Friday, 28 November 2014

Breville Halo+ Health Fryer

I have been itching to get my hands on a healthier way to cook fried food and I have kindly been sent the Breville Halo+ Health Fryer to try out.  My hubbie is a trucker and as with most truckers their diets are renowned for being unhealthy, often living off convenience food for most of the week if they are nighting out. Of course when he returns home I always feel that I am denying him food he enjoys by giving him healthy options.
The Halo+ looks very futuristic but is so easy to use and clean, the bowl, cooking grill and lid can be removed and washed in the dishwasher. You can use it as a grill or as a oven depending on what you are cooking, for chips there is a button on the side which you turn to enable the Halo+ to tilt.  To make chips just peel the potatoes like normal, wash them, dry them and add them to the cooking pan, drizzle over 1/2 spoon of oil and set the timer, this machine makes magical chips with hardly any oil, we love them.
We have also used the Halo+ to fry an healthier breakfast as this is one thing my hubbie really misses and I must say the sausages cooked fantastic and there wasn't a need to turn them over, I used the grill to cook the bacon.  

There are so many great recipes to try with my Halo+ and it can even bake cakes! Grotbags is wanting to make Cheesy Nacho's with Spicy Tomato Salsa when she comes home from school, so it looks like her tea is planned out already. I did cook some burgers in my machine and they turned out great too, no spitting oil all over my hob and obviously healthier because they were draining as they were cooking.  The Halo+ retails at £169.99 but I have seen it on various websites for less than that.  I think it is great value for money and I love my machine and If I had to give it back you would have to fight me for it!

I received this product free of charge for the purpose of this review but the opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Wallcreate Canvas Review & Giveaway

I was recently contacted to see if I would like to review a 40cm x 30cm canvas from Wallcreate and with all the photos I have been taking lately how could I refuse. I decided to have one done for my son, so chose a picture of him, his girlfriend and doggies and emailed it to the lovely folks at Wallcreate, who then emailed me back to say that they had concerns over the quality of the photo and asked if I would like to proceed with this photo. Of course it was the only photo that I really liked of them all together and went ahead.  I did think it was very good of them to contact me regarding the photo before actually putting it onto canvas. Very good customer service.
The canvas arrived well packaged in a padded envelope with extra cardboard to protect it.  I was not disappointed with the result when I opened it and I am sure my son will love it too.  The back of the canvas is well made with a secure hook to fasten it on the wall with.  A 40cm x 30cm costs £18.97 at present as they have a fabulous offer on with 50% off.
Wallcreate have given one of my readers the chance to win a Photo Canvas size 40cm x 30cm and if you would like to enter please complete the rafflecopter form below.

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I was sent this item FOC for the purpose of this review and the opinion is entirely my own.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Heatholders Snugover Review & Competition

The nights have certainly turned chilly and dark but thanks to the lovely folk at Heatholders I have received a rather lovely, fleece snugover jumper to keep me warm, the cold weather came as a bit of a shock after returning from 2 weeks in the sun.  The Heatholders Snugover has a 1.4 tog rating and the fleece is so lovely and soft, you can really snuggle up in it, the funnel neck keeps the drafts out and there are even pockets on the front what you can warm your hands in.  This would make a fabulous present for Christmas and is so useful just to slip on over your ordinary clothes if you are feeling cold.
The Snugover is available for both men and women and comes in size small, medium, large and extra large in purple, navy or black, RRP £25 which I think is really good value.  I am a size 12 and the medium fit me comfortably.   I cannot recommend this product enough, I love it.  I have one Snugover to give away to one of my lucky readers just in time for the cold winter months, if you would like to enter please complete the rafflecopter form below and good luck.

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I was sent this product free of charge for the purpose of this review but the opinion is my own.

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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Children and Alcohol

Drinkaware have launched a new website to increase parents' awareness of the implications of underage drinking.  The website has been developed with support from the charity Family Lives and Consultant Paediatrician Dr Tim Uhbi and is a great resource for any family who have concerns around alcohol use by their children.
As a parent of four children with a large age range, alcohol has been discussed in our house for a lot of years. When the boys were little I worked in the Probation Service within the Drug and Alcohol Team and learnt through experience the dangers of alcohol use, therefore the boys had the effects of alcohol drummed into them from an early age, we talked about the impact of drink driving on families and how alcohol can affect their mood and feelings which can lead to them becoming involved in risky behaviours. One thing that I do think is important is to always remain calm when talking to your children and be there for them if they do happen to have a drink, it can be quite scary if they haven’t experienced the side effects before.  My middle son had a bad experience with whisky at the age of 14, he had been out with friends and they had drank it for a laugh, peer pressure played a huge part in this and he said he didn't want to be the only one not trying it, the state he was in scared me and from that day he never drank to excess again.

Personally I can take alcohol or leave it and I do think that not having it readily available in the house helps in the long term. I have never stopped my children from trying alcohol but have made sure that they know how to keep safe if they do drink. I think the age range of 10 – 13 years is a good time to start discussing alcohol use with children, Grotbags hates drink at the moment as she will not drink anything other than milk and water but as I am well aware this can change when children hit their teenage years. On our recent holiday Grotbags wanted to try my cocktail, I didn’t stop her because I feel that by doing this it encourages children to want something even more, nevertheless she tried it and hated it which I was so glad about.
I do worry more about Grotbags than I did the boys, mainly because of the danger of girls’ drinks being spiked and the risk of sexual exploitation whilst under the influence of alcohol.  Her self esteem is quite low and I often wonder if this will lead to drinking when she's older to give her the confidence to be herself.  I am working on her self esteem and hopefully she will go through the teenage years without having to use alcohol as a crutch. I love the new website from Drinkaware, it has so much information and is a great resource tool which could help lots of families.  For now Grotbags is quite happy with water as long as she has a straw to drink it through, let's hope it stays this way.

I am a member of  the Mumsnet Blogger Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet.    I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

Black and White Week 20

Whilst on holiday I took loads of photos and have only just got around to editing them, here is one of Grotbags on the cliffs in a tiny village called Ajay.  I love the texture of the rocks behind her.

Can't wait for my weekly visit to see all the Black and White photos.

Silent Sunday 23rd November 2014

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Barbie Glam Camper

Grotbags was recently sent the Barbie Glam Camper from the lovely people at Mattel and we were really impressed by all the lovely touches. The Cab has realistic mirrors and seat belts to keep Barbie and her friends safe whilst out on their trips.  The fabulous little kitchen is installed with a smoothie maker and a campfire with marshmallows on sticks, who doesn't love toasted marshmallows.  The kitchen comes equipped with cooking accessories, oven, fridge and cupboard space to store things.
 The cab of the camper comes away from the rear easily and Barbie can have her own jacuzzi with friends, the jacuzzi just slots into the rear of the cab.  Barbie even has her own barbecue, which she can serve to her friends through the hatch in the camper. 
Barbie's shower room and toilet even has a realistic shower curtain, afterall she wouldn't want Ken to see her!  There are lots of great features to the Glam Camper which would make this a little girl's dream Christmas present, Grotbags has had hours of fun and even Tawny the horse has paid a visit.  The Glam Camper retails at £94.99 but is currently selling on Amazon for £64.99.

We were sent this item FOC for the purpose of this review and the opinion is our own.