25 Nov 2010

Energy TaskForce by EDF ENERGY and EDF

Park Inn Hotels Competition

Play 4 Park Inn

Play 4 Park Inn

 

Think you are a whizz at 4-in-a-row? Would you like the chance to in an IPad and a £250 voucher for Park Inn Hotels?

Well take a look at http://play4.parkinn.co.uk/  and play the game to be entered into a weekly prize draw.  Win or Lose you will still be entered so its worth a go (even if you are useless at the game like me!).  Each participant will also be entered into a final draw for one week's stay at Park Inn Manchester, Park Inn Berlin, or Park Inn Ulysse Resort (in Djerba, Tunisia) plus a £300 giftcard.  

So what are the weekly prizes? Two winners weekly receive of an iPad and a £250 voucher (respectively) for Park Inn Hotels, which can be used at over 200 hotels in 16 countries (also valid in Radisson Blu and Hotel Missoni, and includes the UK), and can be used at the restaurant, bar, or simply on your room.

I would like to go to Manchester if I win ... I know there is a choice of amazing countries but even though Manchester is only up the motorway from me I have never been to see the sights (I have flown from the  airport but that doesn't count).  Andy (my husband) would never want to go and stay in Manchester if it was going to cost him anything, so this would be a great opportunity for me ... so fingers crossed!!

T&Cs: Open to the UK, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.  Over 18's only,

Competition will run from the 18th November 2010 to the 18th December 2010 ... so be quick and get entering.

You can play up to 20 times per week only ... you never know you might win!

Good Luck and send me a postcard !!



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Playmobil Advent Calendar

Playmobil Advent Calendar

I have always imagined advent calendars to be flimsy things that have a chocolate behind every door .... not now as this advent calendar is really really special!

Behind each of the 24 doors in this clever calendar is a different Playmobil figure or accessory.
Gone is the 'Oh what shaped chocolate will I get today?' it is replaced with 'What will you find behind today's door?' There are choices of one of the three Playmobil figures, or one of the four horses? Maybe you'll find an accessory to add to the Pony Farm stable scene that comes with the calendar.



I think that the Playmobil - Pony Farm Advent Calendar is a fun and original alternative to a chocolate advent calendar.  The set encourages imagination and so leads to the toy being educational too ... all from an advent calendar!


When you've opened all the doors and completed your scene, you can check out the Playmobil Pony Ranch range to add more to it.  Possibly unlocking an interest that can be added to year after year with all the different sets available.

If you have more than one child then buy different sets to make a whole play village - a daily treat to add to their new toy.

The Pony Farm Advent Calendar features:
■ 24 doors of Pony Ranch Playmobil to open.
■ The set builds up to create a Pony Farm scene.
■ Toys include 3 Playmobil figures, 4 horses, and loads of accessories!

Age 4+ due to small parts, the advent calendar is based around ages 4-10.  Emma is nearly 10 and she is very excited about opening the boxes.

Other sets available:
4160 Dragon’s Land £14.99
4159 Pony Ranch £14.99
4155 Christmas in the Forest £14.99
4157 Police £14.99
4158 Unicorn in Fairy World £14.99

RRP: £14.99 depending on retailer.

You can purchase the advent calendars direct from Playmobil’s online shop, www.playmobil.co.uk  but they can also be found at Toys R Us, The Entertainer, and all other good toy shops.

24 Nov 2010

Nelsons Tea Tree Antiseptic

Nelsons Tea Tree Natural First Aid Antiseptic

'Magic Cream' has always been high on my first aid kit list, I like cream that is white as it looks clean from the time you squeeze it out of the tube to when you are carefully rubbing it into the 'poorly'.

Nelsons Tea Tree Cream has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties so can be used in a variety of different ways. The cream can be applied to cuts, bruises, bites, blemishes, acne, scabies, chicken pox as well as other skin disorders.

All natural, this homeopathic Nelsons Tea Tree Cream is suitable for all the family. Nelsons Tea Tree cream is a soothing skin cream prepared using the finest, purest tea tree oil from Australia. Tea tree oil has many uses but is best known for its excellent antiseptic properties.



Nelsons Tea Tree Cream is a nice cream, however the very strong smell of tea tree is a little off putting.  I found that a little went a long way ... not because its very economical but because it doesn't really sink in very quickly so spreads out over the skin.  I put a tiny blob on the back of my hand and rubbed it in, 10 minutes later and I still have white streaks of cream on my skin. 

The area where I rubbed the cream is very very soft and supple, when I applied the cream it felt cool and nice, which is great.  It is a nice cream just takes a bit of getting used too.

Nelsons Tea Tree cream is priced at £4.55 for 30g and £5.90 for 50g, it is available from Holland and Barrett, Boots, selected Lloyds pharmacies, the pharmacy section of Sainsburys, Morrisons and Asda and all good independent health food and pharmacy stores.

