I have a case for my iPad but when I was offered a review of a personalised case from Caseable, I figured it was an offer I should not refuse.
The caseable site is quite easy to navigate and I was able to sign in and create my own design quite easily. I had originally decided to put a picture on only on the front cover but Andrew from Caseable suggested that I put one on the back too. Since I already had a picture of the three children on the front, I was wondering what to put on the back.
I decided to upload different pictures of the children on the back cover to make a collage. I sent the pictures to Andrew and he created it for me but I later looked on the website and it is quite easy to do it on your own too.
It took about 10 days for the case to be made and delivered which was pretty quick, I think.
Just one downside about the iPad case is that it does not have any provision for the camera so you need to use the front camera or remove it each time you want to take a picture. Other than that, the material is good and the inside is also well made and the iPad is pretty secure in it as it is held in place with elasticised bands.
I think this would make a lovely Father’s Day gift with Father’s Day around the corner. There is a huge range of pictures that you could choose from and they are all really nice and elegant. Otherwise you could upload your own pictures for a truly customised case.
Cases are available for several Smartphone models, e-readers, Laptops, Tablets and iPads.
The great thing about this is that it does not dry out and that involves many hours of squishing it around. It feels a bit sticky to touch but it does not leave the hands feeling grimy or ‘icky’ as my children say.
When I first saw it, I was worried that the little balls would come apart and be all over the place. This however did not happen and the little balls stick together leaving no mess.
The children mixed all the colours together and they now have a multicoloured mass instead of separate colours as it is a bit difficult to remove the colours separately once they have been joined to make something.
One downside that I found and can be worked with is that it seemed to collect any bits of dust or food that is on the floor and that makes it kind of messy to play with. If you manage to keep the children crafting only at a table, then it’s a fabulous idea.
We had a squirrel making competition and it was great fun.
I also found it quite a good exercise to make it into a ball and squeeze it as my wrist gives me trouble sometimes.
It’s a great idea for schools as it never dries out and is quite versatile.
If you think you would like this product for your children, head over to the Learning Resources Facebook page and enter their competition to win.
There is a special offer for all my readers. Enter BLOGGER13 at checkout to avail of free delivery.
Why we love my Fresh Express at home can be summed up in my daughter asking me – “Mummy, when I grow up and have my own house, can I borrow your Fresh Express?”
I had been eyeing the Fresh Express ever since I saw the advertisement on the television and was pleasantly surprised when I received it as a gift for being part of the Tefal Innovation Panel via Mumsnet.
The Fresh Express is compact and looks good and is a great addition to any kitchen. Its bright colours will definitely brighten up anyone’s day. I use it for chopping, grating, slicing virtually all my fruits and vegetables.
Since I have had it, it now rests on my kitchen counter and I have removed another gadget to give it pride of place. It is easier to also have it readily available since I use it so often.
With my children always wanting to be part of the cooking process, I find the Fresh Express a great help as it is quite safe for children to use, of course supervised by an adult. You just switch it on and press on the dial and it does all the hard work.
It is so easy and simple to use – you click in the plastic attachment, then the cone you need and start dicing or slicing your ingredients. The is a slicer, dicer and 3 types of graters. What I like about it is that it is not too noisy as my little girl does not really like the sound of blenders/mixers.
It is also easy to clean as the cones are easily removable and if you just soak it for a little while so you get the food particles out of any crevices , you can have it squeaky clean in no time. Storage is easy as all the cones fit into the plastic attachment and can be clipped in.
The children now have their cereal without grumbling as I chop apples, bananas and walnuts to add to it and this makes a great morning ‘pick me up’.
We also have a fruit salad quite often so I have an excuse to use my favourite gadget.
With the run up to Fresh Week, I have been trying to incorporate more salads into our diet and have made a beetroot salad and coleslaw with red cabbage, carrot, apples and walnut that the children just loved.
It is great for grating cheese and coconut too and slicing onions.
