Thursday, 26 February 2015

Lamb, aubergine and potato pie - comfort food

Pies are great. Savoury or sweet, they always manage to hit the spot.

I decided to make a lamb pie this evening (my eldest isn't a  big fan of chicken and my hubby loves lamb!).

I wanted the children to get part of their five a day in the pie to so decided to add aubergine (which always goes really well with lamb) and potato and sweet potato.

I fried off the diced red onion with garlic, then added the diced aubergine to brown.  I then added the par-boiled potatoes and sweet potatoes.  I added a little freshly ground curry powder, just a little as it's quite stronger (stronger than the shop bought ones).

I cooked this off for about 15mins with just a dash of water to stop anything from burning.

Whilst the filling was cooling I rolled the pastry out (shop bought I'm afraid) and covered the ovenproof dish.  I then brushed with beaten to make the pastry all golden.

15-20mins in a pre-heated oven and voila....a delicious dinner.

Try it for yourself, it's so easy.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

LEGO Minifigures: mini toy, maximum joy!

We all know how great LEGO is. It really gets the imagination flowing.  Children (big and small) can play with it for hours.

There are so many ranges available that there is always something to appeal to the avid fan as well as the first time player.  The genius people at LEGO seem to have thought of everything.

Series 13 LEGO Minifigure packs.
So when I informed my boys that we would be receiving some Series 13 LEGO Minifigures, they were very excited. The Minifigures are a huge hit with not only our boys but, it seems, most of the children at my son's school!

The boys are very excited to open these bags.
Each series 13 LEGO Minifigure, like previous series, come in individual packs. Each pack comes with the figure, which you have to put together (easy for even my three year old to do) and with a unique code which unlocks the physical character on the LEGO Minifigures multiplayer game at

This additional game feature is wonderful as it combines the great LEGO character/s in an online, fun and creative way. But, the best part's free!  Can't say that very often can we!

There are 16 characters to collect, consisting of Galaxy Trooper, Alien Trooper, Evil Wizard, King, Goblin, Lady Cyclops, Snake Charmer, paleontologist, Carpenter, Hot Dog Guy, Sheriff, Samurai, Disco Diva, Unicorn Girl, Fencer, Egyptian Warrior.

The boys were very excited opening, building and finding out which figure they had. It was like Christmas had come all over again!

"I love him" (he got the snake charmer!)

 Lots of building and playing resulted in me, eventually, getting this picture of the LEGO Minifigures we received:-

Evil Wizard,  palaeontologist, Galaxy trooper, King
I have to say, I really do believe these are a great little toys.  The packs cost around £2.50 from lots of stockists. The children have played with them for hours, so they aren't throw away items. The online game also makes the characters have a longer shelf life. If they do get a character which they have already got they swap them with their friends. Develops their negotiation skills!

We are currently using the LEGO minifigures as an incentive for my youngest son to stop getting out of his bed at night.  For every two nights he sleeps in his bed for the whole night he gets a new minifigure.  It's great as they aren't expensive and he is really motivated (he's done two nights already).  He is a happy little fella surrounded by his new LEGO minifigures.

You could also buy these as general treats or they are fab for party bags. Sure hit for everyone!

I, and my children, really love these. My favourite has to be Disco Diva, which we are still waiting to collect.

The great LEGO Minifigures, with maximum pleasure!

 Disclaimer: I was sent this product to give an honest review.  All my opinions and views expressed are my own.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

How fit are you? MeasuPro Pulse Oximeter

We have all over indulged over the festive period.  I am, probably like many of you, trying to be careful with what I eat after nearly a month of excess!

I do run (a little).  I have traditionally been a treadmill runner but I'm trying to push myself and run outside, it's such a new thing for me and I am struggling a little, but I am enjoying it.

