9 April 2012

Review: Fabric Flavours Gruffalo T-Shirt

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Once again the lovely Fabric Flavours have generously given Logan one of their Gruffalo's Child T-Shirts to test for them and as always it doesn't disappoint. I think photo's will speak louder than words for this review so have a grander below.





Not the best of photos but it's so hard to get Logan to stand still, he's always buzzing around and never stops! As you can see The Gruffalo's Child T-shirt is lovely, very bright and quite unusual. Lots of people have commented on it even other children who happen to like the Gruffalo which is quite cute.

Fabric Flavours describe their t-shirt: "Come to the deep, dark, wood and see the Gruffalo’s Child learning about the Big Bad Mouse from her dad, The Gruffalo. The title of the book is embroidered on the front and contrasting 'grin' stitch is used on the sleeves and hem. There is a little surprise waiting for you! The Big Bad Mouse is hiding at the back of the t-shirt!"

The t-shirt was easy washed and retained it's lovely softness although some of the colours seemed to bleed a little even though I washed it as described on the tag which is a shame however I'm sure on the next wash this will come out and all will be right as rain.

Better Photo from Fabric Flavours
You can purchase this lovely t-shirt directly from www.fabricflavours.com for RRP £18.00. It would make an excellent present for any Gruffalo mad child, boy or girl. It comes in three different sizes which include; 1/2 years, 3/4 years & 5/6 years. The one Logan is wearing is 3/4 years and he's 2 years old just now but it fits perfectly with a little more room to grow.

Mummies rating - 7/10
Logan's rating - 8/10

Please visit www.fabricflavours.com for more products and information. You can also see what they get up to on Facebook so why not pop over and say hello! Remember to tell them The Breastest News sent you.
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8 April 2012

Silent Sunday

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Silent Sunday

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7 April 2012

Review: Guylian Luxury Easter Egg

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I'm not a massive fan of chocolate but when Guylian sent me a box of chocolates to sample last month I was quickly converted. Now, Guylian have sent me their Luxury Easter Egg to review which I must say is to die for. What an excellent gift it would make for any hardie chocolate lovers out there.

"Guy Foubert was a passionate Belgian Chocolatier making handmade chocolate truffles in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. In 1958, Guy and Liliane joined their names, both in marriage and in their company names creating Guylian, a small artisanal chocolate maker."


The Luxury Easter Egg comes not only with an egg (obviously) but also with a lovely box of choccies which hold 258g of chocolates. The egg was delicious milk chocolate but the luxury belgian collection box of chocolates were amazing. I only received them the other day and the other half and I have almost finished the box! The chocolates are made with 100% pure cocoa butter with the distinguishable hazelnut praline filling and the recipe hasn't changed for over 50 years which is why the sumptuous Seahorse design remains a popular favourite to this day.


I really can't praise these chocolates enough. They were very delicious, melt in the mouth heavenly treats. You can purchase them from most supermarkets infact I seen them in Asda just the other day so definitely in there and they retail for £10.99 although they were down to £9 so you might be able to grab yourself a bargain. When you choose Guylian chocolates you're supporting the work of Project Seahorse, a marine conservation group dedicated to protecting these magical creatures and other vital marine life around the world.

Overall brilliant choccies, very luxurious as promised and I honestly can't fault them!

Mummies rating - 10/10
Other Half's rating - 10/10

Please visit www.guylian.com for more products and information. You can also see what Guylian get up to on Facebook and Twitter so why not pop over and say hello! Remember to tell them The Breastest News sent you.
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6 April 2012

Review: Blurb Photobook

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Taking photos are a brilliant way of remembering the good times in life and if you're like me then you'll take tons of photos of your family. It's great but a problem arises when you have to print out the photos. It's such a tedious process and once you receive your photos you have to sort them into some kind of order and put them into a photo album. All of this seems to take forever and some people don't even get round to printing off the beautiful photos they've taken because it takes so long. And lets be honest, we're all very busy people.

So when Blurb asked me to make and review one of their photo books I was delighted. Since I have quite a few photo books of my son I decided I would make a lovely photo book for my mum for Mother's Day. "Blurb is a company and a community that believes passionately in the joy of books – reading them, making them, sharing them, and selling them. Holding a finished book with your name on the cover is a truly amazing feeling; it’s one of those experiences everyone should have. As software people, designers, and publishing professionals at the top of our game, we realized something both incredible and obvious: there’s no good reason why it should take tons of time, technical skills, big bucks, or friends in high places to publish a book. Or a zillion books, for that matter. So we put our minds together, and developed a creative publishing service simple and smart enough to make anyone an author – every blogger, cook, photographer, parent, traveller, poet, pet owner, marketer, everyone. (This means you.)"

