Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Movember is coming to a bathroom at ours!

My for one more day clean shaven husband

Well Chris has finally won. After years of threatening to grow facial hair and my threat of performing a Sweeney Todd style if he did, he's only gone and pledged to grow it for charity. So here I am filled with pride instead of annoyance and worse I will have to undergo torturous ticklish kisses from a man with a tache! 

Yes its Movember formerly known as November!

Chris will be growing a moustache this month to raise funds and awareness for prostate and testicular cancer.  Funds raised in the UK are directed to programmes run by Movember and our men’s health partners  Prostate Cancer UK and The Institute of Cancer Research. There are some startling facts about prostrate cancer below.

Key Health Messages 

1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK

– one man is diagnosed every 15 minutes
A man will die from prostate cancer every hour - more than
10,000 men will die of the disease this year in the UK

African Caribbean men are three times more likely to
develop prostate cancer

You are 2.5 times more likely to develop prostate cancer if
your father or brother has had it

Occurrences of prostate cancer in men are comparable to
the rates of breast cancer in women

2,209 men in the UK were diagnosed with testicular cancer
in 2009

47% of testicular cancer cases occur in men under 35 years
and over 90% occur in men under 55 years

2012's message this year is a good one!

Knowledge is Power, Moustache is King

 Movember was established in 2003 by a few friends over a beer in a pub just outside Melbourne, Australia. The goal was simple – to create a campaign promoting the growth of the moustache among likeminded people and having fun along the way. It is about real men, talking about real issues and changing the face of men’s health, one moustache at a time. Movember now spans the globe, with campaigns in 21 countries in 2012.

Rules are simple, Chris must be clean shaven at the start of the month, then grow and groom a moustache, no sideburns or other facial hair allowed and track his progress at on his own personal page and well hopefully raise some cash as he grows it.

I will be back with updates and gripes about stubble and a strange faced man!!

LOGO What Am I? Review. Giveaway ends November 30th

Fancy winning and playing a brilliant game this Christmas, read on.

New LOGO What Am I?  (rrp £24.99, age 8+ - for 2 to 6 players) is a fast and furious multi-activity game, based on Drumond Park’s Number One best-selling LOGO picture board game, which the whole family can get stuck into. 

I recently Reviewed LOGO and we really enjoyed the game, its a rare thing when I can get my teens to stay and play a game apart from at Christmas. 

The idea is a fun one.

We set up the board, Ricky, Paige's boyfriend home from Uni perused the rules and then we started. What was fun about the game was the element of being able to catch up your opponents, the potential winner could in fact be the one who was trailing behind.
I believe this rule made it more fun, possibly why nobody gave up on the game which sometimes happens when the person at the back gives up in a sulk.

The game play is fast, fun and can be really sidesplitting, you have to describe, draw or just answer questions for everyday items, they may be a brand or just a word. The hilarity when my drawings defied all similarity to an item, made this very entertaining. A bit of family knowledge helps as Paige used known favourites to give clues.
This game will be great for larger groups at Christmas.

The Logo What Am I Board Game

Ugg Boots, Raybans, Rolex, iPod, Smarties, Toblerone, Raleigh Bicycle, Reebok and lots more Christmas present favourites make an appearance on the hundreds of cards which come with this clever and original game! It’s all the most fun imaginable - with some hilarious antics, especially watching Dad or Auntie struggling to articulate Speedos or Hunter Wellies!

For children on their own the game draws together many crucial aspects of communication and gamesmanship.  It is also perfect for the youngsters to play with their parents and older siblings or at multi-generational gatherings.  Absolutely everyone will be able to relate to the famous name products and brands - and join in the fun.  

For stockists visit or call 01506 855577

For your chance to win, I need you to use the Rafflecopter, follow the blog and comment in the posts below.


If I have 10 anonymous comments, I cannot match them with the Rafflecopter email details, its a real shame for me and worse for you!!! 

Please don't forget to add a name. You could win.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

FitKid teams up with Drumond Park

"Get up and move about!" was my parenting mantra, I loved to see my children outdoors or on colder days inside doing an activity, rather than sitting in front of the box, be it Xbox or TV box!!

I am therefore happy that a games company have teamed with a kids fitness provider to encourage children to get more active.

Drumond Park are well known for their board games and also have a good range of games to get children moving.

