 years ago when CIA agent John Blake discovered that illegal genetic experiments had been performed on his young daughter Maya during IVF. Is this why she has special abilities? However there is a chilling note at the end of the file saying “Maya Blake and Christian Brent – test results positive. Terminate her”. He’s not going to let that happen but how?

Fast forward to the present day and there is a serial killer in Verona, seemingly murdering by hypnotism. Detective Captain Marchiori is investigating the case. Meanwhile Maya now lives in Verona too and one day trying to thwart a thief, she bumps into a gorgeous stranger, Christian Brent. By a twist of fate, Chris is dating Maya’s best friend Sara. A huge argument, another murder and a disappearance, followed by a trip to Africa. What is going on?

And then Captain Victor Miller from Interpol arrives on the scene, aka Maya’s ex fiancé, Alex. Who is he really and what is his agenda?

There is much much more to come in this story. It had me on the edge of my seat.

Evo is available on Amazon, currently priced at £4.99 in Kindle format. A thrilling read with a fantastically woven storyline.

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

And you may see my other giveaways here.

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

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

Christmas holiday wear £150+ giveaway

Well we are into November now, so I believe it is perfectly fine to mention the Xmas word. Perhaps you are thinking about ordering personalised Christmas photo cards. We did some cards of the boys a couple of years ago which everyone loved. But how about taking it a step further with the whole family wearing matching Christmas outfits in the picture. No I’m not just talking about Christmas jumpers. I actually mean the entire ensemble from top to toe.

Christmas family outfits

So what’s your opinion on this fashion statement – cute or cheesy? You would certainly make a grand entrance at the Christmas party.

Christmas family outfits

And here is one just of the kids. The above are just two of the designs sold by https://www.shinesty.com/

Shinesty can kit the whole family out in matching Christmas dresses or suits plus a onesie for the baby. There’s even an outfit for your four-legged friend.

But watch out if you plan to browse their website with your children, as they do sell more risqué items too. Plus there are a few rude words on their website. Shinesty are based in the US, but they ship worldwide.

And I’m hosting a giveaway courtesy of Shinesty to win a set of matching Christmas outfits for all the family – parents and children. This giveaway is open worldwide.

The winning family can choose between three matching sets – Millenial Snowflake, Navy Nordic or Lincoln Log, selecting their preferred style and sizing requirements.

Prize value will vary depending on sizes and styles chosen by the winner, but I estimate it to start from upwards of £150 for a 3-person family. And obviously more for a larger family.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 what you like to wear best for Christmas.

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Disclosure.  Although I am hosting this giveaway, I have not received any products.  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.

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.

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.

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

Family Fever

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