Have you heard of Parcelgenie? It’s a new gift messaging app available on the apple appstore, google play store or for windows phones. It enables you to chose and send real gifts to your friends in the post, very easily and conveniently.
I love the idea of Parcelgenie, making it easy to spread a little happiness to our loved ones, a thoughtful little gift in the post always makes you smile!
The Parcelgenie people let me try it out and I chose one gift for myself and one for my best friend (she is also starting up blogging over at mumtographer.blogspot.co.uk so why not pop over!)
I downloaded the app onto my iPhone and found it really easy to use. I browsed through the gifts and chose the fudgy cake balls for myself and some funky socks for my friend.
After sending the gifts, a text is sent to the recipient asking them to reply to Parcelgenie with their address and then shortly afterwards in the next couple of days, a lovely treat will drop through their letterbox!
The gifts come nicely wrapped up. This is my little parcel of fudgy cake balls
And here they are once I have broken in to them 😀
It comes with six – I had eaten two! They are sooooo nice. I find some cakes can be disappointing or overrated at times but not these – they are amazing! Really delicious and so nicely packaged, it would definitely make a lovely surprise to be sent these as a little gift.
My friend was also really pleased with her socks and wore them straight away.
There is a fair amount of variety on Parcelgenie. I do feel if they put even more then it will be even better but at the moment you can choose from a wide variety of sweets and confectionery gifts, a selection of pampering gifts and other choices like birthday or new baby themed items including a very cute teddy and baby shoes, and some more novelty gifts.
Parcelgenie app is a great idea, really handy and definitely worth a look especially if you have friends and relatives a little further away spread around the country and would like to send something. It is handy that you don’t even need to know their full address. I know sometimes I can’t remember all my friends postcodes and everything especially with people moving around a lot these days! So Parcelgenie takes all that hassle out of sending. Could come in handy for little Eid gifts!
Parcelgenie have given me a code to share for any of my readers who place their first order on the app before mid September, to get 30% off, just use the code DJ45FM.
I’m also really happy to have the chance to offer one lucky winner a code to spend on the gift of your choice from Parcelgenie. Just enter via the rafflecopter below!
There is a great variety on Walls of the Wild and all of the options are really striking. Every wall sticker is a reproduction of the artwork of Dede Lifgren and so are really unique. The illustrations are quite a realistic type of style, so with all of the underwater stickers it gives a real “aquarium” kind of feel!
I was sent lots of clownfish and butterfly fish, a big eye fish, the queen angelfish which is looking towards the front, and a giant dolphin. These worked really well, with the dolphin as a feature on one wall and the other fish giving the impression of swimming around together on another wall
The dolphin is a really good size 46″x20″ and looks great on the wall – very friendly! Having a sticker of this size really stands out and finishes off the whole wall. Despite being large this was easy to apply and went on the wall very smoothly. I peeled back a little of the backing and stuck one small side on the wall then slowly kept peeling more of the backing from underneath while smoothing the sticker on to the wall. The end result is totally smooth with no wrinkles and I can tell that this sticker is a good quality and won’t peel off later on.
Here are some of the butterfly fish and clown fish. These are smaller size stickers so were very very quick and easy to apply. I changed my mind about the position of some and found it really easy to peel them off and reapply too, and they did not lose any of their stickyness after being repositioned.
There is a dado rail in the room left over from the previous owners, so I decided to position all the fish above this on the top half of the wall to make an aquarium type of scene. We also had the angelfish looking forwards which reminds me of when you are in an aquarium and the fish come up to the glass to look at you.
The fish have given a good effect in the room, adding more colour and personality and my boys really like it.
Having moved house 4 times since having my eldest, I have tried quite a few brands of wall stickers over the years. I have definitely found Walls of the Wild to be one of the better quality ones. The images are all printed on self-adhesive, peel and stick polyester which looks well made. I find that cheaper brands do not always apply to the wall so well and are much more prone to wrinkling or peeling from the wall once they are stuck but I feel really confident that our new underwater scene will last very well.
Walls of the Wild have loads more designs available too like dinosaurs, farm, plants and more so definitely worth a look if you want a really quick and easy but really effective way to liven up any room.
Britmums recently sent us some Schwartz 2 in 1 Mixes to try out and as I have lovely new pyrex to try out I thought it could be the perfect combination.
