My Review of the Best Subscription Boxes

  1. Degustabox

Everybody loves food. If she is a lover of good quality good tasting food then the only right thing to do is to get her this subscription box. What’s better than to get your favorite kind of food at your door step every month.

Each box will contain 10-13 of her favorite treats from beverages to meat, snacks and vegetarian treats.

 

  1. Japan candy box

There are only a few women who have the audacity or the courage to say no to say no to sweets. Japan candy box is a subscription that gives you only the best treats that she will absolutely love and adore.

Each box contains 8-10 treats in it which are enough to last few weeks or enough until the next package arrives. Some common candies that are given in this crate are Puccho watermelon chew candy, Yaokin sour paper candy, Rilakkuma biscuits sticks and any more

 

  1. Secret scent box

The women who are into different kind of scents and fragrances have no better option then Secret Scent Box. The box gives some of the scents and fragrances from world renowned brands such as Gucci and Hugo boss

The best thing about secret scent box is that it is not limited to only perfumes and colognes whether it be body mist or roll-ons as long as it has a good scent it would be in the gift box.

 

  1. Glossy Box

There are very few things that gives women some relaxation and one of them is a nice long bath if she is looking for something like that then this the right place Glossy Box offers their customers bath salts, candles, solid soaps and many more another fun thing that it cones with various themes such as Halloween themed or Christmas themed an the best part is that it also gives instructions to how to use different products and tells the ingredients too so that she knows exactly what she is using and in the correct way.

 

  1. Craftiosity

If she is crafty person and wants to spend her time productively while having fun then craftiosity provides you with everything that you need. Modern arts and crafts tools and kits it also gives instructions to how to use each tool effectively and spend her to make something beautiful out of these things.

This subscription box is truly amazing it gives out of the ordinary items which are very satisfactory to use and gives best results in the previous package there were items for ceramic, lino cutting, cyanotype printing and book binding it also gives instruction in a video to teach them how to set things up.

 

K’NEX Mighty Makers

Recently my eldest daughter has been very interested in everything science related, from our own little science experiments to astronomy and all the wonderful things she is learning about in school. I think it’s really important that children learn as much STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) as possible. So when we were asked by K’NEX to review the new Mighty Makers range I thought it would be great for my girls to try out.

The Mighty Makers range is essentially K’NEX aimed at inspiring girls, and by that I don’t mean it’s covered in pink glitter in the usual way things are aimed at girls, but in a nice, subtle and positive way in my opinion.

My girls were so excited for their Mighty Makers to arrive, my youngest had decided on the Deep Sea Dive set and her older sister chose the Inventors Clubhouse set. When they arrived and I had to collect them from the lovely neighbour that had taken them in for us, there were many shouts of joy and jumping around.

Even though it was a weekday evening we opened up the boxes and I set the girls on their way, I explained that the best way to start was to lay everything out on the floor in lines to make sure they could see which pieces they had, this took them a good half hour and then we were ready to get making. My eldest, who is only just over the recommended age herself, needed very little help and focussed on her club house model and motor car (which actually moves!) for a good few days, only taking a break for food, dance classes and sleeping. It was fascinating to watch and I was pleasantly surprised at her persistence even when some parts “just won’t fit!

As our weekend progressed our living room floor became the work space and the whole family became involved at some point, my youngest daughter did need a little help with her Deep Sea Dive set, however she really grasped the idea of reading the instructions and following them, she seemed to learn an awful lot from working on her K’NEX. Once both sets were finished we had a deep sea diver and her boat, plus the sea beneath, including marine life and the option to turn the girl, Marrisa, into a mermaid. Also a marine life food chain option or a mermaid castle. That’s the beauty of K’NEX I guess, you can make so many different things.

The Inventors Clubhouse was a really great set, once my eldest girl had completed it I was impressed with all the details, there was a pulley mechanism in one area to pull the lift up, and a zip wire that the girls, Audrey and Emily, can ride on. The idea behind the inventors club house is that the girls are the inventors and once you’ve made the car and club house you can then create their inventions, such as an egg beater, I thought that was an excellent idea.