Chang Beer

Chang beer is a very light coloured beer which give quite a punch on drinking.  Brewed in Thailand it is quite a smooth beer but tastes quite malty compared with other bottled imports (such as Indian beers). 
Tha appearance is quite appealing, in a tall glass (from a female prospective) it looks very swish, yet when you drink it the first taste that hits you is a slight malty aftertaste at the back of your tongue .. almost like beer that hasn't finished brewing.  However after a few mouthfuls the taste subsides and you are left with quite a refreshing rich beer.
Chang is the Thai word for elephant, an animal that has cultural and historical significance to Thailand. The logo for Chang Beer features two elephants facing one other.

Each bottle is 5% alcohol by volume, which is quite high for a small bottle of beer.
Price wise it is quite competitive with an RRP averaging at only £1.50 a bottle (based on an online store search). 

I quite like Chang beer, but I do prefer Indian beer in comparison.  Chang beer will go lovely with most food particularly anything with a Thai influence.  This beer is also nice as a refreshing drink just to sit and sip, I feel it would be too gassy to drink just for the sake of drinking .. its more a beer that you would savour and enjoy.

Chang has been awarded quite a few medals recently including gold medals from the World Beer Championships, the Australian International Beer Award and also gold in the 2009 World Beers and Drinks Selection.  Obviously this is a beer to keep an eye on as its impresses worldwide.

Available from all Oddbins stores and some larger Tesco stores, Makro and Booker and Booths across the UK. 

You can also buy online at www.changebeerstore.com  where they have a CHRISTMAS SPECIAL OFFER, NOW ONLY £1 PER BOTTLE. 24 bottles of Thailand's award-winning beer for only £24.00.

For more information please visit: http://www.changbeer.com/


21 Nov 2010

Staffs4x4


Staffs4x4

Staffs4x4 are an offroading / green laning club.  They are a group who like to use their 4x4 vehicles to visit the beauty of the UK (and possibly other countries in the future) while driving off road on tracks and lanes.

Recently set up by two experienced green laners they are already busy organising days and events for everyone to enjoy next year.

The team are hoping to be part of large shows across the UK to advertise the club on club stands.  These events normally last all weekend so the members can have a trip away camping or caravanning together. 
In the evenings everyone tucks into a BBQ while sitting round the campfire, winding down from a full day of meeting people and telling them about the club and what they are all about.

Please visit www.staffs4x4.co.uk for more information.

17 Nov 2010

Domino's Pizza

Domino's Pizza

Tonight we had a family treat for dinner ... last week I brought a slow cooker and since then we have had stew every single night, needless to say my poor family were sick of stew and begged me for something different.    So tonight I relented after Andy said "Have a night off love you deserve it!" and ordered in from Domino's.

The clever thing about Domino's is that you can order pizza online, no more shouting "NO! I don't want extra anchovies!" down the phone you can sit and browse the menu in the peace and quiet of your own home.  I am sure many of you are thinking 'peace and quiet? whats that?' and yes you are correct as I had Emma over my shoulder going "I don't like peppers! I don't like onion!" until I told her to shut it or she'd get nothing except crust!

The ordering process was pretty easy, you start off with entering your postcode so that it can link you with your local branch, the next screen has each type of food in a different tab along the top of the screen ... deals, pizza, sides, desserts, subs.  Have a look at the pizza menu and you will see for yourselves.

I started with the 'Deals' tab and found that there was a 'buy one get one half price' deal running and also a deal where you got a large pizza, garlic pizza bread and potato wedges for only £17.99.  I totted up our order and found that the 'buy one get one half price' deal would be better for my budget.

We ordered 2 x large pizza's, a garlic pizza bread, a chicken stripper combo, extra chicken strippers and some garlic mozzarella fingers.  The chicken stripper combo is a good deal as it contains a whole portion of potato wedges and chicken strippers plus dips for much less than buying them separately.  Emma likes the chicken dippers (as does my Dad) so I ordered the extra chicken portion.

My order only took 20 minutes to arrive, which I thought was fantastic!  All products were piping hot and well packed, plus we had a wide selection of dips (garlic mayo, honey & mustard, sweet chilli and BBQ) to choose from.  Each pizza was cut through correctly which was great for Emma as she sometimes struggles to put the slices away from the main pizza.

The side dishes were a good size, although I felt we could have done with a few more potato wedges ... but with the whole of our order we had plenty of food for 4 of us.



We didn't personally try it (as I didn't fancy it) but Domino's have created a Double Decadence pizza.  This is two thin crusts sandwiched with a basil pesto.  You can then have the toppings of your choice.  To be it looks a little strong as I am not a massive fan of pesto ... but I would say that the idea is very very Italian taking pizza designs back to its roots.

Our meal tonight was spot on!  We all enjoyed the pizza and sides, I wish now I had ordered some desserts too as I fancy something chocolaty ... maybe I can convince Andy to nip out for me? no I don't think he will go either!

