Breakfast With belVita #MorningWin

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Daddy has never been a breakfast eater but since I found belVita breakfast biscuits he will always make sure he grabs a pack. He will either sit down with a cup of tea or eat them on the go. We all like them but me and big J will have variety during the week, cereal or toast but for Daddy if there is no belVita he has no breakfast.
This week we were sent some belvita crunchy biscuits in three new flavours to try. Apricot, hazelnut and chocolate chip. Belvita crunchy are different to the biscuits we usually buy. They are thicker and there is only three biscuits per pack instead of the usually four. 
There are a few flavours Daddy already likes, cocoa, milk and cereal or honey and nut. I like the fruits of the forest or fruit and fibre. We tend to stock up when they are on offer in the supermarket. 
So it was time to give them a try, Daddy tried Hazelnut, I tried Apricot and Big J tried the chocolate chip.
I have to say the flavours were very tasty and the thickness of the new biscuits made me feel fuller just after two biscuits. They are harder than the normal belVita but I usually dip then in my cup of tea anyway.
One of the reasons we like belvita so much is that they slowly release carbohydrates over 4 hours. I never want to have a mid morning snack after I have ate the biscuits. I am full till lunch.
The new belVita crunchy also kept me full even though there are only three biscuits in the pack. If you see above the 3 biscuits are about the same in thickness as four of the regular belVita biscuits.
Like I said before we are a big fan of belvita and it was nice to try out new flavours. I would definitely add the crunchy versions to my shopping list but I would buy if on offer like I do now with the normal versions.
*This post is an entry for #MorningWin linky challenge sponsored by belVita Breakfast, Learn more at Belvita UK*
*we received the new flavours to try*
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#win a Loop Journal Download Code

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Every year for Christmas I always get a new diary and I always get excited and start filling it out but by the middle of January I get bored and give up.

I have recently started using Loop Journal and I love it. It's an online app that I have on my iPad and every day a question pops up that I answer. It's a quick way to complete a diary and you can look back at what you have wrote in previous months.

I have 5 codes to give away to 5 winners so you can download the app for FREE.

All you need to do is complete the entry form below. good Luck

Competition closes on Monday 13th October 2014 at 12AM
Entrants must have a valid UK address
Bulk, third party or any other entries using automated software will be disqualified
All entrants and entries are checked and verified.
All entrants must follow the mandatory step and answer the question as a blog comment.
5 lucky winners will be chosen at random by the Gleam application.
Mummy2Monkeys will contact the lucky winners within 1 day of the competition closing
The winner must respond within 28 days. If no response a new winner will be chosen.
The prize is a Code which is redeemable on the App Store against the purchase of Loop Journal
There is no cash alternative.
It will be the responsibility of the representative of the company representing the  above to issue the prize. 
The winner must consent to their name and details being passed on to the representative so their prize can be distributed.
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Italian Meals from Aldi

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Today we went on a shopping spree in Aldi specifically looking for some ideas for Italian meals. As you may remember I have reviewed some of Aldi's tipples in the past (which you can read HERE) and I was pleasantly surprised at the quality for the price.
I was hoping I would be as happy with the Italian range as I was with their beers, wines and spirits. 
I asked big J to choose some products from the range so we could make some nice meals for the upcoming week.
Big J loves his pasta and will have it mixed with bolognese sauce, tuna or chicken and sweetcorn.  I usually make a big pan of pasta and he will eat it that night warm and then he will take it to school the next day in his packed lunch cold. 
So the first two items he put it the trolley was pasta, Fusilli and Penne. He likes fusilli with tuna and penne with chicken and sweetcorn. I'm not too fussed which type of pasta goes with what really to me it all tastes the same. 
Then we got some spaghetti and a bolognese sauce. I bought two jars of sauce because I don't like it when it's dry. 
Big J noticed a reasonably sized margherita pizza in the chilled section and asked could we also get that with some garlic breads. 
So we put them in the trolley and he then saw a large lasagne. As you may have read in previous blog posts I like to make a Quorn lasagne but as treat I said he could also add it to the trolley.
Just as we were leaving the chilled section he put in some fresh tortellini filled with tomato and basil. 
So that was our shopping done for now until on the way towards the till big J noticed some Italian style grated cheese so that was added too. I was really happy with the variety available and it was really reasonably priced too.
So I was looking forward to making some yummy Italian themed dinners this week. 
So far we have tried the pizza, garlic breads, Lasagne and the pasta. We have also used the grated cheese on top.
The pizza is delicious. There is a pizza restaurant in Disneyland Paris called The Outpost and if you have been and love the pizzas then you will love Aldi's. It tastes just the same but its not in the shape of Mickey Mouse. haha.
Overall I was really impressed with the quality for the price. Everything in the photo above was bought at the same time and came to just over £10.
To view each weeks special offers available at Aldi visit the website HERE
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So Glad I Found Berry Clever