I know I am not unfit, but I am trying to get fitter. When I haven't done much exercise and I get back into it again, my main aim is to try and get my lung strength back.  By that I mean, not getting out of breath so quickly.  Apart from knowing I can run further without getting out of breath so quickly, I realised that I could actually measure my fitness electronically too by using the MeasuPro Pulse Oximeter.

The amazing MeasuPro Pulse Oximeter is a tiny little device which  measures haemoglobin oxygen saturation and pulse rate. This is a vital piece of equipment if you are fitness training, so you can measure your recovery rates.  It is also an essential gadget to have around the house to measure your general level of fitness and oxygen saturation (basically how much oxygen you are taking in efficiently).

The MeasuPro Pulse Oximeter measures your heartbeat and oxygen intake via a little unit you put on your finger.  It takes seconds to read (and is totally painless) and the display can rotate around, by pressing a little button.

The Oximeter is battery operated and the unit comes with batteries (great news!). I took the above picture after I did a little 2 mile run. The 99 shows my oxygen intake (max is 100%) and the 60 is my pulse rate. The lower the pulse rate the better, if you are relaxing (obviously this depends on age and fitness).  I was pleasantly surprised how good this reading was.  I wasn't as unfit as I thought!

When I took this to our family sunday day, the whole family wanted to know what their reading was.  They were all intrigued and comparing notes and wanting to improve their next reading.  So it is a great gadget to motivate yourself (and your family!).

This is a great gadget for finding out your fitness levels and also to find out your general health. The Oximeter is really easy to use, is not too bulky, comes with a lanyard and comes with full instructions. Another great feature is that it turns itself off on its own, saving battery power.  It is a great addition for all households.

Disclaimer:  I was sent this product to review and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Remington Keratin Therapy Pro Straightners

We all love to look our best, especially during the party season. This doesn't just mean, having nice clothes and nice make-up, but also, what shall I do with my hair?

I have naturally curly hair which is quite long and very thick and bouncy. So, for ease, I generally don't do much to my hair as I find it takes ages to blow dry it (I don't have the patience or the energy to do it!). I do, sometimes, straighten it, but not that often as it seems that mother nature hates me, I spend 30mins straightening my hair and then look out of the window to find it's raining!  urgh!

Although I have, what I call, 'trouble' hair, I couldn't wait to try out the Remington Keratin Therapy hair straighteners.  If they could deal with my hair, then they are a wonder product and should be placed in the hall of fame!

The straighteners came packaged in a lovely glossy box and also come with a very fancy travel pack (it looks like a little clutch bag!).  The straighteners are very sleek and comfortable to hold. They are digital, so they have a digital temperature gauge which means they illustrate what temperature the straighteners are and also their unique technology means the straighteners will stay at that temperature for the duration of use.  This means that you won't lose styling effects by the straighteners heating up and cooling down all of the time.

Digital display. Shows the temp and lock/off button
As I said, I have naturally curly hair:

I took a section of my hair and straightened it so you could easily see the before and after. I only went over that section of hair once. The section was about 2cm wide, but still only went over each section once (it's better for your hair not to go over it too many times as, over time, it can weaken the hair).
Anyway, enough of the science bit!  Here is the before and after, the pictures really do say it all!:
After using the Remington Keratin Straighteners
 The results were great.  My hair felt so smooth and glossy.  The straighteners didn't feel like they were pulling my hair, which, on hair as thick as mine is always a worry.

All in all, I really liked these straighteners. If they can work on my hair, they can work on any ones.


Remington are leaders in hair care and you can tell they have really thought well about this product; style, function and usability.  Ticks all around.

Disclaimer:  I was sent this product to review, but all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Cold Truth - decongesting the common cold

The Christmas period, is not only a time for good cheer, it can also be a time for miserable colds and flu! Ba Humbug, I hear you say.

I'm suffering from a bad cold at the moment, so I am feeling sorry for myself.  You think you will avoid the dreaded winter blues and you feel like you are winning, then, bam!, it hits you like a ton of bricks!

