27 May 2013

Diono Super Mat Deluxe

Super Mat Deluxe

The Super Mat Deluxe is a very clever product.  Do you find that when you put your child's car seat into your car you end up marking the seats?  When you go to sell the car the new owner can instantly see that you have had a car seat in due to marks on the upholstery?
The Super Mat Deluxe is made from individual panels of high density foam that contour to any vehicle seat, these protect the upholstery from permanent indentations.

The mat is also non-slip which means it also stops the car seat from slipping about - which is more safer for your child and assists putting the car seat into the car.

The mat features a really handy fold able changing mat in the front pocket, so no more fumbling about trying to find a changing mat, plus you can change your baby before leaving the car.

You can also use the front pocket to store small items such as tissues, travel packs of wet wipes .. or even travel sickness bags for older children!
The mat is very strong and durable, I have pulled it and twisted it and it is very sturdy yet folds easily to store when it is not required.  The Super Mat Deluxe can be used in any car with any car seat, it has also been crash tested so you know it is extremely safe to use.
Luckily it is also washable :) which is very very handy.

I am impressed by this product and I am surprised it hasn't been thought of before.  A very handy mat the have!

Retail price is £24.99
Available from: Amazon, Kiddicare and Halfords.

19 May 2013


I have been asked to review a new innovative product called Fruush.

Fruush is essentially a bottle cap that flavours your water.
It does this using an innovative system developed by a Swiss company called Vicap. There is a small amount of concentrate in the cap, and when the cap is pushed down it pierces a small piece of silver foil releasing the concentrate into the water.
The original two flavours were raspberry and hibiscus, and lemon and elderberry. The most recent flavours produced are mango and new detox, a healthier flavour aimed more at the female market.

I have tried the Mango variety.   I received a wide necked bottle and a bottle top that contained the flavouring inside it.  All I had to do was fill up the bottle with water, peel back the protective cover on the bottle cap, screw it on and then when ready push a red tab at the top of the drinking cap.
The flavour then came out into my water, I gave it a shake and it was ready :)

The flavour was perfect, my husband tried it and liked it .. my daughter after a taste decided that she liked it and drank the rest!

The idea is good, its simple and easy to use.  The design of adding your own flavour to plain water appeals to young and older people, particularly teenagers and people who visit the gym or take part in sports.

One minor flaw for me is that the bottle top is very wide and it will not fit onto regular shop bought water bottles.  As bottled water is generally cheaper than pop it is a good concept to keep in your bag for when you need a drink, you can just buy a bottle of water and add your own flavouring without having to cart around a bottle of squash or a whole bottle of drink with you.  However with the top being larger it will not fit.

The reasons behind Fruush's larger neck size is .....
    Just screw on one of our caps to a standard size (38mm) bottle, hit the red button and watch the fun begin. Get ready to shake things up.
    All our natural concentrates contain Vitamin B6, putting punch into the water without the need for preservatives. Be healthy, with fruush.
    By keeping the same bottle and only using up caps, fruush saves a huge amount of plastic waste. Go green, go fruush.
  • image_deliverSHAKE THINGS UP
    Put the fun back into staying hydrated. We make drinking water something you want to do, not need to do.

So to be fair, if you are reusing a bottle and not buying new all the time, you are helping to go green.  I can see the reasoning behind the larger neck, especially too as it requires a larger top to hold the cordial inside.

The young designers behind Fruush are taking part in a Young Enterprise competition.

Young Enterprise is a European-wide competition that attempts to get young people between 16 and 18 into business. Young Enterprise is also recognised as a charitable organisation.

Over the course of a year a team, consisting of around 15 members from that school, have to first come up with a product idea. They then look to produce, market, advertise and ultimately sell that product. Teams are required to hold fundraising events at the start of the year, for example we had a quiz night for parents and teachers.
In the middle of the year teams go to Trade Fairs in their local area, where prizes are given for best sales pitch, best product, best stand, and best overall business. Team Spinnaker won best product in the Kingston Trade Fair.
In the summer term the competition really begins starting with qualifiers to the regional final, which we just won this week.

Then after numerous rounds the UK puts forward a few teams to the European Finals; two years ago this was won by another team from St. Paul’s School called Team Summit.

I wish Team Spinnaker the best in the competition - it is a great idea, it works well and appeals to a wide range of ages.  Good luck !!!

For more information or to support these youngsters during the competion - please visit the links below:

Twitter: @drinkfruush

Bonds Retro Classics

Bonds Retro Classics

When I was asked to review Bonds Retro Classics I got very excited :)  I imagined being taken back in time to when my Grandparents owned the local newsagents and I lived on Black Jacks and Fruit Salads.  At that time you could buy a big bag of sweets for 10p and sit slurping away at a variety of flavours and sherbets all afternoon.

The Retro Classics bag claims to have 'All your favourites in one bag!' and on the packet shows images of Love Hearts and Lipsticks, Dennis & Gnasher Chewbies, Blackjacks, Fizzers, Parma Violets, Lollies, Drumsticks and Refreshers.
On the reverse it states "Mix Not Guaranteed" which is good on their behalf as the mix in our bag contained 4 different items!  We had Drumsticks, Parma Violets, Refreshers and a few Blackjacks.

To be honest - I was disappointed.  The sweets we had we the same as the ones we got in a mega bucket for a couple of quid at Halloween, there were no sweets that I hadn't tasted for years or any varieties that I could have chatted to my daughter about.

I know they cannot guarantee the contents but I think they could have made a bit more of an effort to give a wider selection.