K’NEX have always been something I have liked the look of, and have considered buying some for my girls before, but I am definitely adding more of these sets to my Christmas list for them now. I would recommend them as well. The quality of the pieces were great and are really good value for money in my opinion, they kept us all entertained for hours. The Mighty Makers sets also have other educational elements and I love teaching my girls at home, so opening up a conversation about marine biology and inventing was lovely for us.

We were sent these sets for the purpose of review.

Ruddy Rats!

I’m very happy to be the Official Family Blogger for The Riverfront Theatre in Newport, and one of my first reviews for them was the wonderful panto Dick Wittington, and wonderful really is cutting the long story short.

All parents want when it comes to Christmas, or any time of year for that matter, is for our children to be happy, healthy and have fun right? So when I looked down at my children’s faces laughing and smiling at the brilliant performances on the stage, and transfixed without a second of boredom I knew that this was something special. The fact that I only caught a few glimpses of those happy faces because I was fascinated and enjoying myself says it all really, and my attention was possibly only dragged away because one of those spinning, flashing wand things had been shoved in my face- kids love those things don’t they?

Dick (Gareth Tempest) and Tommy (Emma Goodwin) shared their story with us with such energy and honesty that the whole audience was hooked straight away. The lovely Bowbells (Nerine Skinner) really brought some sparkle to the proceedings by clarifying the story as we went along as well, and lots of children were in awe every time she popped up just like magic!

There was also the brilliant mix of silly jokes that children laughed at and old references that parents giggled at, I was shocked to discover my children have no idea what the Titanic theme tune is, thanks for making me feel old whoever wrote that in! Oh and for the double entendres that the older ones in the audience were amused by (very amused indeed!).

As the story progressed and Sarah the Cook (Lee Mengo) was introduced the bright and colourful aspect of the pantomime really came to life, I am a fan of Lee, he really becomes the character he plays and has a unique way of playing the dame role and a surprisingly impressive singing voice! We saw Lee in Cinderella at the Riverfront a couple of years ago and thought exactly the same then, I’d even go as far as to say he steals the show.

Sarah the Cook accompanies Alice (Elin Llywd) and her father Alderman Fitzwarren (Michael Onslow who takes on no less than three roles), they have a real rapport and are lovely to watch, the Moroccan scene is so bright and colourful, including the dancing rats who were a breath of fresh air at various points of the show, I told my children that I can dance like that as they spun around the floor, oh how they laughed!

One of my little ones commented that “The stinky man was my favourite”, meaning King Rat (Richard Elis) of course, although I am sure he isn’t stinky really, and I understand why he was a favourite- a lot of children like to make as much noise as possible and shouting “RUDDY RAT!” when King Rat arrived on stage was exciting for them, along with the usual BOO and HISSSS! The hilarious jokes King Rat came up with also had the kids giggling and I think many parents will agree this kind of interaction in a show is great as it keeps the children engaged and helps keep them focussed. Well done Mr Rat.

We didn’t want the fun to end but Tommy had eliminated all the rats, including King Rat, which was slightly bitter sweet. So Newport, London and Morocco were safe and Dick and Alice were free to get married. Hooray! Fuzzy warm feelings all around!

The Riverfront also came up with a brilliant idea to stream the panto to two local hospitalsl to bring a little happiness to children who are poorly there, and I personally think this was a commendable thing to do, I do hope those children are all feeling better now ready for the new term in school.

I was incredibly impressed with this production and the quality of the acting, singing and dancing was outstanding. We can’t wait for next years show already. Everyone I spoke to that has seen the panto agreed as well, so I think it’s safe to say this was a hit.

It is worth mentioning as well that I always feel comfortable taking my children to The Riverfront, it is definitely family orientated and the space inside the venue also makes the visit more pleasant, no busy crowds or stuffy waiting areas to worry about losing the children in- yes I am one of those over anxious Mothers, and a little cafe selling all sorts of food and snacks, including those picnic boxes for the kids and coffee for the parents, reasonably priced too.

I will be sharing other things about The Riverfront here so check back for more!

