Sunday, 31 August 2014

Fitbug Orb Review

I originally received my Fitbug Orb a month ago and my first impressions were good.  Little did I know that this tiny orb would actually change my fitness levels and make me aim higher.  I had already signed up for #RunOrDye in October so this will help me to prepare. I found the factsheet that you received with the Orb useful as this gave you links to various help pages that you might need along the way.
The Fitbug Orb monitors your daily activity day and night.  Through the day it monitors the steps you take along with any aerobic activity, this can then be synced to your app on your smartphone by pressing the button once.   By logging on to your account on the computer you can input any additional activity you have completed, plus your food intake, this then calculates the nutritional value of what you have eaten and balances it against your activity levels.  The Fitbug dashboard displays an overview of your goals with a handy pink triangle to show you your targets.  I found the actual website more use than the app on my phone as this was more motivating to me and enabled me to increase the number of steps and exercise I do on a daily basis.  I like the fact that you can balance your nutritional intake, although I do wish this could be done on the app as working full time it was quite difficult to access a computer some of the time.
By pressing the button three times in succession at night the Fitbug Orb monitors your sleep, I'm not sure how it does this but it does work, the app provides you with a chart of your time asleep and the quality of your sleep. Although I wake quite often it appears that I still achieve the minimum sleep hours I require.
One thing I found really useful was the daily motivational emails and the Bugzine issues, these contained lots of useful information on topics such as Nutrition, Health, Well-being and a Cookbook with some really good fast healthy meals ideas.
Overall I like the Orb and its flexibility, even if I didn't want to wear it on my wrist I could fasten it to my bra strap so it couldn't be seen. I found it a really useful tool to help me get fitter and healthier and hopefully I will complete #RunOrDye which is my goal.  The Fitbug Orb costs £49.95 which I think is a reasonable price based on what you can achieve with it.

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

Silent Sunday 31st August 2014

Black and White Week 8

We've had a fab day today, shopping, walking and playing and I've been looking for a decent camera, my phone just doesn't give me the quality I need. I love the Black and White project and would love to present better pictures.

 photo 4d06e438-4e6a-4f3b-88b2-0c1093350397_zps361ad0e9.jpg

- Posted on the go :)

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Build A Bear Workshop Experience

Today we visited Build A Bear Workshop to experience their new range of bears. On entering the shop we were greeted by Jo and Emma who eagerly showed Grotbags the newbies, there was so much choice that Grotbags found it difficult to choose as she loved them all. With the help of Emma she decided on Teacup who is Disney Princess Belle's puppy.

She then needed to decide if she would like a sound inside her puppy and she picked the barking sound (well it is a dog after all). Everything chosen it was time to stuff the puppy and with the help of Emma, Grotbags controlled the footpedal which filled the puppy with stuffing. It was then time to chose a heart and make a wish before it was placed inside the puppy along with a Cotton Candy scented pad to make her smell scrumptious.

It was soon time to dress Teacup and Grotbags found a lovely little tutu and tshirt along with a pair of polka dot pants and a tiara and wand. Once you have completed your bear and have everything you need it is time to sit at one of the computers and print your birth certificate. Grotbags can now manage to do this on her own with some prompts from Emma along the way. All finished it's time to head to the tills where your birth certificate and carry box is waiting.

Teacup costs £19 and outfits vary in price. There are other bears available ranging in price from £7 - £19. I think these are really good value, especially as the staff make this experience special for every child and the service is not rushed.

I would like to thank Jo and Emma at Build A Bear Meadowhall for providing Grotbags with a fun filled experience.

We received this item FOC for the purpose of this review, but the opinion is entirely my own.

Barcelona Planning with Amadeus

I love planning holidays and until recently I had not heard about the planning tool from Amadeus which could come in really handy over the next few months.  I have started a travel plan for a trip to Barcelona for my 50th birthday next April just by following the simple instructions on Amadeus.
To start I typed Barcelona in to the search bar, along with departure dates and holiday duration, if you prefer you can get more inspiration from travel plans that have already been created by other users. I then searched for the best flight options (although you cannot buy these on Amadeus), the site shows you the cheapest time to travel, with which airline and what the weather conditions are like.  I then saved this information to my travel plan.  Editing this information is easy and once complete you can share it with family members etc which I think is really useful when planning a holiday/break with extended family.
I find it really useful that you can actually add links to your saved plan, I find this useful when searching for restaurants, activities and places of interest. All these links can be stored safely in one place, which is a big plus for me when planning.
Other tools available include currency conversion, airport guides, subway maps and dialing code information.  You can view my plan here, why not take a look and create a holiday for yourself.  I would love to know if you try the site out and what your thoughts are.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

#Win a £20 Amazon Voucher

Autumn is nearly upon us and I would like to thank all my lovely readers by running a giveaway for a £20 Amazon voucher so that you can treat yourself to something nice for Autumn.

I love Autumn, there is nothing nicer than going a walk when the leaves are changing colour and everything is golden.  This year I will have been married 10 years in September and we are hoping to have a romantic weekend away, I want to stroll through the woods (without chasing after a energetic 9 year old) and sit to take in the views. We have all seen the advert with the catchphrase "I want to be a tree", well that is what I want :).

Anyway if you would like the chance to win my competition please complete the rafflecopter form below, and good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Family Holiday Planning

I love planning holidays, from choosing the right hotel and flights to sourcing what trips to take whilst we are away. I spend hours trawling the internet researching the area we would like to visit and also reading reviews on activities that are available in the area. I like to involve Grotbags from an early stage and on our recent trip to Mexico she wanted to visit Chichen Itza, which we booked and had a fabulous day, although I do wish I had researched it better, as it was a long day and journey, we were travelling on a coach for about 5 hours in total, the tour operator was brilliant with plenty of refreshments along the way.
Airport parking is a must, as we travel to the airport by car. If we have an early morning flight we often book an overnight stay at a hotel with parking included for the duration of the holiday, this allows us to be bright and fresh for our early morning flight. There are lots of great deals available online.

There is so much to take in to consideration when travelling with children, the flight to Mexico was alot longer than what we have previously taken, so we had to be well equipped with items such as colours, books, iPods and snacks to keep Grotbags happy. Plenty of fluids are essential on long flights to avoid dehydration.  The flight was about 12 hours and I am very surprised on how well behaved she was (obviously the planning I put in worked).
I find if you book your holiday earlier you can often get a better deal and free child places, which can save you money.

Now I am a little OCD about packing, if it was left to my other half things would be just thrown in.  I usually start about 2 weeks before, Grotbags will pick her outfits what she would like to take and I will pack the items I can.  I have a list of everything we need which I have added to over time and saved on the computer, I print this off before I start packing. My most important items are a small first aid kit along with antihistamines, paracetamol, ibuprofen and dioralyte (which is a great remedy for hangovers), sunscreens, insect repellent etc. This list is stuck to the lid of the suitcase and I tick things off as I place them inside. Simple but effective to use and I can see in an instant if I have forgot anything. 
It is nearly time for me to start packing for my next holiday, wish me luck :) and why not check out some more useful tips at Purple Parking.
This post is writting in assocation with Purple Parking.