I received the Schwartz:
Mediterranean Chicken Pasta and Cheesy Crumb Topping: A blend of herbs and spices for chicken pasta with a cheesy topping ·
Garlic & Thyme Roast Chicken + Crispy Roast Potatoes: Roast chicken seasoning, with garlic and thyme, accompanied by a special seasoning to create perfect Crispy Roast Potatoes
Both come in packets with 2 sections to them, to help create a full meal very easily.
First I decided to try the roast chicken mix. I marinated some chicken with the seasoning and oven cooked it in my new Pyrex red slow cooker on a low-medium heat. It came out very soft and delicious due to the slow cooking and the mix gave it a lot of flavour. I really enjoyed this chicken, and my husband too.
I can’t believe I have misplaced the picture of the finished cooked chicken!! I am an idiot :p but you will have to take it from me, it was really nice.
Next I tried the pasta mix and I have to admit I didn’t enjoy it as much as the roast chicken, but it was a quick and easy meal to make and I can see these mixes would come in handy when you want a cooked meal but are in a rush. I did not have chicken today so I made it without the chicken, and it probably would be nicer had it been included. It still had a good flavour to it. Unfortunately I was not massively keen on the topping, but it was okay.
I cooked this one in my trusty Pyrex red roaster, which I have written about on the blog before! It’s a very versatile dish and was perfect for this kind of pasta bake.
I would happily use the Schwartz Roast chicken mix again. I am not sure I would use the pasta one often, but I would be interested in trying more mixes from their range as they are so easy to use and do have a good flavour.
By using the Pyrex cookware I do feel it helped the food to come out nicely, as I have noticed this does make a difference. We discussed this recently in our #cookwithpyrex twitter party which we got to trend at #1 on Twitter! I will be showing you soon some more things I cook with the new Slow cooker, and I may try out more of the Schwartz mixes with it too if I spot them in the shops!
This post is an entry for BritMums ‘What’s for Dinner Tonight?’ sponsored by Schwartz. Find out more about the new 2in1 mixes here
Sudocrem has launched their new Facebook app – the ground-breaking Facebook Treasure Hunt, where there are still 2 xiPad minis and loads of other top prizes to be won. The campaign has been so successful that Sudocrem are in fact going to run a second treasure hunt with a further 10 x iPad minis to give away from 8th July – 16th August.
It’s really fun and even easy to use! Firstly, users are encouraged to join the rapidly growing Sudocrem Facebook community, access the competition then select one of 40,000 areas to dig within one of four virtual environments – The Forest, The Beach, The Park & The Lake, in the hope of uncovering one of 8,000 prizes on offer. That’s a 1 in 5 chance of winning! Entrants can gain up to an extra 6 ‘digs’ when they share the competition and invite their Facebook friends to play.
If you would like to take part all you have to do is click here (on a desktop, table or mobile) and you can begin digging for treasure. Who knows, you may win an iPad mini! – Good Luck everyone!
Disclosure: To thank me for sharing this competition with you, Sudocrem are going to send me a goody bag including a Cuddly Bruce the Moose! yay! I like to share good competitions with my readers anyway, as I know many of you love them (just like me :D)
Ramadan is coming, and its a good time to think about paying our Zakah.
For those who may not know, Zakah, is the third of the five pillars of Islam. It is a tax that all that are able are expected to pay. The purpose of zakah is to help those less fortunate, to help educate new Muslims, and to aid the poor. Zakah زكى is a beautiful concept, the meaning of which is linked to purification. To purify ourselves, our character and our wealth.
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:
“…and Zakat is a proof (of faith)…” [Reported by Muslim]
An easy way to pay zakah is to use JustGiving. JustGiving makes the process of paying zakah uncomplicated and hassle free. You can choose from over 8,000 charities and projects and take pleasure in the fact that JustGiving will also reclaim 25% from HRMC in gift aid. It makes your donation work harder and go further.
Donating zakah online is increasing in popularity. In 2011, over £1 million charitable donations were made via zakah contributions to some fantastic charities.
Current Projects to support.
The National Zakat Foundation is a UK based charity; they have set up an appeal to raise £100,000. Currently, at time of writing, they have achieved just over £71,000.
The foundation was formed to support and reach out to Muslims in the UK. They were created on the premise that poverty is a problem for British Muslims. Their goal is to be able to assist people at need with emergency food and accommodation.
You can donate zakah online at JustGiving and support the National Zakat Foundation choosing whether you wish to donate anonymously or to declare your details.
JIMAS are another UK based charity. They firmly believe in supporting the plight of Muslims in the UK. Established in 1984, by four brothers at Kingston University, JIMAS is completely independent and doesn’t receive any government aid.