Disclosure- I was given tickets for the purpose of review however all views are 100% mine and my family’s.

A great cup of tea

How to prevent what I call “eeeeeurgh! What the hell is this?!”…

I make a good cup of tea, no I am not blowing my own trumpet, many friends and family and also elderly ladies and gentlemen I have worked with, say I make a good cup of tea.

Here’s the thing- to make a good cup of tea you have to think about what the person perceives a good cup of tea to be, so you have to ask the person you are making it for how they like it. Now I do seem like a nut case when I ask how someone takes their tea as they will reply “weak, milk and no sugar” I will then ask if they mean strong tea with lots of milk to make it weak or only dip the bag a little… I know, I know, It’s crazy to ask so much about a cup of tea! But I’ll ask once, get it right, and remember every time after that, and you know what? It will make a difference to that person’s day, possibly only a small difference but a difference regardless.

For example- I worked with a lady that was receiving a course of chemotherapy and she just wanted a cup of tea that day as she was off her food, I made it, gave it to her and it really cheered her up as it was “perfect”. Imagine if it wasn’t how she liked it? I know I think too much sometimes, but I like to think my tea making efforts make a difference and will continue to make an effort in this area regardless.

What do you think? Have you ever had a terrible cup of tea (or coffee?) that made you feel a bit sad? I have, and for the record I like mine very strong with lots of milk and no sugar, thanks!

Honk! The Ugly Ducking

As usual we were running late and being given a lift to the Sherman Theatre as it was our first visit and I wasn’t sure about the parking situation, we ran inside and were taken up to the balcony, it was less disruptive because the show had started already, and my little ones would rather sit with me anyway.

Once we had settled ourselves and started watching the story unfold the other ducklings were already being a little bit mean to the poor ugly duckling as he honked sadly, my youngest then started asking questions and it occurred to me that I can’t remember reading The Ugly Duckling to my children before, I don’t know why since it was one of my favourites growing up, but it’s all about the Gruffalo’s Child and Funny Bones in our house these days.

What stood out to me at first was how gentle the lighting was, and how the stage area was very compact but being used effectively, we were taken on a journey with The Ugly Duckling which actually made me feel quite emotional at times (reminding me of lonely times in my life maybe? Sigh…) this meant that none of the smaller children in the audience were startled or over whelmed, and even though it was gentle enough for them my eldest didn’t take her eyes off the story either. I think my little one’s favourite part of the show was when the hunting dog came along, this part certainly raised a few laughs and “silly doggy” comments. Also the eldest child likes a bit of toilet humour so when the duckling tried to lay an egg and wind appeared I heard plenty of giggles!

The three performers in The Ugly Duckling Iwan Charles, Anni Dafydd and Gwenllian Higginson, did a fantastic job of providing us with an engaging, funny and touching performance, I personally really enjoyed the show and so did both of my children, and even as a proper grown up (I must be with two children and bills to pay right?) I can honestly say I was very impressed at the way the story was told with few costume changes and mostly static props being used in imaginative ways.

As winter drew in and the little ugly duckling became colder and more lonely the room went quiet, even the toddlers that were pottering about seemed to still with the gentle music, and that was another brilliant aspect of the show, the music and lighting really set the mood and helped the story move along smoothly. I didn’t see any children being taken outside for getting too restless and noticed the smiles the swans gave to some of the smaller children who wandered up for a closer look. The final scenes as the ugly duckling transforms, were mesmerising, the look on the transformed duckling’s face was lovely, and the conclusion left me feeling all happy inside, and those balloons! Where do I get those?!

The Sherman Theatre clearly know how to put on a show and certainly catered for the younger audience with this production. From the relaxed layout and intimate room, to the gentle but very effective music and lighting and of course fantastic acting on display, I don’t think anyone was disappointed with The Ugly Duckling, I didn’t know what to expect, but was very pleasantly surprised indeed.

When talking to the children later on I tried to cement the moral of the story it went like this-

“….And he wasn’t an ugly duckling at all was he?”

“No Mummy! He was a MAN!”