For more information and prices, please visit: http://www.dominos.co.uk/

Domino's reviewed by Anna at http://little-bit-of-everything-reviews.blogspot.com/

11 Nov 2010

Lilys Kitchen Bedtime Biscuits

Lily's Kitchen Bedtime Biscuits

Ruby likes biscuits! Ruby being a Labrador would quite happily eat a whole box of biscuits in one sitting ... so we have to hide them :)

Lily's Kitchen is a range of proper pet food full of natural organic ingredients, the company put a lot of thought and care into their products, so much so that you could probably eat them yourself (but I wouldn't recommend it!).

The Bedtime Biscuits are traditionally baked using the finest organic ingredients, they aim to provide a good nights sleep for your dog as they are full of ingredients that are renowned for their relaxing properties.

Bedtime Biscuits are full to the brim with organic Oats and organic Rye Flour. Organic Chamomile and Passion Flowers for their therapeutic and nutritious qualities. Also included is organic pro-biotic yogurt to help digestion and other bodily functions.


The oval-shaped biscuits do not contain any chemicals or anything artificial. No pesticides are used in their production. These treats are low in fat which is a great benefit especially to Ruby who is a bit on the tubby side.

I have to say that the Nutritional Analysis sounds a bit odd?? but at least the company are honest in what's in them:
Crude Protein 12%
Crude Oils and Fats 7%
Crude Fibres 6.5%
Crude Ash 3.5%

The treats are available in 150g packs for £3.95 and can be purchased from Lily's Kitchen stockists as well as from the website http://www.lilyskitchen.co.uk/
These treats have a shelf life of 14 months which is excellent if you would like to bulk buy or buy as a gift.


Certified Organic - Organic Farmers and Growers
Certified Holistic - British Association of Holistic Nutrition and Medicine

10 Nov 2010

HP Be A Star

HP- Be A Star

Well what can I say ... I always knew that one day I would be famous :) as the song said "When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother what would I be? Will I be famous? Will I be rich? .....".  Well I am not rich so I must be famous!

Plus I can prove it ... take a look at this video of my night out and you'll see http://bit.ly/ds0DOW    

<div id="videoWrapper" style="display: block; "><object id="hpVideo" height="360" width="640" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="http://yats.cdn.theiplatform.info/static/flash/index2.swf?cachebreaker=1289339310590"><param name="quality" value="high"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><param name="wMode" value="transparent"><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true"><param name="wmode" value="opaque"><param name="swfversion" value="6.0.65.0"><param name="flashvars" value="name=Anna%20Guest&photo=http%3A%2F%2Fyats.theiplatform.info%2Fuploads%2F4cd9c19bbdb9748jtlcf5g4u7ec66pe05hoi7c7.jpg&frname=Insider&frphoto=http%3A%2F%2Fyats.theiplatform.info%2Fuploads%2F4cd9c19bbdb9748jtlcf5g4u7ec66pe05hoi7c7.jpg&sex=F&mediaurl=http%3A%2F%2Fyats.cdn.theiplatform.info%2Fstatic%2Fflash%2Fflv%2FHp_Female_vivienne_laptop_final.flv&skinurl=http%3A%2F%2Fyats.cdn.theiplatform.info%2Fstatic%2Fflash%2FSkinOverPlayMute.swf&showstart=true&showend=true&endurl=http%3A%2F%2Fyats.theiplatform.info%2F&width=640&height=360&pingurl=http%3A%2F%2Fyats.theiplatform.info%2Fnewsfeedwatch.php%3Fsrc%3Dnewsembed_Microsite%26uid%3D0"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="loop" value="false"><param name="flashVars" value="name=Anna%20Guest&photo=http%3A%2F%2Fyats.theiplatform.info%2Fuploads%2F4cd9c19bbdb9748jtlcf5g4u7ec66pe05hoi7c7.jpg&frname=Insider&frphoto=http%3A%2F%2Fyats.theiplatform.info%2Fuploads%2F4cd9c19bbdb9748jtlcf5g4u7ec66pe05hoi7c7.jpg&sex=F&mediaurl=http%3A%2F%2Fyats.cdn.theiplatform.info%2Fstatic%2Fflash%2Fflv%2FHp_Female_vivienne_laptop_final.flv&skinurl=http%3A%2F%2Fyats.cdn.theiplatform.info%2Fstatic%2Fflash%2FSkinOverPlayMute.swf&showstart=true&showend=true&endurl=http%3A%2F%2Fyats.theiplatform.info%2F&width=640&height=360&pingurl=http%3A%2F%2Fyats.theiplatform.info%2Fnewsfeedwatch.php%3Fsrc%3Dnewsembed_Microsite%26uid%3D0"></object></div> 

Did you see the papers this week? NO? Well you missed all the gossip about little ole me ;)

Ha!Ha! not really .. you too can be a star with Hewlett Packard's neat video maker on their website called "Be A Star".  All you have to do is upload a photo of yourself, add in your name and if you are male/female, choose which of their laptop ranges is like your lifestyle .. and it does the rest for you.

Copy the code it gives you and post below in the comment box (so we can all have a laugh), or post it on Facebook or Twitter.