Tefal UK is running a Fresh Week Challenge until the 19 of May so there is still time to get there and have a Fresh Weekend! For those of you who miss out, you could go to their page and like their page and you could get a 25% discount on the Fresh Express when purchased from Home and Cook, Tefal’s E-commerce site.
Ever thought of attempting something different as a day out? Look no further -
Go Canoeing, the Olympic legacy initiative from Canoe England, has announced the dates for National Go Canoeing Week 2013, taking place from Saturday 18th – Sunday 26th May.
The eight-day initiative will give the public a chance to pick up a paddle and discover what’s on offer at over 400 canoe and kayak clubs and centres across the country, with the aim to get as many people on the water as possible. Through offering a wide range activities, the initiative will ensure there is an experience for everyone to easily get involved with, whether they are a canoeing newbie or experienced paddler.
Participants of all ages and abilities will be offered a range of easily accessible and sociable activities to get involved in; from Starter Sessions, Demo Days and Guided Tours to give beginners their first taste of paddling, to Canoe Trails for the more advanced seeking adventure, the initiative also offers a number of mass participation and social events.
Sue Hornby, Director of Development at Canoe England, said: “As one of the UK’s most popular watersports, we want to use National Go Canoeing Week to get the public paddling.
“If you have never tried it before, or are an experienced paddler, the variety of different activities taking place across the country means that everyone can get involved. We want to show how fun, social and easy the sport is – whether you are looking for the ideal family activity, something different to do with friends or ways to socialise and try something new.
“With about 1.2 millionadults in the UK canoeing every year and just over one per cent of households owning a canoe or kayak we hope that raising the profile of the sport, and enabling more people to try it, will increase these figures and encourage people to participate on a more regular basis.”
Some of the activities participants will be able to take part in during National Go Canoeing Week are:
At our house we all love crisps so when we got an opportunity to try something new via Tots100– Walkers Hoops and Crosses, I jumped at the chance. Hoops and crosses sounded really fun and besides we love the Walkers brand.
When the product arrived, we were actually on our way out, but the children (and I) were most excited with the box so we opened it up and were pleasantly surprised to find the Walkers Hoops and Crosses in a roast beef flavour and a plush monkey.
Well, needless to say both Monty Monkey and the Hoops and Crosses accompanied us on the drive to visit family. My children are always hungry the moment they get into the car and this time they didn’t even wait for me to strap myself in! Monty has now become my little girl’s favourite plush.
The Hoops and crosses were crunchy and very tasty with a meaty flavour. They are shaped as the name suggests like hoops and crosses and will make for a great game of noughts and crosses provided we can keep them without eating them for that long!
What I like about them is that they are baked and contain only 85 calories, so now I can enjoy them without feeling too guilty. Made from wholegrain and having no artificial colours or preservatives it is also healthier.
I then received orders for them to be bought with the next shop so that they could go into lunch boxes, snack time and long car drives.
It has 30% less fat so I can feel better about giving them to the children (and myself). They come in two other flavours – Salt and Vinegar and Prawn Cocktail. All 3 flavours are suitable for vegetarians. I definitely hope that there will be more flavours added soon so I have an excuse to taste them all.
Madeleine McCann went missing whilst on holiday with her parents, in Praia da Luz, Portugal on Thursday 3rd May 2007 shortly before her 4th birthday. 6 years later, she is still missing. Today 12 May 2013 is her 10th birthday and this is a campaign #Blogging4Madeleine to raise awareness and hopefully to step up the search for her.
In many parts of the world, today is being celebrated as Mother’s Day and as a mother I know how painful it must be to have a child missing. The greatest gift for Madeleine’s mother today would be to have her daughter back.
Madeleine has bluey-green eyes and her right eye is rather distinctive as the pupil runs into the iris.
