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Friday, 15 December 2017

Vegetarian and Vegan Treats from Aldi this Christmas

Today I popped to Aldi to check out their festive offerings suitable for vegans.  There are lots of  items labelled as being suitable for vegetarians in Aldi, and with a bit of label reading you can find many of those things are accidentally vegan. From confectionery to frozen foods to alcohol to baked goods, Aldi has an extensive range. Allergens are clearly labelled in the ingredients so if it is vegetarian product made without milk or eggs, I'm happy to consider it suitable for my family.

Aldi, Christmas, vegan


For festive buffets, the Let's Party 60 piece Oriental Snack Selection is great value at just £3.69 and contains veggie wontons, money bags and spring rolls.

Aldi, vegan


I think everything just tastes so much better when it's Christmas tree shaped!  This six pack of Christmas Tree Crumpets will make a lovely festive family breakfast for just 79p. They also do a Bake and Break Seeded Roll Christmas Tree which is £1.79. I love the idea of serving it at the table with a bowl of freshly made vegetable soup.

Aldi, vegan


I loved this gift box of speciality Single Malt Whisky Jam and Marmalade. It's a great gift idea and looks very fancy. It's only £2.99, which is an excellent price. Dads and grandads would love to find this in their Christmas stocking on Christmas morning.

Aldi, Christmas


More Christmas Tree shaped goodies! These Lightly Salted Tortilla Chips and Salted Pretzels are great for snacking on over Christmas. The tortilla chips are 85p and the pretzels are £1.29 for a family size sharing bag. We'll enjoy munching through these while watching Christmas movies. There is also Turkey and Stuffing flavour Tortilla Chips which are vegetarian and dairy free.

Aldi, vegan


The Moser Roth chocolate range looks really premium, but at £1.29 does not have a premium price tag. A number of the flavours including the single origin dark chocolate bars (62%, 70% and 80% cocoa), the orange and almond, chilli and the sea salt bars are all dairy free. Also, the Choceur Mint Waves and the Mint Creme bars are dairy free. Priced at £1.29 and 89p respectively, they are perfect as stocking fillers this Christmas. Aldi also do a dark chocolate reindeer that is dairy free, but they had all sold out. This would have been a lovely stocking filler for my vegan kids.

Aldi, vegan


Another great little gift idea is the Kevin the Carrot pouch shopping bag, priced at just 99p. This reusable bag folds back into the carrot shaped case for convenience. And what can be more vegan than a carrot!

Aldi, Kevin the Carrot


Other highlights of my shop included the Deck the Halls Picks found with the flowers in store. At just £2.09 they add some festive fun to flower arrangements or can be popped in a narrow necked vase to make a pretty addition to your festive decor. Featuring baubles, pine cones and cinnamon sticks, they are really cute!

Aldi also has a great range of fruit and vegetables in store at great prices. I particularly liked the Brussel sprout stalks for just 99p. I'll definitely be getting some of them for Christmas dinner. And I love the little crates of clementines for £2.79 for healthy Christmas snacking.

With their Specialbuys also in store, it's definitely worth checking out your local Aldi for some Christmas bargains this year!

Monday, 11 December 2017

Enter the Elves Got Talent Competition with Elves Behavin' Badly.

Christmas Day is just two weeks away!  We're counting down Christmas with our elves who have been up to all sorts of funny antics. Freddy has loved discovering what they've been up to each morning. They've hidden in the fridge, played hide and seek, swung on the curtain pole and climbed our Christmas tree. 

Elves Behavin Badly


Now our elves have the chance to become superstars by taking part in the Elves Got Talent competition!

HAVE YOUR ELVES GOT TALENT?

Elves Behavin Badly


The official Elves Behavin' Badly duo Elfie and Elvie have been taking part in the Elves Got Talent auditions, with their adventures being shared across social media.  Now it's the turn of your Elves to get performing.

From Tuesday 12th December the Elves Got Talent auditions are being opened to all Elves Behavin' Badly fans. To enter, you just have to make a video of your Elves posing, performing and showcasing their elf talents.

You can submit entries 3 ways:

Via the Contact Us section on the Elves Behavin' Badly website

Entries must be submitted by midnight Monday 18th December 2017.

The team of judges will then create a shortlist of the most talented elves and the overall winner will be announced on Wednesday 20th December. The winner will receive an Elf Hamper and an Elves Got Talent Trophy!

Awesome Little Green Men Stocking Fillers

If you are looking for stocking fillers for the kids this Christmas, the Awesome Little Green Men Mystery Soldiers blind packs are a great choice. These new collectibles have recently arrived in the UK, delivering a fresh new take on little green army men. Playing with toy soldiers has been brought right up to date with these quirky collectibles with their battle game play.