While you are over at Facebook please 'Like' the Hewlett Packard FB fanpage http://www.facebook.com/HPUK 

 

Go on .. what are you waiting for? Be A Star!



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9 Nov 2010

LIV Maple Lodge

LIV Maple Lodge

Andy has spent the last year trying to get me to go camping or 'roughing it' (well I hope he was talking about camping anyway!) ... I wasn't convinced.  I need a proper bed, a fridge and my own loo .. I can't be doing with all this finding a big bush or tree to wee behind or heading off into a forest with a torch and a roll of Charmin. 
So Andy brought me a caravan :) I love my caravan so much that its clean and tidy (now if you can see my house you wouldn't expect my caravan to be tidy!).  

Anyway... so where is this going? or am I just prattling on about nothing?
Well LIV have brought out the "Its My Nature - Maple Lodge" which is slightly different from your normal play doll house.  For a start there is no pool, or wardrobe, or shoes, or real flushing toilet! this is because Maple Lodge is all about camping and living with nature.


The lodge folds out to create a good sized play house, but folds away to be able to store it easily.  This is a breath of fresh air (see what I did there? nature/fresh air!) for in our house as we had years of tripping over play doll chairs, beds, castles! and other HUGE equipment ... this one just folds away.

So what do you get with the Maple Lodge? There are 25+ accessories included in the set:
1 Sleeping Bag, 1 Hammock with stand. 1 Campfire that really lights up (how cool is that!), 2 Skewers, 2 Pots, 1 Pot rack with 2 hooks, 2 Plates, 7 Silverware, 1 Bowl, 2 Mugs, 1 Coffee pot, 2 Tree stump chairs, 1 Table, 1 Camera, 1 Muffin tin, 1 Milk/Egg carton, 2 Magazines, 1 Game board, 2 Placemats, 2 Hands of cards.

Now this is what confuses me ...... there are 2 placemats, 2 plates etc... but only 1 bowl! What if both dolls want cereal for breakfast?  Then you have things like 2 tree stump chairs (very authentic) but only 1 sleeping bag!! Do they have to play a board game or poker with the cards to work out who gets the sleeping bag? Does one doll get cold and hungry?  Then there is a muffin tray ... that'll be for whacking bears over the head with I suppose :)  My favourite accessory is the magazines ... well you need to wipe your dolls bum on something don't you ... did you see loo roll on the accessory list?

The lodge contains a fridge, cooker and cupboard, great for storing all the little bits and pieces that come with it :)

I do actually love this Maple Lodge, its really sweet.  Also goes really well with Nutmeg the Horse which I have also reviewed.

Available from Spinmaster in all good toyshops.
RRP £24.99

8 Nov 2010

Moon Sand Sweet Delights

Moon Sand Sweet Delights

When I first saw Moon Sand advertised I thought it looked a bit naff, but after seeing the actual product and the accessories its actually pretty good.

Moon Sand is a sand based product that you can mould like dough.  After moulding you can even bake your creations and paint them (craft paint isn't included but I would use acrylic paint that you can buy at many craft shops, pound shops and supermarkets).
The aim of Moon Sand is to mould different shapes like a selection of fruits, chocolate and cookie delights, then scoop them up into the working blender with a dollop of Moon Sand ice cream. Decorate with straws, berries and umbrellas for the ultimate shake!
The set includes a real working blender (you have to turn the handle), a selection of moulds, 3 dessert glasses, 1 scoop, 3 spoons, 3 straws and 2 umbrellas.

It states that the Moon Sand will never dry out, but I would keep it in an airtight container anyway .... plus it will help with keeping it all together and tidy.  The box the product comes in is pretty good for storing all the bits and pieces and is stack able.

Age 3+ due to small parts.
RRP: £15
Available from all good high street toy stores, Internet and mail order.

A Spinmaster Toy product.

4 Nov 2010

Christmas in Staffordshire - Enjoy Card

Warm nostalgia awaits this winter, as a countywide transformation sees Staffordshire become a Christmas wonderland. With family days out, magical activities, ye olde markets and the chance to find that special gift for that special someone, there’s something for everyone in Staffordshire this Christmastime.


Trentham Estate becomes ‘Santa’s Wonderland’ from 12th November, with the Christmas Lights switch on marking the beginning of the festive season. Wooden chalets will be selling mulled wine, Christmas gifts, decorations, local produce and cooking hog roasts, and visitors can also try their hand at skating on the real Ice Rink in its beautiful lakeside setting.With an array of seasonal activities taking place throughout December, from the Santa experience to tap dancing turkeys and rodeo reindeers, Trentham will provide everyone with the perfect opportunity to get in to the festive spirit. (trentham.co.uk)



Everyone knows that Christmastime can test even the jolliest of shoppers, but the chaos can be turned into a treat at Staffordshire’s wonderful Christmas markets. On 4th December Leek steps back in time and becomes a nineteenth-century Dickensian town, complete with strolling costumed entertainers, outdoor stalls, and cafes and pubs offering traditional fayre. On the 11th and 12th December visit Lichfield for their Christmas Festival Weekend with hot chocolate and mulled wine being served on the Market Square, which can be sipped whilst enjoying free entertainment including dancing, drama and carol singing. Sunday sees the arrival of Lichfield Christmas Fayre with shopping and crafts, as well as special activities and Santa’s Grotto for mini merrymakers.