Now some photo book sites really irritate me with their slowness or their plug-ins not working properly however I was glad to see that none of this applied to Blurb. It was simple to register on their website and it was even easier to upload my photos and select the settings I wanted. To start you have to download the BookSmart software which means you can work on your book whilst you're offline and not just online which is great and it means all your settings will be saved. No fear of losing hours of work here, hurray! So many times I've been frustrated at losing books I've made with some companies and in the end I've given up because it just wasted my time.



Once you've downloaded your BookSmart software you can choose which book you want to create. There's so many different sizes to choose from and Blurb also have different themes such as; Wedding, Photobook, Yearbook, Cookbook and there's even a very cool 'Blog to Book' option which I think is fab and something I'll definitely be trying out in future. For this particular book though I choose Photobook as I wanted to make my mum something special. When uploading your photos you can either upload from your computer or you can use Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa and/or Smugmug and once uploaded Blurb gives you the choice to let you decide which photos should go where or the BookSmart software will place the photos for you. They will be placed oldest to newest if you let the software arrange them.

If you really want to you also get a tutorial to help you through setting up your book. I choose to do it on my own and for a photo book it was very easy and straight forward. Maybe if you were doing something a bit more complicated like a YearBook or Blog to Book then following the tutorial would be advised.

Now, you can spend as much or as little time on your Photobook as you wish. For something simple, like what I was doing, it only took me 2 hours as I just had photos and no text however if you're putting in text and building up your book I could see it taking a good 12 hours or more. The good thing with the BookSmart software though is you can always go back to it and work on it offline which I previously mentioned. So everything is quite safe.



I chose a large square 30x30cm hardcover book with 20 pages for my mum with premium paper in matte finish and what a gorgeous book it is. It took a little while to arrive though. I ordered on 28th February and it had been promised to arrive by 14th March at the latest. Luckily it turned up on the 6th/7th March so only took around 7 business days. It does say it can take 7-10 days to print and then there's delivery time on top so order in plenty of time. The book was well packaged when delivered too with a poly sleeve to keep the dirt and dust off and a thick cardboard coat to protect from bashes. The book I ordered cost £44.49 and then there was £4.99 delivery on top so £49.48 altogether. Every book will range in price due to the different options of size, hardcover, paper finish etc but do check out Blurbs pricing guide for a rough estimate.

Overall Blurb is very easy to use and it can take you as little or as long as you like to create your masterpiece. Pricing will vary a lot but they're definitely in line with other high end photo book companies. From what I've seen their books are of excellent quality and my mum was thrilled with hers to say the least. She's been showing everyone who'll look! The only issue for me would be the delivery times.

Mummie's rating - 9/10
Grannies's rating - 10/10

Please visit www.blurb.com for more products and information. You can also see what Blurb get up to on Facebook and Twitter so why not pop over and say hello! Remember to tell them The Breastest News sent you.
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5 April 2012

Review: The Original Pillow Pets

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I love a cuddly soft toy but one which can do more than look pretty is an added bonus so when Mookie Toys got in touch to ask if Logan would like to review their Original Pillow Pets I gladly accepted.

I'll let Mookie Toys explain what a Pillow Pet is: "Pillow Pets are the new premium quality plush toy made of ultra-soft and cuddly chenille but with a clever twist. When a hidden strap is released underneath, the cuddly creature transforms from a toy into a soft pillow, making the Pillow Pet a perfect travelling pal, naptime buddy and all round snuggly friend."

You can get the Pillow Pets in eight different designs. Logan was sent a very cheeky Billy Monkey but you can also get; Playful Penguin, Comfy Panda, Snuggly Puppy, Magical Unicorn, Wiggly Pig and not forgetting Ms Ladybug and Bumbly Bee. There are four new designs coming out for Easter this year which include; Cuddly Bunny, Thumpy Bunny, Puffy Duck and Fluffy Bunny. All sound very cute and if they look as good as Billy Monkey which Logan received then you're onto a winner.