For that reason it relies on donations and zakah to continue its good work throughout England. They help educate and teach new Muslims. The redistribution of Zakah is used exclusively to give to those who may be neglected without it. You can support JIMAS through JustGiving.
May Allah accept our Zakah, our sadaqah and all of our deeds for His sake. It’s time to focus and get the most benefit we can out of the holy month that will very very soon be upon us!
This is a guest post written jointly by myself and Jane Blackmore, writer, editor, blogger.
Organix have a new range of Organix Mighty Soups, and they kindly sent over a selection for Mr R to try out. These are:
Hearty Root Veg and Beans
Tasty Sweetcorn and Noodles
Tangy Tomato and Pasta
They are for age 1-3 years and Mr R (23 months) really enjoyed them. I found they came in so handy as I have been a bit under the weather for a few days and these kind of meals are so convenient. I was able to give him the soup and some toast and I know that he is still getting some goodness in to him as they all contain vegetables and are made from the best quality organic ingredients as part of the Organix No Junk promise so I can feel comfy letting my children eat this as its something healthy and good. I also love that there is a good range suitable for vegetarians as sometimes this is something that can be lacking or have very limited options, but not the case with Organix.
Mr R really enjoyed the soups, he just left some of the kidney beans from the root veg and beans soup but apart from that he kept asking for more and he seemed to really like the taste. The quantity was just right for him. At first I put half to see how he will get on, but as he was really enjoying it he was able to finish the full portion.
I would recommend these soups for any little ones aged 1-3. It is a really handy meal that is healthy and convenient at the same time. What more can you ask for really? Very handy to have in the house just for those days when you are in a rush or not feeling well or for whatever reason not able to cook something yourself this is a brilliant solution. I have to admit I did taste a spoonful of his soup myself just to see how it is, and I quite liked it too so I felt assured I am giving him something tasty 🙂
On Mr Z’s birthday we decided to go for a family day out to Legoland. We have been quite a few times with the kids now, as we are lucky being only about half an hour away and I find it one of the best theme parks for younger children – There’s loads to do as well as the rides.
As there’s so much to do and see in Legoland I’m just gonna cover a few areas, as I think it will be impossible to cover everything in one post!
I have to cover this first because I was a little worried how this was going to turn out and I have to say I was so impressed with how easy to get and use the access pass was. In the past I think you just needed to show the DLA letter, and that is no longer the case. You do need a further letter explaining your child (or your own?) condition. I had been given the impression from some mums that you will need to get something specially written for this purpose (who has time for that really, there are enough things to chase up with SN kids without doing that!) but it wasn’t the case. I just took a couple of paed reports explaining Mr T’s condition and we were given the access pass which allows for 10 rides without queuing. I have heard other families upset about the ride limit too, but in our case we actually only managed to use 5 as we do other non-ride attractions too so I didn’t find the limit a problem at all on this occasion. Without the pass it would have been a nightmare for Mr T as some of the queues were around 45min to 1 hour and he is not able to understand or stay in a line like that, so I was so happy that this system is in place to allow him to enjoy his day out.
Some of the rides we went on were the Dragon ride, Atlantis and Squid Surfer. Mr Z loved the squid surfer, he loves water rides so he found it great. There are quite a few water rides available in Legoland. Mr T loved the Dragon ride he does not get scared at all he just really enjoys it! I really like the Atlantis. It’s a very family friendly ride suitable even for babies (unfortunately mr R fell asleep so he actually missed it this time! but he has been when he was younger) and is great for anyone interested in Sea life. While on the ride you see loads of fish and some small sharks. It is made in conjunction with sealife centres. We visited their London aquarium recently (see here) and has a little aquarium available when you exit the ride.
The Brick Restaurant in the Lego Hotel
We decided to have lunch in the lego themed restaurant which is part of the hotel. We had not tried this before and found it very cool with all the lego models everywhere, to give a great lego themed environment! It is buffet style and there’s plenty of food available. I do have to say the lego shaped chips were not great but the other food was quite nice. It is actually all halal chicken available so my husband was very pleased as he is a meat lover! The children were really happy with the ice cream machine, its similar to ice cream factory where you can add your sweets toppings.
The play areas
There are plenty of play areas in Legoland which is great for when the children want a break from queuing or rides and just want to use up some energy. My boys always love the Pirate training play area which is really big and all shaped like pirate ships. This is very exciting especially for Mr Z. He has enjoyed this since he first visited at 2 years and still loves it now at 5. Mr R is a bit more cautious with play areas but he enjoyed being taken up there by his dad.