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Yesterday I was introduced to Berry Clever and I am so glad I was. 
Berry Clever is a website which allows you to put tips on products for kids or pets. It's like a review site but the tips are only 150 characters so straight to the point.
When you have logged in it brings you to the home screen which highlights the most loved products. Here you can browse products that parents think are great.

If you want to search for something in a specific area you can use the tabs at the top of the screen


Once you click on a tab it will highlight a drop down menu
When you find a product you get two options of want it or have it. When you click have it you get a further two options of love it or meh.

So the idea is simple you write a tip for other people to see. If you love a product and want to write a great tip you get the chance to on Berry Clever and also if you are not to impressed with a product give it a Meh and tell the readers why.

You can also create lists for viewers to read so for example Feeding Must Haves. It's very simple to add a product to your list. When you click the product just click add to list and done.
There are a few products I use that are not listed which I would love to tell the world about and that's fine because they have an option to email them telling them about the product, and fingers crossed they will add it.
It's simple and easy to use and is a must have website for parents to use. 
You can visit Berry Clever by clicking HERE
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Naanster - Indian On The Go

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I am not a huge fan of microwave meals or snacks. I used to buy them but since being on maternity I have had the time to prepare and cook meals from scratch. 
Now I'm back at work it really is more convenient sometimes to throw something in the microwave. If you have to make four dinners for four people all eating at different times due to after school clubs or work it can make it just that bit easier.
Sometimes big J doesn't feel like a big dinner and will just want a snack. This week he tried Naansters.
Naansters come in a choice of four flavours
chicken tikka, 
vegetable tikka, 
balti chicken
beef madras.
Each naanster is a light fluffy naan bread with the choice of flavour inside, pilau rice and mango chutney.
You pierce the packaging and pop it in the microwave as it comes for 90 seconds.
I have to admit it did smell nice and big J was looking forward to giving it a go. He loves his food and is always happy to try foods he's not tasted before.
When it came out the microwave it was very very hot, it is recommended to leave for one minute but I left it for five. I also opened it up to take a peek inside.
Big J tried the vegetable tikka and he did enjoy it. He said it was very tasty. I was impressed the naan bread didn't go hard in the microwave but I would have liked to see a bit more filling inside. I think there was one very small piece of broccoli and one very small piece of cauliflower. There was quite a lot of rice. I am hoping the meat versions will have more in than the vegetable one.
 Each pack is 185g and the nutritional information below is per 100g
4.2g fat
0.9 sat fat
I think they are great for a snack and big J is looking forward to trying the other flavours which we will do over the weeks. 
You can visit the Naansters twitter page for more information or where to buy.