FitKid, the nationwide fun fitness provider for children, has teamed up with Drumond Park, the UK’s leading independent games company, to encourage more children to get active whilst having fun. FitKid will be utilising a number of Drumond Park's highly popular action games within its classes, workshops and parties, enabling children to learn additional exciting and stimulating ways to play with the games supplied by the company.  Parents will also have the opportunity to book a FitKid party and receive a free copy of Drumond Park’s new Pumpazing action game (rrp £19.99, age 3+).   

The latest Health Survey for England (HSE) data has predicted that 25% of children will be obese by 2050. To combat this worrying statistic, FitKid aims to provide children with fun fitness activities to help improve their health and encourage them to make healthy lifestyle choices. Using fun play equipment including balls, bean bags, hoops, spacehoppers and a parachute, FitKid engages the children in multi skilled sessions that assist with developing the key skills for sport in addition to providing children with health benefits.

Nicky Kay, Managing Director, FitKid commented: “It’s great to have teamed up with Drumond Park, and during trials I have been very impressed with the quality and scope of the games available, especially Pumpazing and Pumpaloons, which our four to seven-year-olds already absolutely love!”   

Claire McCool, co-founder and Marketing Director at Drumond Park said:  “We are really pleased with this link-up with the FitKid organisation.  It’s truly a great ‘fit’ for us – as our action toy range has long promoted healthy competition and active play in a fun environment. The team at FitKid have already cleverly integrated a range of exercise and physical activities involving both the new pass-the-parcel style pumping game Pumpazing and our popular Pumpaloons game (where children take race to puff up the two lovable, colourful, clown-like wobblies – Stripeyloon and Spottyloon)  into their class and workshop scenarios, with outstanding results.”

Drumond Park’s Pre-School and Junior Action game range currently includes:

New Pumpazing (rrp £19.99, age 3+)
Pumpaloons (rrp £19.99, age 4+)
Dino Bite (rrp £19.99, age 4+)
Doh Nutters (rrp £17.99, age 4+)
New FOOOZ table football (rrp £19.99, age 5+)
Pig Goes Pop (rrp £19.99, are 4+)
Bubble Buster (rrp £17.99, age 4+)
New Spin Mania (rrp £22.99, age 6+)

To find out more about attending KitKid classes, workshops and parties or to offer FitKid in your community, please email or call 0203 012 0202

For more information and stockists (all Drumond Park games are in full national distribution) please visit  

Warburtons Winter Fruit Loaf Review

Hmm I definitely felt the Christmas cheer at Breakfast this weekend, Warburtons sent me their new Special Edition Winter loaf, packed with juicy raisins, orange and full of the season's spices, cinnamon and nutmeg.

It was straight into the toaster and Granny, Paige and I demolished the loaf, served with hot butter. Its truly delicious and the flavours certainly will help breakfasts and late suppers take on a Christmas feel.

If you recall I made a lovely French Toast recipe with the Warburtons Fruit Loaf with Orange, it has been a lovely weekend constant and I feel I need to do the came with this newest offering, maybe with a dollop of Cointreau flavoured cream??? After all its nearly the season to be merry!!

Perfect for adults and kids, the Warburtons Winter Fruit Loaf can be enjoyed hot or cold – why not try it toasted and buttered with a hot mug of tea on a chilly day for a deliciously warming snack, or use it as a vital ingredient to spice up a winter pudding with the following recipe:

Warburtons Chilled Winter Fruit Loaf Pudding with Cranberries

Serves: 4 
Nutritional Analysis: 200cal/1g fat per portion 


·        2 slices of Warburtons Winter Fruit Loaf 
·        1 tablespoon of dried cranberries 
·        1 cup of fresh cranberry juice 
·        Brandy (optional) 

1.        Sprinkle the cranberries in the base of a dariole/ramekin dish 
2.        Roughly tear the slices of bread and place over the cranberries 
3.        Mix a little brandy with some cranberry juice and pour over the bread, ensure the bread is fully soaked but not soggy (for a deeper coloured pudding mix cranberry juice with a little blackcurrant juice) 
4.        Press the bread firmly down into the mould 
5.        Chill for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator before turning the pudding out onto a serving plate 

For that extra Christmas touch, flambé with brandy and serve with brandy butter

Frankie and Benny's Cocktails Review

Frankie and Benny’s have launched  its new cocktail menu designed by Andy Pearson, award winning mixologist and formerly of Something for the Weekend.  They very kindly asked me to check it out and Chris and I went along over the weekend to try a few.

We picked a great weekend as the whole restaurant was dimmed and decorated for Halloween, Chris the big man actually had a seat so as he would not have to look at Horace the spider hanging from the ceiling. Our Waitress was a zombie, not in her service but in her outfit.