We did get there in the end but that made me laugh!

I didn’t get to try out the food at The Sherman Theatre this time but the menu looked very inviting and when we visit again (which we definitely will) I will report back my findings, the toilets were immaculate though, you will be pleased to hear, and even had those snazzy Dyson hand dryers that kids love.

*Tickets were provided for review purposes.

Shiny Happy Things

Let me start by saying that I don’t have the first clue about fashion or trends, and what ‘celebs’ are wearing does not interest me, I just can’t get my head around it all. Basically if something looks nice to me/ or is comfortable (not necessarily in that order) then I’ll wear it. Of course it is nice to wear something that others might appreciate too sometimes, but basically I please myself and probably look a mess to those who do ‘get it’, c’est la vie! The fact that I have NO TIME to concentrate on my appearance generally doesn’t help either.

That said I have recently been thinking that it is nice to treat yourself once in a while and I should build on my wardrobe and make-up collection a little as they are dismal right now. So I thought why not share these little (tiny!) extravagances here?

There are plenty of amazing blogs/ vlogs that can give you some great tips on what will look good with your skin tone or what is ‘on trend’ right now, this isn’t one of them, this will be more- “Ooh look at this nice shiny thing I found and like!” and will probably be nail varnish heavy, I like a nice nail varnish. However It could be a nice dress I found, some make-up, things for the house or socks! All the little things I like and want to share.

So here is the first of my Shiny Happy Things-

I was in the chemist the other day waiting for a prescription (see? no glamour here) and there was a little bit of time to look at the gift sets and make-up, so I thought I’d take a look at the nail varnish, I noticed the Rimmel shelf and all the lovely bright colours at the one end, such vibrant orange and blues and yellow and… OH SPARKLES! Yes, like a magpie, I picked up “Disco ball” and then put it back and thought “I am too old for that”, once I’d given myself a shake and reminded myself that it doesn’t matter how old I am, I should just buy what I like and enjoy it, I took it to the till (with some toothpaste, yawn).

I imagine Disco Ball is intended as a top coat really, to add some sparkle to an existing colour, but I was happy with the glitter on it’s own. I put a little bit on and loved it right away, it dried quickly and was lovely and glittery in the little bit of sunshine we’ve had this week (between hail storms and rain), and my little ones were very impressed with Mummy’s sparkly nails-

There is an added bonus to this varnish, it has sadly chipped (but then again I didn’t buff the nails or add a topcoat either so possibly my own fault) but because of the nature of it you can’t even notice! For a busy Mum who will look at her nails in the morning and think “oh I must sort those out” and not get around to it for days (because of the NO TIME thing) I would recommend this little bottle of happiness. It certainly cheered me up. I think I will experiment with using this as a top coat and adding a little sparkle to my other colours now.

So I will share these little finds as I come across them and use #shinyhappythings to keep track. Send me your finds as well please!

Carddies Review

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Carddies as it seemed like such a simple idea to me, and I did think that some simple cardboard cut-outs to colour in might not hold the children’s attention for long. But I was wrong, very wrong! Yes the idea is very simple but sometimes the more simple the idea the better.

When the Carddies set arrived they were smaller than I imagined, but slotted straight through our letterbox which seems like a great idea to me. We then got stuck straight into opening the matchbox style box and unpacking the contents- the first thing that struck me was the fact that the cardboard cut-out people were very good quality, they were thick enough not to be bent easily and finished very well in my opinion.

The little ones were keen to get started on the colouring and I have to admit I wanted to have a little go myself, so we had a lovely time colouring in the first little fairy, once we’d finished one and some of the backdrop both myself and the youngest child toddled off to get on with our day, however my eldest daughter carried on colouring, naming and creating her very own fairy family, she also finished the lovely backdrop, and proceeded to choreograph a show for us all of course! I think there was a fairy villain and one called Bob, but they all lived happily ever after – Phew!

We were all very impressed with the Carddies set and my eldest asked if she could have all the different sets for Christmas! We will definitely be buying more sets in the future, and there are lots of different types to collect, so something for everyone

I was kind of expecting these Carddies to be put down once they had been coloured and not be picked up again, however they have their own space safely tucked away and have been brought out and played with a number of times since.