To report any sightings or information, contact
Your local police force immediately, AND
+44 845 838 4699 or email@example.com
OR Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111
Visit the Official website at www.findmadeleine.com and download any material that may help in the campaign and display it on your social network profile or schools or anywhere you think may raise awareness. She could be anywhere in the world and the website has a number of posters in different languages.
In the light of the 3 American girls who have been recently rescued after missing for 12 years, there is still hope of finding Madeleine and other missing children like April Jones and Ben Needham. You can find more information at Missing People, a registered charity for missing people and Missing Kids
30 years – 3 hundred thousand memories… (no, I am not going to list them all!)
A big thank you to Britmums and SpecialK for thinking this up this excellent linky challenge – How I’ve Changed. In writing this post, I have gone back in time to so many beautiful memories that have resurfaced today.
30 years ago, I was 10. Life was easier then, I guess. No responsibilities except my schoolwork. It was only play and friends and laughter. I loved listening to music, singing and writing.
Some of my favourite songs and they are still quite popular today were Every Breathe You Take(Police), Up Where We Belong, Flashdance, Beat It.
1983 – I remember for my 10th Birthday my Mum stitched me this dress that I saw in one of the films and wanted it. It was a lovely frilly dress (white with red spots and with red frills interspersed) She stayed up all night getting it ready so I could wear for Easter Service which was on 3rd April 4 days before my birthday.
1992 – My Parents’ Silver Wedding Anniversary – We had a lovely service followed by a grand feast and music and dancing. All the family got together with friends to celebrate this day. At the end of it, we all talked about the next celebration – their Golden Anniversary in 2017.
1994 – My 21st Birthday – I had a great party at home with my friends and family. I was in University then doing my Bachelors degree and it was there that I met my husband. We were really good friends and didn’t know when love struck!!
2000 – My 27th Birthday – As a present, my husband presented me with an engagement ring.
2001 – December – My wedding day – My parents made a huge effort to make this the most wonderful day of my life….and it was! Little did I know that there were so many more precious ones to come…
2004 – December – The birth of my first child – No day compares to the first time you hold your baby in your arms. It’s like having your heart outside your body. All at once, I wanted to give her everything I had ever had and everything I missed. I could not stop looking at her and spoilt her rotten. My husband and Mum were with me during my labour and it was the greatest moment of my life (or one of them as I would soon know!)
2008 – November – The birth of my son – I thought this would be a little less special but I felt the same wonder and love at holding my second child. I knew about girls – I am one. My son would teach me all about little boys and how different they can be. I now began learning about cars, Transformers, Spiderman and Buzz Light Year
2011 – June – A very difficult birth – but all turned out just right. My youngest daughter – so like her sister and yet so different. I didn’t hold her until 9 days after her birth because I was in the Intensive Trauma Unit (but thats another story). She cries the loudest, smiles the sweetest and is so independent and clingy at the same time.
2012 – Tragedy strikes – My darling Mum passes away. There would be no Golden Anniversary in 2017. I have lost a huge part of me. I used to be called her ‘tail’ because I was stuck to her always following her around as a little girl. And yet, I have to be grateful for the wonderful years we spent together, the special moments we shared, the cherished memories we made.
2013 – I blog, I write and have just self published my own children’s book Jade and the Tooth Fairy. I love what I do and in my writing I find myself evolving. I have learnt so many things over the past year – how to pitch, how to write blog posts incorporating pictures, how to write reviews and most of all I have come across some wonderful people who share my brilliant world of blogging.
In the last 30 years I have travelled around the world. I have qualified to teach and enjoyed sharing knowledge with children.
There have been weddings and baptisms, births and deaths, highs and lows, reunions and misunderstandings and each is a special memory.
Through my children, I have relived and continue to relive my childhood. I have learnt to see humour in the littlest things, to stop in my path to watch a snail cross, to cut sandwiches into different shapes just like my mum would do, to stand and see patterns and shapes in the clouds, to enjoy Carousel rides and theme parks, to build with Lego, mould with PlayDoh and play House and have Swordfights. I now read to my children just like my Mum and Dad would do to me. I now tie bows instead of wearing them. Instead of being cared for…I now care for – my children, my family.