When I first saw the images for the Pillow Pets I thought they were going to be quite small like some of the similar toys out there on the market however when I got the package through the door and opened it I was pleasantly surprised to find that Billy Monkey is massive! It's a huge size even for an adult never mind a child so you definitely get your money's worth out of this toy. Billy Monkey is very cute and Logan had a little cuddle with him before trying to give him to our dog Lexie which was quite funny. Logan isn't really fussy for cuddly toys but when I use Billy Monkey to interact with Logan he became more interesting. The real test would come when Logan went for his afternoon nap!

It's a shame to say that Logan didn't want to use Billy Monkey to sleep on which is unfortunate, he wanted him just to play with. In the interests of testing I had a snooze on Billy Monkey myself and he was very soft and comfortable, I proped him up on my sofa and snuggled down for a quick nap. I didn't get sweaty sleeping on the pillow which is good and there's more than enough room so your head doesn't slip off.


Pillow Pets retail for around £16.94 and are suitable for ages 3 and upwards. You can purchase direct from www.pillowpets.co.uk or you can find them on Amazon.

Overall brilliant cuddley toys and excellent pillows. It's just a shame Logan wasn't more interested but I'll happily use Billy Monkey in future. Pricing is reasonable as these Pillow Pets are huge and they're quite robust as Logan was having a good go of throwing Billy Monkey around.

Mummies rating - 8/10
Logan's rating - 5/10

Please visit www.pillowpets.co.uk for more information. You can also see what Pillow Pets get up to on Facebook so why not pop over and say hello! Remember to tell them The Breastest News sent you.
Finish review when Logan has tried to sleep on billy monkey
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4 April 2012

Casabu Transforms The Way UK Parents Shop

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Casabu transforms the way UK parents shop, with super hot daily deals

Europe's coolest brands available at up to 70% off


The exciting and widely anticipated launch of daily deals website Casabu, the UK’s largest daily flash-sale website for mums, babies and children, will take place in mid April and is set to change the way that UK parents shop forever!

Flash sales have rapidly become the biggest trend in retail and have taken the UK by storm over the last 24 months. After a year of scouring the UK and Europe to seek out the highest quality and most stylish brands, Casabu will bring parents exciting ranges of fashionable baby and children’s clothing, designer toys, essential nursery equipment, must-have furniture and stylish maternity wear from brands such as Their Nibs, Babymoov and Koo-di at unbelievable savings of up to 70%.


Casabu is the smart, modern way for parents to save money on some of their favourite brand names as well as discover and fall in love with new ones. The free-to-join online private sales boutique works very simply; once signed-up, you will receive a daily email or mobile alert bringing you five exclusive sales, each sale lasting for three days. You then simply browse, buy and sit back and wait for your beautifully packaged items to arrive at your door. Casabu truly is a one-stop shop providing everything a mum needs from pregnancy, throughout childhood and up to pre-teen.

Members can access Casabu.com via their computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone and can also keep track of the daily sales by downloading the Casabu app for iPhone/android or by following the site on Twitter @casabu_tweets

To become part of the latest shopping phenomenon sign up at www.casabu.com now to have a sneak preview and find out about these amazing deals. Membership is free and if you sign up before the mid April launch you will automatically receive £10 off your first purchase over £30.

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Review: Easter Goodies from Clintons

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Easter is almost upon us but there's still plenty of time to nip into your nearest Clintons store and grab some goodies for the little ones. You'll be glad to hear these don't include chocolates so hopefully no hyperness but maybe some good old excitement instead. Clintons kindly send me a little selection of their Easter treats to review for them.

Clintons is the largest specialist retailer of quality greetings cards, gifts and related products in the UK. Founded in 1968, Clintons now has over 650 stores nationwide with two million shoppers through its doors each week.