I can see this activity being great for travelling or when you need to take little ones somewhere they can’t run around, as it certainly caught my children’s attention for a good while. Carddies will certainly help alleviate the boredom.

Thank you to Carddies for sending this set to us, we would definitely recommend them to other families.

Find out more about Carddies here- Carddies.com

Oberwerth Kate Review

Let me start by saying I am not really interested in fashion, shoes or handbags usually but I love my camera, and even though I am not interested in fashion I was recently on the look out for a camera bag that would house my precious camera, and not look like I was about to go hiking (since that’s very unlikely as well), but I stumbled across Oberwerth and knew I’d found the right place.

Every bag on the Oberwerth website looked like great quality and spacious as well as quite stylish too, and certainly not hikers back packs. It was also reassuring to read things like-

Every single Oberwerth bag is made by expert craftsmen. As all of our products are made in Germany from beginning to end, under fair working conditions, we have a constant influence on production.

When Oberwerth suggested I try out their new Kate bag I was very excited, the Kate bag was born from a Kickstarter campaign and was newly launched so I would get to be one of the first ones to try it out.

So I waited a little while for my bag to arrive and when it did I couldn’t wait to open it, the first thing I noticed was that it came inside a protective pillowcase size bag with ‘Oberwerth handmade in Germany’ on it. A nice touch which is welcomed when your delivery driver chooses to leave the parcel in the rain!

As soon as the Kate was removed from all the packaging the quality and simplicity of it was obvious instantly, the bag was smooth to touch and clearly made from excellent quality leather, the button on the front caught my attention as well and I put it on Instagram immediately. I know I said I’m not really interested in handbags but this is one I can get on board with; the stitching, the soft handle and long strap for comfort if needed, the space and pockets and so on…

Of course I had to try it out straight away, and I managed to fit my Canon 350D body, my Canon nifty fifty and some filters in the camera insert without any trouble at all, the little Velcro tabs on top and bottom kept the lid down nice and safely, and the insert from slipping. And when the bag is being carried it naturally encases the camera insert so it doesn’t move around at all.

I have so far taken my new Kate bag on photo shoots, days out with my girls, to work, camera club, the park and pretty much anywhere else I’ve been since I had it! When I say “Do you like my new camera bag?” people are shocked as they think it’s just my usual handbag, so I think it’s fair to say it’s done the trick.

I know I mentioned the quality briefly but let me elaborate: Every single stitch is perfectly aligned, every fold is in place and every ounce of fabric is flawless, as well as being wipe clean, which as a Mum I find incredibly useful. I may not be a fan of handbags and shoes, but I am a fan of quality and Oberwerth have delivered that and more.

A little more about the Kate-

Each Kate is made from carefully selected, high-quality leather. The insert is made of Cordura® which is also used for our bags and other inserts. The material is extremely tear-proof, durable and easy to care for. Furthermore it is waterproof as well as oil and dirt resistant.

Every bag will be delivered with two shoulder straps that can be attached to the bag with carabiners. The longer cotton shoulder strap can be adjusted in its lengths. Thereby the bag can for example be worn as a messenger bag. The shorter economically formed leather strap is very soft and comfortable to wear on the shoulder.

“Kate” can be transformed from an elegant handbag to a practical photo bag within seconds. The removable insert offers enough space for one camera body and two lenses. In addition there is enough space in the bag for a 13” laptop. The outer zipper pocketdoes also comfortably fit a tablet.

That’s right, you can fit a laptop and tablet in the bag as well if you wish, although I have chosen to keep in it a whole manner of random things (mostly receipts!), as well as my camera of course. That’s the best thing about this bag, before I had to plan to take my camera with me, in its case which was quite bulky and not very attractive, now I can carry it with me all the time and never miss a photographic opportunity again, Brilliant!

Overall I cannot fault the Kate bag from Oberworth, and I think that if anyone is looking for a feminine take on a camera bag then this is a great option, I have gained a lot of use out of mine already and intend to continue using it for a long time to come.