Awesome Little Green Men


Awesome Little Green Men may be small in size but their characters are larger than life and serious about the mission ahead. Each with their own expression, you can find the likes of Major Attack and Captain Quiver to collect, each boasting different stats. The aim of the game is to build the strongest troops to win the battle.

Awesome Little Green Men


The single or twin blind packs are the perfect size for a Christmas stocking, and the four soldier Marksmen Squad or Ranger Unit packs are perfect gifts for under the tree.

You can find them at Smyth's Toys Superstores.

Find out more at: awesomelittlegreenmen.mgae.com.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Lucky Gecko Midwinter Activity Box

Lucky Gecko is a company that specialises in activity boxes for children aged 8 to 12.  Developed by an experienced personal tutor, the boxes are designed to encourage curiosity, build confidence and let imaginations run wild. They make learning fun and exciting and keep children entertained and inspired.

Lucky Gecko Midwinter Box


The latest box is the Lucky Gecko Midwinter Activity Box, which is jam packed full of things to do, challenging children and helping to keep their minds busy over the festive holidays. Freddy received one of these boxes and was eager to check out the contents. Everything comes well packaged in a sturdy cardboard box and the contents are wrapped in tissue paper, sealed with a Lucky Gecko sticker.

Lucky Gecko Midwinter Activity Box


Freddy was really impressed with the huge array of contents, which included a game, some creative crafts and some fun science based activities to keep him busy over Christmas. Everything you need for the projects is included inside the box including paints and Sharpie markers. The enclosed booklet has full instructions, ideas and information as well as quizzes, puzzles, competitions and challenges. This really is a box filled with things to inspire a child's desire to create, discover, have fun and learn.

Lucky Gecko Midwinter Activity Box


Using the contents children can make their own Christmas placemats, thumbprint gift tags, cool penguin racers and tealight snowmen. They can create and learn about crystallization with a magic tree and also make some magic snow and build a miniature snowman. There is also a game of Time Shock which will test children's spatial awareness and their ability to stay calm under pressure as they race to match shapes into the right holes against the clock. Time Shock is a great game to challenge the whole family this Christmas.

Lucky Gecko Midwinter Activity Box


The book has some excellent information about Christmas including trivia about feasts, traditions and festivals and the history of Santa. There are lots of quiz questions and challenges, which will make for a fun festive family quiz this Christmas. Plus there are some ideas for festive reads and winter writing activities to help bridge the gap between home and school while the kids are on holiday.

Lucky Gecko Midwinter Activity Box


What we loved most about the Midwinter Activity Box from Lucky Gecko is the fact that the whole family can get involved. The Penguin Racers and Magic Snow are things that we can have fun with together, and the Time Shock game is great for family games nights. And any child would be proud to supply the placemats for Christmas dinner or tag a gift with a homemade gift tag.

The quizzes and facts have been enjoyed by us all, I even learned a few new things! I really liked how children are encouraged to develop their leadership and organisational skills to host the family quiz themselves. Freddy enjoyed researching some of the answers to the questions online using the laptop, polishing up his investigative skills before asking us the questions. It's lovely to have the kids in charge of some of the festive activities.

Freddy's big sisters love helping him do arts and crafts activities so the placemat designing, gift tag making and creating of snowman tealights become a team effort. Doing activities like these together is a really bonding experience and Freddy loves it when his older siblings get involved with his stuff.

Lucky Gecko Midwinter Activity Box - Tealight Snowmen

Lucky Gecko Midwinter Activity Box - Tealight Snowmen


Boxes come addressed to the child and are really inviting, ready for the contents to be explored. A Parent Pack email is sent to the grown ups, highlighting what's inside the box and giving ideas and advice for follow up activities. The answers to the quiz questions in the booklet are attached for the kids' eyes only, giving them ownership as the quizmasters!

Children are encouraged to enter the competitions and share photographs of what they have made with Lucky Gecko, which gives them recognition for their hard work, giving them a great confidence boost. Children's work can be featured, for example there is a bookmark included in this box designed by a Lucky Gecko winner.

Lucky Gecko Midwinter Activity Box


The standalone Midwinter Activity Box would be a wonderful and thoughtful gift for a child this Christmas, delivered directly to their door. These boxes are limited and ready to ship now for the price of £30 from  www.luckygecko.com.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

Freddy loves Captain Underpants. His big sister bought him the set of  books for Christmas last year and he has read all of them, some more than once! They are the first books that he has read independently for pleasure and they have even inspired him to draw his own cartoon strips. So Captain Underpants is definitely a family favourite in our house!