One of the best things about Easter has to be doing an egg hunt with your child. They love it, and what's not to like about a treasure hunt which is basically what it is. My son took part in one at his playgroup and although he didn't quite grasp what was going on it was good to hear all the kids had a great time and it keep them busy for a good hour or so. Now to partake in this egg hunt your bundle of joy will need a basket of some sort and Clintons sell really cute plain wicker basket for only £1.99 and these will obviously last for years to come. They're pretty big so you can fit a lot of loot in their and if you want to make it unique you can always personalise it with a littlw bow or some ribbon.
Now Easter wouldn't be complete without crafting and you can make your own foam chicks with Clintons packs. Each pack makes 3 decent sized foam chicks and comes with everything you need, even the glue which is fab. I hate craft packs of do it yourself stuff that doesn't include the glue! These foam chicks were very easy to make and come with simple photographic instructions to help. They're suitable for children aged 3+ which is understandable as my son is only 2 and is more interested in eating the glue than using it to stick stuff down. These packs cost a mear £1.99 and Clintons have a 3 for 2 offer on at the moment with the cheapest item free, brilliant.
Staying along the lines of the chick theme, Clintons have some sweet mini chicks with 8 in each pack. These are perfect for decorating the Easter lunch table or even an Easter hat if you're planning on making any. I remember buying these chicks as a child, they didn't do anything but I loved collecting them and arranging them into nests. These retail for £1.49 and are included in the 3 for 2 offer as well.
So there you have it, some inexpensive great Easter products from Clintons. All very good, pricing is fair and the special offer is even better.

Please visit www.clintoncards.co.uk for more products and information. You can also see what Clintons get up to on Facebook and Twitter so why not pop over and say hello! Remember to tell them The Breastest News sent you.
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WINNER: I Love... Juiced Up Blackcurra​nt

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I Love… Juiced Up Blackcurrant Winner



Drum roll please............

The winner of the fab I Love… Juiced Up Blackcurrant, courtesy of the kind I Love… Cosmetics, is...

Jane - @janelazy

Congratulations!

Please email me with the following details and I shall have your prize sent out:

Name:
Address:
Tel No:

Thanks to everyone who entered, it is very much appreciated. Please also take a look at the Competitions page for even more fab giveaways.

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2 April 2012

Easter Gift Guide Part 2

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As always there's plenty of products when it comes to gift giving and Easter time is no different. That's why I've put together part 2 of my Easter Gift Guide to give you more ideas for that special Easter present.


Becksondergaard


This beautiful Scarf from Becksondergaard depicts a gorgeous Easter scene and would go brilliantly with any outfit. It's also great to help start an Easter themed story with your little one. RRP £61.00 and available from The Dressing Room.


Crystal Duck & Egg Brooch

  
Everyone loves a cute little duck at Easter and this sparkly Butler & Wilson crystal duck and egg brooch is perfect to adorn any jacket during spring. RRP £33.75 and available from www.qvcuk.com.


Fudges Biscuits


 More of a biscuit lover than a chocolate lover? Then you'll love these scrummy Easter biscuits from www.fudges.co.uk. These lightly spiced, currant-studded biscuits taste delicious, and are the perfect sweet treat for the long weekend and an ideal seasonal gift for family and friends. The biscuits are available from Tesco, ASDA, the Fudges online shop and all good independent delicatessens and farm shops now, with an RRP of £0.99.


Lisbeth Dahl


 Lisbeth Dahl has a full range of Easter inspired accessories, to help you prepare for the Spring time celebrations. Elegant egg decorations create the perfect accessory for the home and decorative bunny buttons will add some fun this holiday. You can hide goodies in silver embossed eggs and have a wicker basket ready to collect treats from the garden on the Easter egg hunt. Prices start from £2.95 and are available from www.lisbethdahl.com.


Tea Set & Baking Set


 The lovely people from Cancer Research UK have some great gifts on offer for the little ones this Easter. I really love their Retrospot Tea Set and Retrospot 9 Piece Baking Set which RRP at £12.95 each and are available from www.cancerresearchuk.org. Whilst you're there you should take a peak at the other great gifts they have to offer.


PaperBlanks


 Make Paperblanks® an Easter basket essential, using the journals and address booksto plan an egg hunt, jot down any thoughts, or write holiday messages for yourloved ones. The array of designs captures the spring feeling of the Easterholiday. Prices start from around £5.99 and are available from www.paperblanks.co.uk.


Children's DVDs


Another great idea to steer the kids away from chocolates this easter is to get them a DVD instead. There are some great new titles to choose from including; Everything's Rosie, Rastamouse, Driver Dan's Story Train and The Jungle Book. All retailing at £6.99 apart from Everything's Rosie which retails at £9.99. All available from www.amazon.co.uk.


Crock-Pot


Now we can't forgot mum at Easter so why not treat her to one of these great little Crock-Pots. This Crock-Pot Sauté is a traditional slow cooker with a 4.7l capacity which is ideal for 5 people. It has 2 heat settings, a keep warm function and the removable pot can be used on the hob, in the oven, in the microwave, in the freezer and in the fridge. It's dishwashers safe and RRP's at £44.99. Available from John Lewis or www.amazon.co.uk.