I still love music, singing and writing.
Appearance wise – I still have the same lovely brown hair (thanks to L’Oreal, Garnier and the like), I am taller by almost a foot ( in my stilettos), I have put on a few pounds ( I am not going to mention how many more) and my skin is exactly as flawless as it was (yeah right!)
But on a more sober note – The events of my life have helped me cherish my life (after nearly losing it) and try to always see the bright side of things. I have not only grown but have grown up. Most of all I have learnt to take each day as it comes and live it to the fullest.
In 30 years, Kelloggs SpecialK has also changed and this is why I love the new SpecialK
I love the new SpecialK – the only problem is so does everyone else at home, which means less for me!
I have tried the Special K before and didn’t much like the taste because it became soggy quite fast but this new SpecialK is so much more crunchier and tastier. I found the old SpecialK would get soggy faster and that is something I do not much care for. I love the blend of rice, barley and wheat.
I love my cornflakes with cold milk and a bit of sugar. With the new SpecialK, I realise I don’t need the sugar to give it taste and the ‘crunch’ stays for a long time. I sometimes have my SpecialK with a bit of chopped banana, apple and walnut and it is just yummy. Its filling and keeps me going without feeling hungry for quite a while even up to after midday.
And to leave you with a few memories of 1983…
This is an entry for the Britmums/SpecialK “How I’ve Changed Linky Challenge”
I had an opportunity to join and test PktMny when it was in the Beta stage through Britmums and was certainly pleased that I was chosen to be a part of it.
Now 7 months down the line, I am still very happy to be a part of this project.
What is PktMny?
PktMny helps to teach children to save and earn money. It involves signing up for a parent account and a child account that is controlled completely by the parent. By this I mean that as a parent, you are able to decide how much a child gets per week/month as pocket money, set limits on how much can be spent online and offline (at retailers and cash machines) and to give out money as earning for jobs done. Your child gets a visa card that is valid anywhere Visa is accepted, both online and offline.
It also enables you to add relatives to the account so instead of your child getting presents that they never use, they can have money towards goals that they may have or are saving for.
I set up a PktMny account for my 8 year old daughter. She had a money box at home before this and I would give her money for little tasks done so she could feel she was earning it. She was exceptionally pleased to get money for a task well done. Now with PktMny, things are a little different. I set up the tasks assigned to her and when she completes them, she marks it as so in her account and then I go and top up her account accordingly.
She loves to be able to see her money steadily increasing as days go by and has more incentive to do her chores properly. What she likes about the account is that she has a card (it makes her feel really grown up), she is able to see – in numbers, how much money she has in comparison to sitting and counting out her money each time, and being able to set up a wish list so I know exactly what she wants for birthdays, Christmas etc.
I really enjoy using the PktMny website and find it really easy to use. It was a breeze to join up as the site is quite user friendly. I had my daughter’s card within 3 – 5 days and I just had to activate it online, no need to call any numbers and the like. I set limits on her card so she cannot overspend. Of course in this case it is just a precaution as I do not allow my 8 year old to use the card on her own.
However, I have let her get some knowledge about how the card works and she has made some online purchases with me beside her, guiding her. I think it is important for children to get an idea early on in life about money as it is very important in the present economic climate and through PktMny, I have been able to teach her how to earn and save her money. She is also learning about money as part of her school curriculum so she is able to add and subtract money on her account and very often decides not to purchase something when she sees how much will be coming out of her account.
I feel PktMny is great for teenagers who spend online or spend when out with friends. It is also safe as there is no need to carry cash and as mentioned before, since there is a limit set by the parent there is no worry of your child going overboard.
I hope that more parents will take advantage of this great experience and sign up
. At the moment PktMny are offering a free 3 month trial period so there is no time like the present to sign up.