The Kate costs from 599,00 € which obviously places it in the high end category, but you get what you pay for, and the quality and convenience this beauty provides is well worth the price in my opinion. I’ve been using the bag for a few weeks now, nearly every day, and it’s still like it was when I opened the box.

I was sent the Kate bag from Oberwerth for the purpose of an honest review, opinions my own as always.

Autumn Fashion

I’ve said before that I’m not a fashionista of any kind, but recently I’ve found myself on the plus size website simplybe.co.uk and buying the odd dress here and there, I even found a lovely dress in Sainsburys a few weeks ago for a work do, that I have found can be dressed up or down and have worn often already, and luckily it goes really well with my Hotter shoes, which are a lovely autumn colour right?

So even though we are only in August and have hardly even had a summer yet, I’ve been thinking of ways I can incorporate my recent purchases when the weather inevitably turns, and quite simply I will be adding boots and a smart jacket into the equation. Of course my Oberwerth bag will be tagging along with me everywhere so I will be considering that.

I have also had a little think about the skirt and tights combo, which I’ve admired for a while but never got around to trying out.

As we approach the end of the summer, many are predicting the next autumn fashion trend, and if you take a look at the big magazines and high end fashion sites there are plenty of bizarre things that are popping up for the autumn season, including statement chokers and velvet, but I’m not that brave and I think I’ll stick to the more reserved ‘fashion’ thank you very much. However I have had my eye on Irregular Choice shoes for a while now!

So whilst this isn’t a fashion post as such, and I’m not brave enough to share a photo of myself in my lovely dresses as yet, do you think it would be interesting to hear my thoughts on fashion or shall I stick to what I know? Let me know in the comments below. I think it could be interesting to follow my discovery of some clothing and other ‘things’ from the fashion industry what do you think?

How To Get Freestuff For Anything

If you’re wondering how you can get free stuff for anything, you should know that you can get anything for free if you know how to get it.

If you’re into coffee, there are several coffee brands that offer a free cup of coffee. For Caribou Coffee, you only need to make a web-based account to get a cup of coffee totally free. For Starbucks, you only need to request an employee to get a Starbucks card in your next visit, then file it online. With Krispy Kreme coffee, register on the official Krispy Kreme website to get exclusive offers, including a free moderate drink (plus another in your birthday).

If you want free treats, you’re in for a treat. If you like Godiva chocolate, sign up with Godiva’s Rewards Club to get a piece of free chocolate once a moth at a participating store. For Pretzelmaker, join the eatery’s mailing list at pretzelmaker.com for a “buy one, get one free” coupon. If you like eating at the Cheesecake Factory, let the waiter know that it’s your birthday (even if it’s not). By the end of the meal, you will be treated to a birthday cake with serenade.

For ice cream, join Friendly’s Birthday Club to get a free three-scoop sundae when you buy any adult entrée. You will also receive birthday offers for your loved ones as well as you. Join the Birthday Club to get a free scoop coupon and discounts on your ice cream cake. If you join Cold Stone Creamery’s Birthday Club, you will get a free treat. You can get free ice cream anywhere by looking out for ice cream shops for free taste test to customers.

If you like free entertainment (who doesn’t?), you can rent a movie for free on your birthday when you sign up with Hollywood Video. If you like going around visiting local attractions, there are many amusement parks, zoos, museums and theatres that offer birthday specials. Be sure to call and verify for birthday specials.

If you enjoy your lunch or dinner at Outback Steakhouse, TGIF and QDOBA, you can actually get free appetizers. Just do some research on how you can get your free stuff.

If you would like to get your hands on some of free stuff like bars of chocolate, bottles of hand cream and so much more, your best bet is to go to a website that gathers all that information on free stuff and samples, rather go to individual companies and check out each of their offers, which would only take too much of your time. Just go to Google and search “just free stuff“.

You should sign up with these websites using a separate email account so you don’t get flooded with spam email. Once you have an account, get a hold of your free stuff. It may take some time before the free stuff arrives, but we promise you, it will be worth the wait.