When we discovered they were making Captain Underpants into a film we were really excited for the opportunity of seeing Freddy's favourite character come to life on the big screen. And now the DVD and Blu-Ray of Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is going to be available to own on December 4th from Dreamwork's Animation. It is an absolute must-have and will take pride of place in Freddy's film collection.

To celebrate the release of the film, I have received a bespoke pair of festive, fun party pants featuring Captain Underpants himself made by Bags of Love. They'll definitely be my pants of choice this Christmas!

Don't Let Christmas be Pants


Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie follows the story of best friends, pranksters and comic book makers George Beard and Harold Hutchins. One day they accidentally hypnotise their grumpy school principal and nemesis Mr Krupp, turning him into the dimwitted, underpants wearing superhero, Captain Underpants.  Life at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School would never be the same again!

Captain Underpants


A new teacher arrives at school and George and Harold soon find out that he is really a disgraced scientist, Professor Pippy Pee Pee Poopypants, with an evil plan to rid the world of laughter and turn the school children into humourless zombies. Together with school swot and tattletail Melvin Sneedly, Professor P. unleashes the Turbo Toilet 2000 on the town. The boys and Captain Underpants have to come together to stop his evil plan.

The film really brings the books alive, capturing the style and essence of the first four titles perfectly. We loved how the comic books, which are such a major part of the series, were incorporated into the movie. Freddy found the film laugh-out-loud funny and thoroughly enjoyed all the visual humour and jokes. The slightly rude, toilet humour is definitely right up my son's street and the joy of Uranus gags never gets old! The romantic interest  with Mr Krupp and Edith the dinner lady was a nice addition that warmed the heart and the strong theme of friendship sends a powerful message of the importance of being a BFF.

The Captain Underpants DVD or Blu-ray will make a great Christmas gift or stocking filler this year, or you can enjoy the movie for a festive family film night. Giggling is guaranteed!

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Tumball - the nerve wracking, bead stacking game

Tumball is the new nerve wracking game from Megableu that the whole family will enjoy. The idea of the game is to take turns placing beads onto a cluster of suspended hanging balls without bringing the whole precarious lot crashing down!

Tumball


The contents includes a base, arm and hook that are easily put together and dismantled. A ring with seven hangers attaches to the hook and the coloured beads are pushed onto the ends of the hangers. There are 24 white beads and four wands that are used to place the beads.

Tumball


The beads are divided between the players who take turns to position their beads onto the balls. You need a steady hand and nerves of steel as you place your beads. If any drop, they are added to your collection. The first player to get rid of all their beads wins.

Tumball


It takes a lot of concentration to position a bead through the hangers and into a space where it won't bring the whole lot down. If you tremble, the balls will tumble!

Tumball


We all enjoyed playing Tumball together. I loved the fact that Freddy had as good a chance as winning as his older sisters or me. It definitely tests your dexterity, nerve and fine motor skills as you position the beads, and it is always a bit of a shock when your turn causes the hangers to shake, separate and bring all the beads crashing down. It's a clever little game that is really quite addictive as your strive to get rid of all your beads first and build the biggest stack on top of the balls.

Tumball


The game is for 2 to 4 players aged 5+ and is £17.99 RRP.  It's a great Christmas gift idea and will a fun game to play together over the Christmas holidays. Find out more at www.megableu.com/uk/tumball


        

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Robinson's Fruit Creations #GrownUpSquash

The Robinsons name is synonymous with fruity squashes, which have been loved by kids for generations. Now Robinsons have introduced a range of squashes with the adult palate in mind. After investigating new food trends, they have come up with some exciting new combinations and tweaked some family favourites, reformulating them for a grown-up market. The Fruit Creations range is even more fruity, less sweet, more adventurous and more exotic, containing twice the fruit content for more mature taste buds to enjoy.

Robinsons Fruit Creations


Each serving of Fruit Creations contains no more than 10 calories with no added sugar, no artificial colourings and no artificial flavourings. Each glass helps keep you hydrated. For anyone who doesn't enjoy drinking plain water, Robinsons Fruit Creations is a great alternative.

I received a bottle of new Crisp Apple & Elderflower Barley, which is a more sophisticated squash flavour. The delicate elderflower and crisp apple combine to create a refined drink, brimming with fruitiness.

Robinsons Fruit Creations


The drink is very refreshing with a crisp fruity flavour followed by a note of floral elderflower. It's definitely good for us grown-ups who want a soft drink that isn't too sweet. It makes it easy to stay hydrated during the day. My eldest daughters both enjoy having this as an option when they are home, so I'll definitely be keeping a bottle in the kitchen from now on!

Look out for the Robinsons Fruit Creations and new fruit cordials in supermarkets.


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