Even if all the shopping is out of the way, there is still plenty to do in Staffordshire to bring in the Yuletide season. Children of all ages can have a ‘Magical Christmas’ at Drayton Manor Theme Park with a visit to Thomas Land, which will become a winter wonderland from 27th November to 2nd January. Expect thousands of decorations and lights, snow machines releasing bursts of snow three times a day, and The Fat Controller performing musical numbers at regular intervals! The fantastic 4D Cinema will also be showing a special Christmas film ‘Sleigh Ride’ for a truly magical Christmas experience. (draytonmanor.co.uk)


Make it a white Christmas throughout November and December, and hitch a ride on a sledge or slide on foot through the magical Winter Wonderland at Tamworth’s SnowDome where real snow is, of course, guaranteed. Even Santa himself will be there, along with real reindeer and a festive Wonderland show. (snowdome.co.uk)


For a touch of romance this festive season, head over to Shugborough Estate where hundreds of candles and fresh flowers will bring a sparkle to the Christmas evenings between the 1st and 4th December, with Victorian costumed characters, from cooks to footmen, telling stories of Christmases past. Add to this beautiful backdrop brass bands, carol singers, snow showers, and a large gift and food marquee and visitors are sure of a truly wonderful way to begin the season of goodwill. (shugborough.org.uk)



And what about the most important part of any Christmas day: the turkey and trimmings? Aspiring masterchefs should attend a brand new event for 2010 at Weston Park’s Granary Grill, where Head Chef, Guy Day, will host a series of question and answer sessions to address guests’ Christmas culinary conundrums. Taking place between 16th and 18th November, the sessions include samples, recipe cards to take home and a fabulous two-course lunch. If, after this, you’re feeling inspired to get creative in the kitchen, the Granary Farm Shop will provide you with all the locally produced goodies you could possibly want to create the perfect Christmas feast. (weston-park.com)


Finally - don’t forget the tree! At Birches Valley Forest Centre in Cannock Chase, soak up the Christmas spirit and real pine aroma with thousands of fresh Christmas trees available to buy, as well as traditional festive decorations, from 28th November to 19th December. (cannock-chase.co.uk)

We always buy our tree from here on the 1st weekend in December ... so pop along as you might meet me!!


Celebrate the season of goodwill to all and visit Staffordshire this Yuletide for some truly terrific events; just make sure you come home with everything you need for a truly magical Christmas, including a big dose of Christmas cheer!


Enjoy Card holders should check for discounts at attractions this winter by visiting enjoystaffordshire.co.uk/enjoycard
I have an enjoy Staffordshire card .. its pretty handy :)

Win a year's salary from PayPal

What would you do with £40,000 ?

Spend it on something you have been saving for? A wedding or a house?

Blow the lot on clothes and a huge holiday? Or would you save it and spend it wisely?

I would do a bit of everything; first up I would go off on holiday for a few weeks to somewhere hot and posh.  While I am away the designers can come in and decorate my house for me in so that when I return my house is gorgeous and I haven't had to lift a finger to make it that way (keeping it nice is a different story!).  Of course I would buy bits and bobs that I have fancied for ages but couldn't afford, a newer car for example .... the rest I would put into a savings account, but the way I spend there probably wouldn't be much left to save anyway :)

 


But to suddenly find yourself with £40,000 is just a dream isn't it! or is it?

PayPal have launched a brilliant prize draw promotion that give everyonse who enters the chance to win a year’s salary of £40,000. Log in too www.paypal.co.uk/win for your chance to win.

It’s very easy to enter, all you have to do is buy something with PayPal, and you'll be automatically entered into the weekly prize draw.  And the more you buy the more chances you get, because you get entered every single time you buy with PayPal.  Plus with the prize draw being weekly ... you get more chances to win.


More and more shops are teaming up with PayPal for a simple and safe way to pay online, no more putting in your card details just sign up to PayPal and login when required to pay for your goods.  I use PayPal all the time as I don't always trust websites with my card details, with PayPal I don't need to tell them anything as I have trusted PayPal with my details and they do the rest.

So what could you buy with £40,000 ? 

Treat yourself to a new Moben Kitchen via www.next.co.uk (Yes they do actually sell Moben Kitchens)

Spend £265 on a gorgeous Karen Millen winter warmer coat from www.karenmillen.com

Buy some Christmas pressies from www.tedbaker.com like this bracelet

A reindeer cardie that your nan hasn't knitted from www.asos.com

Or just buy lots and lots of funky undies from Superdry at www.superdry.com

 


    For full Terms and Conditions of the competition please visit:

Win £40000

Find out more

Enter now for your chance to win

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LIV Nutmeg Horse


LIV - It's My Nature - Nutmeg the Horse

Nutmeg is a fully poseable play horse with movable limbs.  Her hair is lovely and long, ready for brushing and styling.  From the ever popular LIV doll range, Nutmeg is a very welcome addition, she is a lovely toy and very well sculpted and produced.