There is a play area near the hotel which we had not tried before, so that was nice for after lunch and there is also a small area inside the hotel lobby with stairs and a tunnel which was a big hit with the younger two.
The Duplo play area is another great one for the slightly smaller areas. Last time we visited they all spent so long there, but now it is next to the new water play so of course that grabbed their attention this time.
The New Duplo Water Play areas
These are the reason Mr Z chose to go to Legoland for his birthday! He had seen them advertised on TV while watching Nick Jr and had thought wow! He loves anything to do with water so was really attracted to this. There are two areas, a more basic one for the little ones, and a more advanced “drench towers” Mr Z was more interested in the Drench Towers and he loved it! You do need to bring a full change of swimming clothes and towel as the children will get properly wet as though they are in a swimming pool, although I think these are sold in the shop if you have not thought to bring them. Parents are able to supervise from the viewing area at the side without getting wet and there are Lego staff supervising too, who were very helpful and nice.
There are some changing rooms available and the water play area operates on timed sessions (maybe not during week days school time if its less busy?) but Mr Z found the time given was enough for him to play. The larger blue slide was closed on the day we went but he still really enjoyed this water area!
Legoland is not complete without a trip through miniland! We didn’t get to spend long this time as we were so busy with the other attractions but we still managed to get a look at some of the trains running through the little models. My boys all love this especially Mr T who is so excited by it. Miniland is great, something so unique to legoland and reminds you that it is all about the Lego not just the rides. Miniland is the one I most remember from when I visited Legoland when it was newly opened and I was 10 😀
We decided to leave our buggy at home and hire one of the Legoland buggies, as we had kept noticing these on previous visits. The first shop we went to they said they didn’t have any! Disaster!! Luckily we managed to get the kids down to the next shop and they went and found one for us in the back somewhere. The little buggies are quite good, with being side by side as our normal buggy is tandem with one underneath which is not great as they can’t see while going around the park, but I would say do be careful if you are going and hoping to rely on the Legoland buggies, if we did not find one in the 2nd shop we would have been screwed – there is no way the younger 2 could walk around the park for any real length of time.
We also got them some new lego from the shops. Despite going to Legoland regularly, they have been still more on the duplo and not quite moved up to regular Lego yet. As Mr Z is now 5 I thought they should try and they have been really enjoying it. He brought his new lego figures in to show in school for show and tell.
Legoland is a great day out! As I said, I’m sure I have missed loads here but I would definitely recommend it for any families with young children. I find its different each time we go because we never have time for everything, so have to chose different things each time. Recently I won an annual preschool pass for Legoland, so I can’t wait to get started taking the younger two more regularly while Mr Z is in school (so sorry Mr Z!!!!)
Pyjama Pajama is an exciting new brand being developed by Caroline Kendal, the founder of the childrenswear e-tailer MiniWardrobe.com. After a number of years in childrenswear retail, working with established brands and new designers across all product categories, Caroline noticed that sleepwear is an area that is simply not exciting enough in the childrenswear market, although it is the product item that children spend the longest time wearing each day. Therefore, she has decided to work towards launching a range that is unlike anything currently available. She’s decided to approach the design, manufacture and launch differently and so has put together a project, which she’s launched on the crowd funding site, Kickstarter.
As well as giving their customers and fans the final say as to which designs they manufacture, Pyjama Pajama are also inviting designers to share in the success of their designs as they want to encourage the best designers to come and work with them and to inspire them to put together the best artwork for their ranges.
As we all know, our kids wear pyjamas for a longer time each day than any other clothing in their wardrobes, so Pyjama Pajama’s intention is to make this clothing item more exciting for kids than anything else they have as well as extremely comfortable. In fact, the style and cut of the ranges will be good enough for the tops to be worn as t-shirts during the day too.
However, although they’ve already had some great feedback, we need to help them generate some more interest in their Kickstarter project as their target market of mothers and grandparents are not natural followers of Kickstarter nor are they generally aware of crowd funding as a concept. Therefore, generating interest for the project via crowd funding is generally more challenging for them than for many of the other sectors represented at Kickstarter.
In sharing this post about Pyjama Pajama, I hope that I can persuade as many of you as possible to view their Kickstarter project and become a backer. I’ve done it myself and backed the project, not only because I love the idea of well-made, comfortable inspirational pyjamas for my children but also because Pyjama Pajama are offering brilliant discounts to their Kickstarter backers. For an “Early Bird Investment” of just £10, you’ll get a pair of pyjamas at a massive discount of more than 50% off! What’s more, if you’re not happy for any reason with the final designs, Pyjama Pajama have promised to refund you in full without any exception. So, they’re offering a brilliant deal that’s not to be missed.