PktMny’s children’s account costs £1.97 a month and offers free cash withdrawals. There is no joining fee, no charge to load funds using a standing order or bank transfer and no overdraft.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by PktMny. But I only recommend services and products that I like using and that will be good for my readers.
I have used sour cream in many recipes but I have never tried sour cream that contains garlic or herbs. The Discovery Garlic and Herb Sour Cream contains garlic, chives and parsley in addition to sour cream.
What I liked about the sour cream is that it had a very subtle flavour and at the same time it added that extra something to the recipes.
I normally add sour cream to my Swedish meatball recipe and I added the Discovery sour cream to it and the blend of garlic and herb tasted just great. I also added the sour cream to salads.
It was Mexican night at our house, on the Fifth of May or Cinco de Mayo, thanks to Britmums and Discovery.
I had received a few Discovery products – the Fajita making kit, a bottle of Garlic and Herb Sour cream and a Fajita Seasoning and sauce. I love trying out new things and we all love chilli so to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I decided to use the products in two different recipes.
The first recipe I made was using the sauce. It was really quick cooking and instead of making fajitas with it, I used it in the chilli con carne.
Chilli con Carne
500 g minced beef or lamb or pork
200 g kidney beans
1 bottle of paste
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Discovery fajita sauce
I boiled the kidney beans to soften them. I had already soaked it for about 6 hours.
I fried the mince with some ginger and garlic and the seasoning for about 5 minutes in my Tefal Actifry. Then I added the sauce, tomatoes, and kidney beans and cooked it for about 15 minutes. I added a slosh of Chinese rice wine to it to give it some zing.( you could add any red wine or can also give it a miss). Since I used my Actifry to make the recipe, I did not have to keep stirring it and it came out just great. I served it with rice and added the sour cream as a topping.
The Discover Fajita Seasoning and sauce was not overpowering and yet had great taste. I could have used the sauce without adding tomatoes too but since I wanted the extra gravy, I added tinned tomatoes. The sauce is extremely easy to cook with and you have your meal cooked in about 20 minutes which when you have children is really handy.
With the Discovery Fajita making kit, I made…well fajitas!
Fried chicken with capsicum and onions
Chicken 500 gms
1 Red pepper
Discovery Fajita making kit (contains fajita spice, salsa, 8 tortillas)
Discovery Sour Cream
I sliced the chicken and coated it with oil and the fajita spice and kept it aside for about 30 minutes. Then I fried it for about 5 minutes with sliced onions and capsicum.
In the meantime I got the tortillas warmed up.
To complement the fajitas, I made a red cabbage, carrot, apple and walnut coleslaw with mayonnaise. It was just yummy and my little son who is quite fussy about his veggies just enjoyed it.
It was nice to have Mexican food and I look forward to trying out many more recipes of this kind innovating and trying to out with different ingredients.
The Fajita making kit comes with a Spice mix, yummy Salsa and 8 tortillas. The spice mix was just right. I did add
a little less as I wanted the children to eat it too. The Salsa was not too
spicy and my 8 year old just loves Salsa so she enjoyed it. The tortillas were soft and tasty.
We shall definitely be having many more meals like this as they are so easy to prepare and great for days when there are after school activities.
As mentioned in an earlier post, I am privileged to be part of the Tefal Innovation Panel thanks to Mumsnet, where I have had a chance to meet so many wonderful people and exchange ideas and recipes.
Tefal UK has come up with the brilliant plan of making everyone sit up and take notice and perhaps try and pledge to just 1 week of ditching the processed food and starting meals from scratch. To some, this may be alarming but I have already tried it (a few times) in the past few weeks and it has not been so hard to find alternatives.
I have made my pledge with Tefal UK and it would be lovely for many more families to join in and take up the challenge of making meals from scratch. By signing up, you may also get lucky and win yourself a Tefal Fresh Express (believe me- it’s worth winning) and a Riverford veg box and fruit.