There are a number of remedies, old and new, which can help, or feel that can. Olbas, the cold relief experts, have delved into some of the symptoms of colds and how to help relieve them, some of their findings can ring true with a lot of us, or at least put a smile on your snotty face! (it did mine!)

Their findings are diagrammed below, they are quite amusing, but also ring quite true.

Colds can get us all down and we desperately try and get better. Did you know that :
  • Twice as many women, than men, are prepared to forgo sex for one month than lose a good night's sleep when suffering from a cold
  • 46% of us believe are work colleagues are the top cold spreading culprits (I can totally believe this!)
  • propping yourself up with pillows at night, helps prevent the night time coughing curse. When you lie down coughing becomes worse as the mucus builds up and drops onto your soft palate. The pillows help by not keeping you flat.  (I should have remembered this last night!!)
Some of the tips you may already know, but I was enlightened when I read a few...although I must remember to remember them too (my brain isn't functioning at full capacity at the moment).

The Cold Truth, is certainly has helped me understand the common (and mean) cold!
Now, where's my hot cup of tea?

Disclaimer:  I was sent this infogram, but I was under no obligation to write a post.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Half Shell Heros - full fun toys!

We all know and love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I remember watching the cartoon when I was younger, but it seems the Heroes are still favourites now too.  And, I understand why, especially with the new range of toys available.

The Half Shell Heroes toys are the new toy collection from Flair Plc. This range is aimed at children aged 2-5 years old.  So the younger fans can still get involved in fighting against baddies and crime!

The range is great and is really good for even the smallest of hands, who struggle with the larger TMNT toys. 


We received a very festive Half Shell Hero, in a bauble! My children were both extremely happy, as they had just put up their Christmas tree and this was the perfect bauble for them. Inside the bauble was a Rapheal (my boys favourite one!).

The toy is very cute, not so harsh looking, a little softer around the edges.  There are loads of characters to collect in this Half Shell range. 

We also received a personalised Christmas card from the Hero's, happy faces all round!

The Half Shell Heroes are perfect for Christmas stockings or as main presents.  My two can't wait to start collecting them all.

Available from all good toy stockists.

Happy Christmas from us (and the Half Shells!)


Disclaimer: I was sent this product, but was under no obligation to write a review. All opinions and views expressed are my own.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide - top toys - boys/girls

Christmas is a tiny stones throw away...."hooray" I hear most of you shouting, and I can imagine some very confused faces too!

Not to worry, here is a list of the top toys, costing between £6 - £79.99.  So, a great selection for all budgets.

Firstly, the hottest toy for 2014:

  • Xeno, the baby monster who loves to be played with.  This is a great toy for boys and girls, aged from 3 upwards.  It has so many functions that it won't lose it's appeal. I was fascinated by what it could do.  The games alone will keep kids boredom at bay on long car journeys for quite some time. 

It looks gross, but it isn't!  This is available at most stores for around £79.99.
The Happy's, are a cute range of animals who use infrared technology to perform tricks.  Keeps children entertained, without the hassle of a real animal.  Suitable for boys and girls aged 2 upwards.  Costs about £18.


  • Little Live Pets - these are an assortment of birds or butterflies which 'come to life'.  Bird or butterfly cages are also available within the range.  The butterflies have a holding base which 'recharges' the butterfly.  When you put it on your hand it flaps it's wings, appreciating you for playing with it. It's quite fascinating. The more you play with it the more it responds to you.


The price for these range between £9.99 - £23.

  • How to Train Your Dragon - puzzle
This is great as a stocking filling or for fans of either the film or puzzles...or both! There are 3 puzzles and a great little poster.  Bargain for the price of around £5. Great for cold winter evenings or even after Christmas dinner.


All these toys are great little gifts for Christmas, birthday or any special occasion.  Happy Christmas and enjoy playing!
Disclaimer:  I was under no obligation to select these particular products.  I thought they would be a good selection of current and affordable toys for all budgets.