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Review: Go Ape!

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Last Sunday the other half and I crawled out of bed early, dropped our dear son off with my mum for the day and headed out towards Aberfoyle. We had been invited along to try out the Go Ape Tree top Adventure site situated in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park which is quite close to Glasgow (Loch Lomond).


Go Ape are the UK's no.1 forest adventure company who provide breath taking experiences in the great outdoors. Like the name suggests you basically become a monkey for the day swinging around in the trees. There's zip wires to cross, tarzan swings to navigate, a wide variety of different crossings to pass, which can be quite a challenge btw, and all the while you're doing this on your own.

The weather was gorgeous and we couldn't have picked a better day for our trip but what a struggle we had finding the place! I have to say that sign posts for Go Ape in Aberfoyle are like gold dust. The only sign post we found was when we actually turned into the Go Ape car park! The directions on the Go Ape website aren't too bad telling you to follow the signs for Callander but after that the trail goes a bit blank. We ended up taking a gamble and following a path towards Aberfoyle and stopped off at a small café to ask for directions. Luckily we were on the right road and got there in the end but signage could definitely be improved, especially since your sat nav is likely to fail due to the rural nature of the site.


On arrival we parked the car and paid a £3 ticket to have the car parked all day, you can choose to pay £1 instead to park the car for an hour but since your Go Ape experience can take from 2-3 hours I'd suggest the all day ticket. We headed up to the Go Ape hut where we were greeted by a very friendly gentleman who gave us a couple of forms to fill in and read. All very health and safety conscious which is great for such an activity. I'm happy to say there are toilet facilities near by if needed and also a café etc if you get peckish.

You're kitted out with a harness and given a safety briefing from one of the instructors before you get to head out into the wild. Andy was our lovely instructor in Aberfoyle for the day who showed us how to properly connect our safety equipment to each line when up in the trees. The instructors often have to give this safety briefing to around 14 people at a time all of whom are part of different groups and as you can imagine this does take a little while.


The first task you are presented with is a massive zip wire, and that's only to get you across the trees and to the climbing course on the other side. There are two zip wires to contend with here, one to get you across and one to get you back. Both are two of the longest in Britain at over 400m long and flying customers 150 feet above ground. Now I'm not scared of heights but to say I was a little uneasy about the zip wire would be fair. They just looked so daunting and your body is screaming at you not to jump even though you know fine well you're attached safely to the wire. It was a thrilling experience though and I would do it again. I'd have to anyway to get back across.

Now it's quite hard to explain the rest of the course so I'll just show you some photos. The course is well sign posted though and takes you round nicely to the end and across the other zip wire home. Very well thought out and really enjoyable.

 

 


 

As you can see I started out the course in my jacket but half way through I was sweating buckets so the lovely Andy (our instructor) was luckily on hand to take our jackets back across to the hut for us which was very kind of him. I don't think this normally happens, we're just lucky Andy was in the right place at the right time.

Now down to the nitty gritty. It costs £30 per adult (18 years +) to go through the Go Ape course and £20 per child/ youth (10-17 years). All children/ youths must be accompanied by and adult (18 years +) and that adult takes all responsibilty for the young persons safety out on the course. That means checking their safety equipment i.e. making sure they are securely attached to each line before they take off. This is ofcourse very sensible and something I would recommend you do as you are quite high up in the streets. If you fall, you'll definitely do some damage so safety first!

As well as the Go Ape Tree Top Adventure, Go Ape also offer Biking and Segway experiences as well as Junior Tree Top Adventures for the younger generation if you prefer. They have 27 sites across the UK so I'm sure there's one near you.

Overall a brilliant day. The instructors and staff are very friendly, always happy to help with anything. Safety was key and always explained well. I was assured that anyone who wants to undertake the course has to do the safety training at the start no matter how many times you've been, even the instructors have to do it! Pricing is fair and in line with most outdoor activity centres these days. We really had such a great time and would highly recommend it to all.

Mum's rating - 10/10
Other Half's rating - 10/10

Please visit www.goape.co.uk for more information. You can also see what Go Ape get up to on Facebook and Twitter so why not pop over and say hello! Remember to tell them The Breastest News senrt you.
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