To kick start our week, Tefal UK sent us a lovely Riverford Organic Vegetable and Fruit Box that contained a wide range of vegetables and fruits.
My typical week is made up of busy mornings with everyone getting ready and going off to school and work. I make a packed lunch for my husband and daughter and since I have to get all three children ready to go and drop her off, I have very little time to cook breakfast. I try sometimes but most of the time it is cereal or porridge which while being healthy may not compare to a breakfast cooked The packed lunch usually includes processed meat and I add some salad to ease my guilty conscience! Dinners in the evening are homecooked mainly but there are occasions when I do fry up some frozen food for the children. They love it – obviously, and so do I, for the ease of preparation.
I enjoy cooking but every time I begin cooking there is always someone wanting something and I do not like being interrupted as I kind of lose track and then I don’t do justice to my cooking.
For Fresh Week, I decided I would come up with some easy recipes for breakfast and packed lunch and some slightly more challenging ones for dinner overlooking the interruptions and the calls for juice, water, biscuits, fruit, ‘where’s my homework?’ not to mention fighting over TV channels, what games to play and it goes on and on.
Well, it is a challenge after all!!
Here are some of the recipes that I shall be trying so be sure to come by and visit everyday to view my creations as I chop, slice, grate and cook my way to a healthier way of life…
Cereal with chopped fruit and walnut
Fruit and yogurt
Spicy scrambled egg
Mushroom and cheese omelette
Spring onion pancakes
Black gram curry with steamed rice flour
Egg and rocket sandwiches
Mozzarella and basil wraps
Cucumber and tomato sandwiches
Tuna and tomato served with couscous
Asparagus soup with croutons
Tarka Dal and home-made potato parathas
Chicken curry and Pulao rice with aubergine
Beef Bhuni (an Anglo-Indian dish) and Dal
Chilli con Carne with Chinese rice wine
Chicken and Vegetable Stew
Chicken drumsticks and Fries served with a Salad
Hot and sour soup and Chicken and vegetable noodles
Grilled fish with beetroot salad
Lassi ( a yogurt drink)
Mini Victoria sponges
Writing out this meal plan has made me really hungry and I am looking forward to making these dishes throughout Fresh Week.
Don’t forget to go and make your pledge and get lucky by winning a Fresh Express.
What is a Cryoow doll? Well it is like this. You draw a picture and send it over and the people at Cryoow create a doll/puppet that looks exactly like your drawing.
Ethan’s drawing of Optimus Prime
I was really thrilled to be able to review these dolls. I got my 2 older children to draw their pictures and Jadyn drew a ballerina and Ethan drew ‘Optimus Prime’. Jadyn also drew a picture of a girl in a frilly dress for Aeryn as she is too young to draw one. I scanned the drawings and sent them in.
Forget about the children, I could hardly wait to see the dolls for real.
It took about 2 weeks for the dolls to be delivered and I must say that was really quick considering that the dolls had to be hand made.
Jadyn’s ballerina doll
Each doll came in individually packed bags with a little card saying who created the doll. There was also a Cryoow bracelet in each bag.
The dolls look very sweet and even Ethan’s one which may look nothing like you’ve seen before is quite unique.
The children love their dolls and they mean the world to them as they call them their creations. Needless to say they are most pleased that they have a one of a kind doll for themselves. The dolls are made exactly as per the drawings with the same colours used etc and even down to the curly hair.
Jadyn’s drawing for Aeryn
The dolls may not be ‘pretty’ like the perfect dolls that you see in the shops because their mouths maybe slightly crooked, they may have 4 fingers instead of 5,they may have a leg slightly larger than the other but it is exactly as your child draws it.
They are also special because they are handmade and it makes it all the more special and treasured.
You can also write your name on your doll on the little label on the back so it remains forever yours.
If you would like a unique Cryoow doll of your own, enter the giveaway below: (there are 3 up for grabs)