With my prior knowledge of Frankie and Benny's being that of a great place to eat and themed around a 1950's American/Italian diner, I was expecting there to be a few classic cocktails, as we perused the cocktail menu, we did spot classic stateside tipples such as the Long Island Iced Tea and the Cosmopolitan. 

But I chose to go for  the French Martini, having reviewed Chambord previously I knew I loved the taste, it arrrived with a lovely pinkish froth on top due to the measure of Chambord Black Raspberry liqueur one sip and I did actually say "Ooh la la!" Its incredibly good, the pineapple and raspberry complemented the vodka. 

Chris opted for the PS I Love you, a blend of Bailey's,  Disaronno Amaretto and cream. He loves a drop of Baileys and the nutty taste and cream got his thumbs up.

The meals are not the highlight of this feature, but I just have to give them a mention.  The food is always hot, fresh and what you imagine it to be.

After the meals we decided to go for a dessert type pair of cocktails. 

I really fancied the Bramble, Bombay Sapphire Gin, fresh lemon, sugar and yes I opted for the Chambord again. This drink was really zingy, a great enlivening tipple after my meal.

Chris usually has a coffee after his meal so chose the Espresso Martini, fresh espresso teamed with vodka and a coffee liqueur, he adored it and came alive he said it was a real kick, perfect after a heavy meal.

It was a fabulous evening and the cocktail waitress Svetlana showed us her moves, not bad as it was her first week at the job. 

In order to celebrate the launch, Frankie and Benny's have put together a fun ‘What does your cocktail say about you?’ Not sure what my French and Bramble choices say, maybe  I'm a prickly individual with a gallic temper???

The cocktails are priced between £4.95 and £5.95, with pitchers available costing £8.95 for two people and £13.95 for four people. For the drivers there are non alcoholic cocktails starting at £2.95

I was given a voucher for four cocktails and a two course meal for a guest and I. Views are entirely my own.

We all know how stressful being a mum can be, taking care of the whole family often leaves very little ‘me time’.   Between cooking family meals, getting kids ready for school and running the house, plus often working a full time job, it’s easy to see how many mums end up frazzled!  With that in mind, Frankie & Benny’s has launched its new cocktail menu to encourage mums to take time out and sip on a delicious cocktail.  So what does your cocktail of choice say about you?


Ladies who can’t resist a bit of spice will love this cool Cuban cocktail.  Made with fresh lime, mint and sugar, plus a generous splash of Bacardi rum, a mojito drinker is sure to be the first on the dance floor, ready to spice up any night.


This fun and flirty drink is perfect for ladies who just want to have fun.  Packed with Eristoff vodka, pressed apple juice and gingerbread syrup, this delightful drink is sure to get the party started. 


A sexy and sassy Cosmopolitan is a great choice for those who like to keep it classic.  This zingy and zesty drink comprises vodka, triple sec and cranberry juice creating a cool and crisp taste.  Cosmo ladies love a bit of city glamour and always paint the town pink.

Classic Sour

For ladies who like to be adventurous, this quirky cocktail is available with Jack Daniels, Amaretto or Midori and finished with fresh lemon juice, egg whites for added smooth and is topped off with sugar.  It’s the ideal choice for someone who likes to stand out from the crowd.

Espresso Martini

This rich and sumptuous drink is ideal for ladies looking for a classic cocktail with a twist.  Fresh espresso teamed with vodka and a coffee liqueur offers an instant caffeine hit, a brilliant blend for any modern mum who is in need of a pick-me-up!

 Gentle Breeze

A delicious non-alcoholic cocktail for those who like to behave rather than rave!  This drink combines a delicious blend of apple juice, cranberry and citrus juices and is served over ice, offering the designated driver something delightful to sip on.

For ladies with a mysterious edge, this deliciously dark cocktail is a tasty mix of Bombay Sapphire gin and black raspberry liqueur.  An added kick of fresh lemon means this drink really packs a punch.

Teangi Tea Tree

For a few years of Paige's school life (she may hate me for this) she was plagued by her friend's friends, not the friends you invite into your homes, but the unwelcome lodgers that decide to come home with you via a ride in your hair. Yes start to scratch as I am going to bug you with my head lice tales.

Conor never had any problems, Paige was about seven, I suppose I was lucky as this was a good age to be and she had avoided them. Her hair was long and luscious, we daily had it it in whatever style she loved, a bit up and a bit down, french plaits, tied up in rags to give lovely curls. Then came the bugs....eww i cringe just remembering them. 