Nutmeg comes with 15+ pieces including 2 blankets, 1 saddle, bridle and reins, grooming tools, hair styling accessories, a scoop and pretend feeding buckets and bags.

My personal favourite part of Nutmeg is her eyes, the play horse has real looking eyes that are set into the toy and not painted on.  This top finish makes her look really stylish and professional.
With each LIV toy you also get free web membership to LIV World via a code from the toy.  The website is a safe site for children to explore which is only open to people who have purchased LIV products.

I really like Nutmeg the horse and her accessories, the saddle and reins look as if they are made from real leather instead of having a plastic finish.

Available from all good toy shops and high street stores.
RRP £24.99

CELEBRITY SHOE AUCTION GETS TANZANIA ON ITS FEET


Shoe Aid For Africa – Supported by Shoe Care Expert Kiwi


Stars including Denise Van Outen, Strictly Come Dancing’s Felicity Kendal, Jameela Jamil, Mel C and Scrubs actor Zach Braff are just a few of the celebrities who have raided their shoe wardrobes to donate to the Shoe Aid for Africa eBay Auction on 3rd November, 2010.

The Kiwi Shoe Aid For Africa Campaign, Celebrity Shoe Auction is live today!!
Please visit:
http://members.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=shoeaidforafrica or 
http://shop.ebay.co.uk/shoeaidforafrica/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p3686
for more information and to bid for some celebrity shoes.


In the UK, we discard two million pairs of shoes every week [1]. This contributes to the nearly two million tonnes of textiles dumped in landfill each year. Shoes in Africa cost more than a month’s salary – approximately 12% of the annual wage; a huge sum compared to the cost of shoes in the UK, where a normal purchase represents just 0.83% of our average yearly salary [2].


With these shocking statistics in mind, shoe-care expert Kiwi created the Shoe Aid for Africa campaign two years ago to give UK families a chance to change lives in Africa. Each year, Shoe Aid for Africa aims to send 100,000 pairs of shoes to an African country. This year, the campaign is supporting Tanzania, working with the charity Soles4Souls to ensure the shoes reach the right people.


TV personality and shoe enthusiast Denise Van Outen is this year’s Kiwi Shoe Aid for Africa ambassador, and the face of the celebrity shoe auction being held on eBay to raise funds for this year’s campaign.


Avid shoe collectors can bid for more than 20 pairs of celebrity and designer shoes, including a pair of Denise’s very own cherry-red heels, when the 10-day auction opens on 3rd November, 2011. Lucky winning bidders will literally feel what it’s like to walk in a celebrity’s shoes.


Denise Van Outen said: “The simple luxury of wearing shoes is something we all take for granted. The conditions Africans face are unimaginable to those who haven’t experienced them first hand. I think it’s so important to help with a fundamental need such as this – providing footwear to children so that they can deal with day-to-day challenges with some comfort in their lives.”


Denise continued: “On a personal level, I’m looking forward to the online auction, which I think is just a fantastic way to raise cash. Never one to miss a shoe sale, I’ll also be roping in my mates to check out the online shoe cabinet. I’m hoping punters will bid more than they would usually on eBay, not only because this is such a worthwhile cause, but also because a lot of these celebrity shoes have a tale to tell – if shoes could talk, eh! I’m also happy to be parting with a pair of my favourites for the cause – a pair of fabulous, cheeky red heels!”


The auction will not only help raise funds to reach the target of 100,000 pairs of shoes, but also aims to raise the profile of the campaign and the need for this type of aid in Africa as a whole. For every US$1 (63p) raised from the auction, Kiwi will send another pair of shoes out to children in Tanzania.


Celebrities have raided their wardrobes and shoe-racks to support the cause. Here is just a sample of some of the famously heeled shoes up for grabs:


• Sweeping the floor at this year’s BBC Strictly Come Dancing, Felicity Kendal has donated a pair of her lucky dancing shoes


• Stylish Emilio Luca X shoes donated by actress Barbara Windsor


• There’s nothing sporty about the foxy black patent Chanel shoes donated by Mel C


• PR and style expert Nick Ede has donated his pink and white Puma


• Famous make-up artist Lisa Eldridge lives up to her reputation for glamour with a sparkly pair of Miu Miu heels


• Winner of eight major championships, Tom Watson, American Professional golfer has donated a pair of FJ Superlightes.


• Black Alfani men’s shoe-ankle boots from 3 Doors Down lead singer, Brad Arnold


• Plus strappy sandals from the personal collection of Pearl Lowe - singer-songwriter turned fashion and textiles designer.