Anyway a little about Bonds:
Bonds of London is one of the oldest confectionery companies in the UK and began making handmade sweets in 1895. Many of the original recipes are still used in today’s products.  

Bonds produces old fashioned jars and gift jars as well as traditional bags, plus the UK’s leading small 39p bag range. In addition the company wholesales a range of top selling kid’s products as well as a large range of novelty confectionery, ideal for the gift and seasonal markets. Bond’s is also one of the UK’s leading suppliers of own label products for many household name stores and discount retailers.

With well over 450 products in its portfolio (and now all available on the Bond’s Confectionery website) Bond’s is the one stop shop for all the UK’s favourite sweets. Bond’s Confectionary aims to offer fantastic products at fantastic prices, coupled with outstanding service to meet the most demanding standards.

For more information please visit: 

Bonds Confectionery

As new research confirms that Britain is a nation of sweet lovers

A national survey of 2,000 UK consumers, commissioned by Bonds Confectionery, has revealed that over a third of people admit to having a sweet tooth and to buying sweets every day, with another 37 per cent claiming that their favourite sweet treats are guaranteed to cheer them up when they're feeling down. Forty per cent of confectionery lovers buy their sugary snacks to share on a cosy night in with their partner or family and when they are planning trips to the cinema or theatre.

The research also found that over 70 per cent of people now buy some of their sweets in the supermarket, as part of their weekly shop, with less than 25 per cent choosing to visit their local convenience store or newsagent. Another 18 per cent buy their sweet treats from discount retailers whilst 14 per cent pick up their confectionery at the same time as filling up with petrol. Even when budgets are tight most people don't give up their sweet snacks. Whilst 20 per cent of people give up takeaways to reduce spending and another 15 per cent cut out trips to the cinema, only six per cent are prepared to give up their favourite sweets.

Commenting on the research findings, Philip Courtenay-Luck, managing director of Bonds Confectionery, said: “The survey results confirm what we have known for some time and that is that in Britain we love our sweets, but that the way that we buy them has definitely changed.

“The days when a visit to our local sweet shop, to stock up on our family favourites, was part of our normal routine have all but disappeared with most of us now choosing to do this as part of the weekly shop. This has reduced the range of sweets that we have to choose from, as supermarket aisles are largely dominated by big confectionery brands, but at Bonds we know UK sweet buyers still want their traditional favourites as well as household name brands. It was this knowledge, coupled with the phenomenal growth of online retail, that prompted us to launch the new consumer website.”

The Bonds Confectionery website offers over 450 sweet ranges from bagged chocolates such as the indulgent Honeycomb, Caramel Barrels and Chocolate Mix to the ever popular sweet shop range which offers traditional lines like Sherbet Lemons, Fruit Jellies and Chocolate Limes. Also on offer is the hugely popular Retro Classics bag and an extensive range of kid’s sweets such as Fizzy Cola Bottles, Teeth & Lips and Dolly Mixtures.

Sweet lovers also admitted that chocolate is by far their favourite sweet indulgence, with over 40 per cent of people naming it as their top choice of treat with jellies and gums in second place at 10 per cent and old fashioned boiled sweets coming in third with eight per cent of the vote. The lowly marshmallow came last on the list with only one per cent of people choosing it as their favourite.

Philip added: “The survey also found that six per cent of people already buy their sweets online and with the rate of growth of online retail almost 10 times that of the overall retail market coupled with the fact that in Britain we love our sweets there is a real opportunity to recreate the traditional sweet shop experience online.”

For more information about the Bonds Confectionery range of products visit:

Freshers Bacon Jerky

Bacon Jerky from Freshers Foods

I was asked to review Freshers Foods new snack product 'Bacon Jerky'.

Freshers Foods are
 an innovative snack food manufacturer specialising in meat snacks such as traditional pork scratchings, crunch and crackling.
They recently innovated and launched a brand new product to the market - Freshers Bacon Jerky. It's a ready to eat meat snack that is made from 100% sweet cured marinated bacon pieces and is available in Original and BBQ flavour. 

Basically the product is solid strips of marinated sweet cured bacon, which have been marinated, cured, cooked and air dried.

Each original flavour pack contains 

Nutrition Information (Typical Value per 100g)
Energy 1457 KJ (558 kcal)

Protein 48.9g
Carbohydrate 7.0g
Fat 13.7g
Sodium 1.3g
Salt Equivalent 3.4g

If you are watching your calorie intake the BBQ flavour is a little better for you
Nutrition Information (Typical Value per 100g)
Energy 1278 KJ (304 kcal)
Protein 45.9g
Carbohydrate 3.9g
Fat 11.9g
Sodium 1.8g
Salt Equivalent 4.6g

So what do they taste like?
This review has been a little difficult for me as I like to be truthfully honest, I understand that everyone has different tastes and prefer different products, flavours and textures so you may rate these snacks differently to me and my family

Basically we thought they tasted like dog treats.  The texture is thick and stringy, so chewy that it goes into tiny pieces of hard bacon in your mouth and ends up difficult to swallow.  I asked a range of people to try each flavour: my husband, my daughter and her friends at school, finally my Dad who was brought up eating strange snacks and dry cured products.
All who tasted decided that they didn't like them or that the product wasn't for them.

To save wasting them .. we fed them to our dog Ruby who smacked her lips in delight and polished off the rest of the packet!

If you would like to try Freshers Snacks, please visit http://freshersfoods.com/shop/
I would recommend their scampi snacks and pork scratchings :) they are yummy!!