I decided straight way she was not going to have the chemical cure and prevention, I had previously seen a friends daughter have a full blown asthma attack and I did not want my children to have any side effects.
So I started the long laborious process of conditioner and nit comb. This process works however Paige would become reinfested by the friends who'sMum's did not get rid of all the nasties. So it became a real pain!

Then googling for natural cures, I stumbled on Tea Tree being a prevention, so I bought a bottle of shampoo and conditioner with a high concentrate of Tea Tree oil and tried it. It worked. No more combing,no late nights keeping Paige up to rid her of the pests, no more scratching, just a weekly wash of shampoo on a Sunday night and Paige never had head lice again.

The brand I used was  Tisserand,who sadly do not make this any more, they have a shampoo but is mixed with other herbs.

So I give you Teangi. 

As a stand alone healthy hair and scalp range its great. But as a preventative for head lice it works. Having given it to my friend who has reported three weeks clear, I am pleased there is still a cure out there.

Tea Tree has long been recognised as a major bathroom essential and the newly renamed Teangi range from LanesHealth is the perfect solution to many irritating conditions.

With the worries of itchy flaky scalps, lice, nappy rash, cuts, and insect bites affecting most parents with young children at some point, the TeangiTea Tree range is an effective, soothing solution.

The Tea Tree shrub is native to a small region in northern New South Wales Australia and the oil is recognised as a powerful healing ingredient around the world. It has several well-established properties that provide the basis for its special soothing effects: natural antibacterial, natural antiseptic, anti-fungal and insect repellent.

Teangi is an ancient aboriginal name meaning ‘earth’. Aboriginals believed that the association of every living thing is not just an idea but a way of life. LanesHealth have chosen the name Teangi – pronounced Tea-angi - to accentuate the sacred, elemental source of Tea Tree’s healing power.

Today, the Teangi range offers nature’s power for the bathroom. Free from parabens, artificial colours and fragrances, Teangi is a range of essential products:

  • Teangi Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Cream to effectively treat and relieve stings, cuts, minor burns, nappy rash and other minor skin conditions;
  • Teangi Tea Tree Oil 100% pure pharmaceutical grade Tea Tree oil;
  • Teangi Tea Tree Shampoo a paraben-free medicated and PH balanced formula, with natural anti-tangling ingredients to make combing easier. Helps keep the scalp clean and healthy and free from dandruff;
  • Tea Tree Conditioner a paraben-free, SLES-free nourishing leave-in treatment to keep hair perfectly hydrated, moisturised and shiny. 
So whatever your need, Teangi is a natural, essential collection for the whole family from head to toe.  Jon Groves, Spokesperson for LanesHealth says that, “The new design and brand name bring a contemporary feel to  the range, whilst continuing to focus on the beneficial natural healing qualities that tea tree is known for, and which make it the perfect solution for all families.”

Tea Tree Shampoo                              £3.69
Tea Tree Conditioner                          £3.15
Tea Tree Oil                                        £4.03
Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Cream          £3.25

Availability:  Select supermarkets and chemists nationwide

 Disclosure I was given a free product. I was under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Coldpress Drinks Review

In a world where new flavours are almost a daily occurrence I for one still love all the original ones at times.

Apple juice is a regular drink in my home, in fact we go through lots. I like my children, hubby, myself and Granny to get our 5 a day and  a juice is one of the easier ways to ensure this.

When Coldpress asked me to try their new drinks I was happy to say yes. The Coldpress juice is apple juice with a difference. If it says Golden Delicious apples then that is what you are tasting. All the drinks I tried are just as if the fruit has been picked freshly and the juice extracted into a glass that day.

The Braeburn apple is exactly the taste of a Braeburn it is so refreshing, so natural. I shared with Granny who adored them and I will be stocking up for her this winter. 

They showcase different varieties of apples to get a true flavour and not only that, they  are made using careful procedures to retain the pure fresh taste.

Coldpress Pink Lady has just won the title of Best Adult Beverage in The Grocer’s prestigious New Product Awards 2012!

 Big juice brands tend to use heat pasteurisation to extend shelf life, this can lead to over-cooking of the ingredients, robbing them of all their delicate flavour notes, aromas and nutritional goodness,which means they taste nothing like the fruit they are supposed to contain. 

Coldpress fruit is picked, crushed, filtered and bottled, and then treated to a unique cold pressure process (HPP) instead of heat which allows individual apple varieties like Braeburn, Granny Smith and Pink Lady to proudly showcase their unique flavours.  The result is a unique, pure and fresh taste in every mouthful.