Denise Van Outen concludes: “The great thing about the campaign is that even if you don’t manage to snag yourself a pair of beauties on eBay, you can still contribute by making a donation through the site.”


References


(1) www.recyclingconsortium.org


(2) www.newscientist.com

2 Nov 2010

Moon Dough

Moon Dough

When I was little my mum used to make her own version of playdoh out of salt, flour and water .... I used to get moaned at for 'getting it stuck in the carpet' and I think this is where I got my aversion to playdoh from.

Poor Emma was never allowed to play with dough at home, but I did used to take her along to my pottery classes occasionally (I used to teach ceramics of all subjects) and let her make real things from clay ... I even let her glaze her creations how cool am I!

Anyway .... Moon Dough is supposedly different as it never dries out!  Honestly never again will you have to chuck out balls of dried up dough .... however this dough is really really crumbly, so unless you have a large table to use it on or a very large plastic sheet to protect you carpet - don't use the dough!

I found that before I let Emma get her hands on it I warmed it up by kneading it with my larger warmer hands.  This way it almost puffed up and became more foamy than doughy.  It was still crumbly but not as much as when it first came out of the packet.

The box sets of Moon Dough are pretty cool, the Barn is really sturdy and cute, it reminds me of the 'Little People' sets with the styling and colouring of the design.  I also like the Puppy set where you can make dog bones and other treats for your puppy.  There is also a pretend pizza kit ... but never fear as Moon Dough is completely safe if your kids do eat it and its even wheat free!

I know it states that it never dries out but I would suggest keeping it in an airtight container anyway, plus it helps when you try to get the kids to tidy up.

Available from all good toy shops.

International Caravan and Motorhome 2010 with P&O Ferries


This year we went along to the International Caravan & Motorhome 2010 show at the NEC.
It was a great day out with plenty to see and do, from looking in the new style caravans and motorhomes to entering competitions and giveaways,

Our friends and I were able to look around the caravans without being harassed by salesmen to purchase or put down a deposit.

Food at the show was plentiful with stands selling fresh produce at the Farmers Market and also there was plenty of stalls giving away free tasters and samples.

All-in-all we all had a great day out, I have already chosen the style of caravan that I would like to upgrade too ... its just a shame that we are skint!  Oh well we can wish :)

Some news from the show:

The Big Launch



Key sponsor P&O Ferries had one of the busiest stands thanks to its generous offer of a free Dover-Calais crossing to anyone purchasing a new motorhome or caravan at the show. Over 150 new owners made a booking on the first day, with even more expected towards the weekend.


P&O was also highlighting the two new ships that will be serving the Dover-Calais route from early 2011. An investment of over £200 million will result in the largest ships ever to service the route at 210 metres long, and although almost %50 bigger than the outgoing fleet the capacity will remain the same, meaning more space for passengers as well as improved facilities. The new ferries will also accommodate any size of motorhome or caravan but on the car deck rather than with freight for added peace of mind.


Space For All


At the busy Elddis stand there were two debutants in both the motorhome and caravan ranges. The Aspire range is a new luxury offering from the firm in the up to £50,000 segment, and to meet the customer interest Elddis are in the process of setting new franchises to offer all three models in the range. The public got their first viewing of the Aspire at the show and the response from the public has been strong.


Commercial Director Chris Whitham explained: “It’s been a really amazing response from the public and an interesting response from our fellow competitors who also manufacturer motorhomes. It’s nice to get some positive feedback about how nice the product really is.”


Elsewhere on the stand the Avante 554 attracted lots of attention, not least from Practical Caravan magazine who gave it an award for its ideal family layout. The innovative interior arrangement came from an internal competition to come up with a new layout, and the end bathroom with twin bunk beds leaves a generous open space at the other end for a comfortable double bed.


Really Smart


RS Motorhomes are well known for their high-end vehicles but at this year’s show they unveiled the new A-Class and van conversion, both of which are designed to appeal to a broader range of customers.


Ian Lowe, Sales Manager for RS Motorhomes explained: “Traditionally we’ve had two models, the Evolution and Endeavour that originated from the motorsport market, but now we’ve developed these new models for the leisure market with a third to follow next year. We’ve had a lot of pre-show activity with people contacting us and making appointments to come and see us at the show specifically to look at these new models.”


Also pulling in the crowds was the impressive Envoy, with an electric tailgate that rises up to reveal a parking space big enough to fit a Smart car. At £225,000 it won’t suit every budget but it also reflects the quality of workmanship regardless of the purchase price.

The Real Deal


Bailey caravans were enjoying lots of visitors to their stand with most of the attention being focused on the new Unicorn range. The third model to benefit from the innovative Alu-Tech construction, the Unicorn is a top of the range product that moves Bailey into a new sector, and the high-end Madrid and Almeria versions were seen for the first time at the show. With the reassurance of a 10-year bodyshell warranty and the comfort of Grade 3 insulation, the Unicorn range was a popular exhibit.