And for those of you who want to keep up with the development of the brand, they’ve also just set up a Facebook page for Pyjama Pajama, where they’l be posting lots of regular updates as to the progress of the project, so please do visit and like it
Once the Pyjama Pajama project is up and running, I will be bringing you some reviews of the Pyjamas
Little Arty Hands are a new company setting out to help us preserve our children’s artwork with easy to create memoir books.
I’m sure most of us have the same situation where you just seem to accumulate piles and piles of kids creations whether drawings, paintings, junk modelled creations or whatever else! After a while it does get impossible to hang on to all of them, so I keep the best ones, try to take pictures of some of the others and then sneak the rest into the recycling pile when the children are not looking – although I have been busted on the odd occasion:
“Mum, you threw away my model!” “Oh no.. it must have ended up in there by mistake… :S” cue skeptical look and “I know it was you Mum”
Although we can’t keep everything I do like the kids to feel that their artwork is appreciated, after all they have put their time and effort into it, and feel proud of what they have done.
Many of the pictures I keep end up hiding at the bottom of the cupboard, although we do of course have the obligatory pictures stuck on the fridge like nearly all family homes!
I love the idea of the Little Arty Hands books to display the children’s work in a way that is easy to get out and enjoy, so I was very happy when they kindly let me have one to review. I collected together 30 of my boy’s pieces of artwork – a mixture from all of them as you have space on the page to label the author for each piece so mixing in one book is fine. I have included picture of drawings, paintings, cards and 3d models so it has a nice variety.
Pieces like the children’s paintings done in their first days of school or nursery, or first cards they have designed for Mother’s Day, have a lot of sentimental value for me so it’s good to have a copy kept safe in a hardback book where they are less likely to get lost, ripped, or mangled over time. This will be lovely to look back on as the children get older.
The website is easy to use and has been designed so that a child would be able to make a book by themselves, for example if they wanted to create one as a present for family members. You simply upload each piece one by one and then fill in the title, author and a few details. For example you could write when the child did this particular picture or any comments they had to say about it.
The pages are all made of carefully selected, luxury, 120gsm paper. This is not photo paper it is more of a matte feel. The book comes in hard back and is A4 in size. You have a choice of colours and I went for navy. The cover has a cut out effect to show one of the artworks on the front cover which is a pretty nice effect. The books come with 30 pages as standard but if you want to, you have the option to add more you just pay for however many more you would like.
The books all come gift wrapped as standard so they would make a lovely gift. Gifts for grandparents is the one which immediately springs to mind – especially if the children designed some pictures specially for them and then make the book.
If you would like a book of your own, Little Arty Hands have given me a code to share with my readers. You can use the code discount50 (all one word & lowercase) to buy a book for £17.50 (so 30% off).
Summer is here, and that means outdoor fun and lots of time spent in the garden. If you’re looking for ways to entertain your kids this summer, these awesome backyard ideas should give you some inspiration for a fun and frugal summer that memories are made of. Cool features to add to your backyard this […]
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Sink or float is one of the most popular classic science experiments for kids. It’s so easy to set up, and a great way to introduce them to basic experiments at home. This fun twist on the classic experiment uses surprise eggs to add another element of fun to the activity. This sink or float […]
Every child is different, and with these varied personalities and interests you will need different toys to best keep your child occupied and entertained. Recently, I was having this discussion with one of my mum groups about which toys are most used by our 4 year olds these days and it was really interesting to […]
Kaleidoscope Have fun making this Kaleidoscope craft with the kids. This simple kaleidoscope works best when it is held up to the light. Move the tube around to see the pretty colours, glitter and sequins dance around. What is a Kaleidoscope? A kaleidoscope (/kəˈlaɪdəskoʊp/) is an optical instrument with two or more reflecting surfaces tilted […]
We have all been stuck indoors for a while so it is always good to have some ideas of how to keep the little ones entertained during lockdown. We still have only a few months to go until things go back to normal – hopefully – so read on to get some inspiration. Anna and […]
It’s fantastic to see World Book Day grow year on year, teaching children about the joys of reading in a fun and playful way and getting them to engage with characters and literature is an amazing idea and it’s fantastic it has become so successful here in the UK. Truly highlighting the joys of reading […]