Compared to heat pasteurised fruit juice, each bottle of Coldpress contains:
  • Double the antioxidants
  • Double the vitamin C
  • 100% fruit (a 250ml bottle contains three apples or oranges)
  • One portion of your five a day
  •  and it lasts eight times longer in the fridge!

But Coldpress juices aren’t just about delicious apple varieties. Other fruits such as Valencia orange, raspberries, strawberries, passion fruit and lemons are also given the same careful treatment – not only to let their unique taste talents shine through, but also to retain twice the vitamin C and antioxidant levels of their more traditional heat-blasted rivals.

The full Coldpress range includes Pink Lady Apple, Braeburn Apple, Granny Smith Apple, Golden Delicious Apple,Apple & Peach, Apple and; Passionfruit, Apple and Lemon, Apple and Strawberry, Apple and Raspberry, Valencia Orange and Tropical.  Available in 250ml and 750ml bottles and available from Waitrose, Tesco and Ocado plus a growing nationwide network of discerning delis, farm shops and independent coffee shops.  RSP 250ml £1.69 and 750ml £2.79.
Disclosure: My post is based upon material provided free of charge (4 bottles of Coldpress) for review purposes. I have not been paid or otherwise compensated to promote the topic, product or service reviewed in this post.

Denhay Cheese and Childhood Memories


Denhay are well known to me for their bacon and it is so good fresh and tasty, just how I remember bacon tasting when I was young  

Do you remember when food tasted fresh and good, real butter, real bread from a bakers, no additives.

I loved my cheese, I remember it wrapped in greaseproof paper cut off a huge block when I was a child, it would taste fresh. Now some cheese can be tasteless, a bit plasticky, I never am sure if its the wrapping or the process it goes through now.

Back to my memory of eating today's Denhay's cheddar. Its real,its like a childhood memory.

Nothing is quite so satisfying to me than a cheese sandwich. I am pretty fussy with my cheese, it has to be mature and it has to be a good one.

I love it in a roll, with a salad, wine and cheese evenings are a regular here.

Denhay's cheddar ticks all the boxes, its a good strong creamy taste, slightly salty and very rounded.  It tastes fresh and left to warm slightly before eating the depth of flavour really shines.Goes great with a farm shop pork pie and well whatever you fancy.

Ahh memories and talking of those, I will be back with a cookery themed prize courtesy of Denhay's later this week.



Our top three childhood memories revolve around food, according to a recent report from cheese and bacon producer Denhay Farms. Nearly one in four Brits – 24% of us – has identified the carving of the ‘big bird’ in the middle of the Christmas table as their earliest memory from childhood.  Just under a fifth of us (15%) clearly remember tucking into fish and chips by the seaside and for one in 10 (10%) it’s the memory of school dinners that sticks in our minds.


Baking moments remain prominent in our food memories, and over a third of us (38%) admit that licking the batter out of the bowl is our strongest memory of learning to cook.  

Family and tradition play an important role with 34% of Brits choosing Sunday lunch as their fondest family food moment.  In addition, and contrary to recent reports* suggesting a decline in family meals, almost half of Brits (43%) still insist on sitting together at the dinner table as a family and a quarter of us (26%) will not allow the TV to be on during dinner. 

As further proof of the British love affair with bacon, and proving once again that it is worthy of the top spot on Britain’s Top 100 Foods**, it’s the smell of the mighty rasher sizzling in a pan that holds the most powerful memory for one in 10 Brits.  The smell of bacon is responsible for almost a fifth (16%) of the strongest food memories in the North East, the highest in the country, and more over 55’s (over one in 10) than any other age group praise bacon with bringing back fond memories of childhood. 

Surprisingly, it’s the food served at weddings that makes the least impact and, despite the effort that goes into creating the perfect menu, we needn’t worry as only 2% of us remember it!  Being cooked for by our partners also fails to impress us Brits as only 4% of men and 3% of women recall the first romantic meal cooked for them.


Psychologist Dr Jane McCartney explains, “The association between smell, taste and emotion is what triggers our memories, therefore it makes sense that food plays a big part in our most prominent memories.”

Denhay have been making award-winning West Country Farmhouse Cheddar on the farm since June 1959, using traditional skills and techniques employed in the Marshwood Vale and the West Country for generations. Denhay's cheddar has had PDO status since the mid 90s, is made entirely from milk from their own herd of cows and is made by hand before maturing on the farm and aged for at least 9 months for a distinctive, nutty, mellow flavour.

 Disclosure I gained no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.