Simon Howard, Marketing Director of Bailey commented: “Certainly this year we’ve found that the most active sector has been the top of the market, and it has been people replacing existing caravans as against a new one you’re looking at around £6,000 to change. On the first day of the show we were 10% up on the same day last year, which was our best-ever day previously.”

Top Class


The focus of the Adria stand was the new A-Class Sonic motorhome, making its debut at the show. The distinctive exterior design has good aerodynamic performance for reduced running costs, while the interiors give an open and airy feel with a contemporary design. The new models have been attracting the greatest interest from buyers with many orders placed on the first day alone.


Kirstie Howe of Adria commented: “We wanted to try and fit in more with the UK market so we now have UK suppliers for our exterior graphics and the soft furnishings on our caravans. We’ve launched a U-shaped lounge which has been extremely well received, we’ve also worked hard on bringing an entry-level motorhome range back into the market under the £40,000 mark.”


Happy Hobby


The impressive range of products on the Hobby stand included the new 750HRL, designed specifically for the exacting standards of the UK market. The rear door has been placed on the near side and the lounge is at the rear with a drop-down bed above it, something not seen on motorhomes of this type before and an ideal compromise over a fixed bed.


Peter Hercberg, Motorhome Business Manager for Hobby Motorhomes was delighted with the interest: “The response to that is phenomenal: it’s already won an award with Which Motorcaravan – very pleasing on its first showing over here. In the UK we’ve managed to increase our market share – we’re now Hobby’s biggest export market. “


Another interesting product is the Slim Tower fridge, exclusively available in Hobby products. Although still 146 litres in capacity the Slim Tower is much narrower and taller, taking up much less space and allowing greater flexibility in the cabin layout.


For more news and information on the show, please visit www.caravanshows.com.

Support our soldiers this Autumn, with Hovis Seed Sensations

‘Support our soldiers this Autumn, with Hovis Seed Sensations’

Help raise £100,000 for the Royal British Legion




Treat yourself to some Hovis Seed Sensations this Autumn and you’ll be helping to raise £100,000 for the Royal British Legion (RBL). This month, for every loaf of Seed Sensations sold, a donation will go directly to the Royal British Legion to help provide support and welfare to the serving, ex-Service community and their families.



In addition to this, Hovis drivers across the country will be showing their support for Remembrance Day by displaying Poppies on the hundreds of yellow branded Hovis lorries that tour the UK on a daily basis.


Hovis has chosen to support RBL because of its heritage for helping British servicemen and women. In 1941, Hovis provided a Spitfire plane to the RAF for its WW2 effort. The plane was named Hominis Vis, Latin for ‘the strength of man’ and the inspiration for Hovis’ brand name.


The Royal British Legion safeguards the welfare, interests and memory of those who are serving or who have served in the Armed Forces. They are one of the UK’s largest membership organisations and recognised as custodians of Remembrance; also running the annual Poppy Appeal.


Hovis Seed Sensations is a premium range of great tasting bread from Britain’s most famous baker. Products currently available include



• Rich & Roasted 800g loaf – bursting with the flavour of eight varieties of seeds, including 8,000 poppy seeds in every loaf

• Light & Nutty Loaf 800g loaf – crammed with six varieties of delicious seeds, including over 16,000 poppy seeds in every loaf (also available in 400g)


A donation will be made to the RBL Poppy Appeal for every special bag of Hovis Seed Sensations bread. Pick up a pack in-store now from £1* in all major supermarkets and make a donation today.

Moxie Girlz Stamp n Style

Moxie Girlz Stamp 'n' Style

Every year since Emma was about 4 we have had various dolls added to her Christmas List.  Each year the dolls have got more and more stylish, more 'teenage' than the most famous doll and they now come in sets with accessories that Emma can use/wear too.


Moxie Girlz are one of the top selling toys for girls this year, the Stamp 'n' Style is a set which includes a doll with really really long hair and a range of hair accessories that are also safe to use on your own hair. 

Each doll comes complete with a hair stamping tool and shaped stamps which when coated in pink or purple wash-out-easy hair colour can create cool stamped shapes directly onto the dolls or your own hair!  You can also use the colours to create streaks or sections of coloured hair too.

Also in the set there is hair glitter mascara, a professional looking hair grip for easy sectioning and also a small brush for styling.  The stamp shapes come in 4 designs: hearts, wavy lines and stars. 

To be honest on the box they look really clever and I wouldn't mind Emma practicing on my hair too.

Basically the set is a makeover for you and your Moxie Girlz™!

There are 4 Moxie Girlz to choose from all with different outfits and accessories.  Avery has blonde hair, Lexa brown hair, Bria brown hair and Sophina also has brown hair. 
We have to always have the blonde one I don't know why?? Emma just likes Avery with the blonde hair!  I would think that with the stamp set the colour would show up better on the blonde hair with it being lighter.



Moxie Girlz™ Magic Hair Stamp ‘n’ Style dolls are available at all good toy stores nationwide and are suitable for ages 5 plus.
Prices start around £24.99.