*we were sent a selection of Naansters to try in return for a honest review*
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Olive it! is a culinary concept that aims to bring a sparkle to traditional olives by incorporating them into your cooking in new and exciting ways! There’s no limit to your imagination and to help you bring this olive ‘explosion’ to life we are offering you the chance to win a once in a lifetime olive cooking course with celebrated Spanish chef, Jose Pizarro.
On Friday 3rd October at 12-3.30pm, you and one guest will experience hands-on tuition in an atmospheric and professional cook school in the heart of Clerkenwell, London, at the Food at 52 Cookery School.
In this exciting cooking course you will be inspired to get creative in the kitchen and learn how to make a selection of delicious tapas with the ‘master of tapas’ himself.
Jose Pizarro will take you on a culinary journey where you can explore the exciting flavours of the Mediterranean and learn how to make a selection of beautiful and mouth-watering dishes that will impress friends and family.
Take a look at the website for recipe inspiration.
Olives are an essential ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. Versatile and full of flavour, olives also have important nutritional properties and the black variety are rich in iron and vitamin E. What’s not to love? This tapas cookery class with Jose Pizarro is a perfect way to experiment with flavours of the Mediterranean and will leave you fully equipped to host your own tapas party! Each session ends with a mouth watering feast of all the food prepared, accompanied by some carefully selected wines.
To keep up to date with the Olive it! campaign visit Olive It or follow on Twitter @Oliveit_UK and like on Facebook OliveitUK.
Competition closes Sunday 28th September at 12am
winners will be emailed before 12pm on Monday 29th September
2 lucky winners will both receive a pair of tickets for the private tapas cookery class for two with Jose Pizarro.
 Due to the event being on 3rd October winners will need to respond as soon as possible to my winning email.
I will pass on all details of winners to the company representing this event
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
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Daddy Gets Work Shoes From Jacamo

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When we were asked to review an item of footwear from Jacamo I have to admit that firstly I didn't think they sold shoes and secondly I always had this idea that Jacamo was a shop only for the 'larger' man. I was wrong on both.
Actually I was very impressed when browsing the Jacamo website. There is a whole range of brands to choose from including Lambretta, French Connection and Timberland. 
They offer sizes from S to 5XL and footwear right up to size 15.
Daddy got the chance to browse and choose a pair of shoes from the Jacamo, Black Label or Label J range.
When it comes to shoes for Daddy he usually chooses a similar type every time and he was pleased to find a pair that he likes.

Jacamo lace up shoes
Formal lace up shoe featuring panel detailing, smart, sophisticated and stylish.
Come in both a standard or extra wide fitting.
Available up to a size 15
Choice of colours - black or brown
At the bottom of the page their was a review section were customers have wrote about their experiences with this shoe and to be honest there were a lot of negative comments. Most people seem to experience the heel or both heels falling off in just a couple of wears or said they look cheap. This didn't stop Daddy giving them a go as for £25 they seemed great value.
When they arrived we were happy with them. They didn't look cheap. Daddy tried them on and they are a lovely fit and Daddy actually said they feel like wearing slippers.
Daddy has been wearing these to work and after a week of wear there is no signs of the heel wearing away and it does not look like it will fall off either. I guess only time will tell but for now Daddy is very pleased.
You can find out more about Jacamo by visiting the website HERE

*we were sent the shoes in return for a honest review*
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My 1st JCB Big Wheeler JOEY

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Disclosure - We were sent the products below for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our unless stated. This post contains affiliate links. 

Little J has been trying out My 1st JCB Big Wheeler Joey over the last few weeks and it has become a firm favourite outside toy. I don't think it is specifically designed to be an outside toy but little J loves taking it out with him.

My 1st JCB Big Wheeler Joey
My 1st JCB Big Wheeler Joey is a classic push along toy. He is quite big and chunky so perfect for outside play. He doesn't have any buttons to press or sounds to make which I think is perfect, you can just get stuck in. 

My 1st JCB Big Wheeler Joey
He has a digger at the back to which can be lifted to which adds to the playing. 
I love his wheels they are so big and durable and after lots of playing outside they are still in perfect condition.

Joey is the classic yellow and black colour but he has an added dash of blue. He's very bright and appealing to youngsters.

My 1st Joey is 25cm in length and is suitable from 12 months. He has a friend to which you can buy in the My 1st JCB Big Wheeler range. Doug is a dump truck and is as chunky and durable as Joey.  Doug has a rear bucket which can be filled with mud, dirt, grass or whatever your little one wants and then he can be tipped out.

You can view more from My 1st JCB by visiting Golden Bear or you can browse the range on Amazon

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Scrumptious September DegustaBox Delivery

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This months Degustabox delivery arrived this week and it is my favourite so far. It contains some brands I am familiar with but different products I hadn't bought before.
This months box contains
Berry White - Fruit Drink
I personally haven't heard of Berry White fruit drink before. We were sent Peach and Goji Berry. Its one of your five a day and big J took this to school with him to enjoy during lunch. He liked it and said it was very fruity but he would have preferred it to be cold. It had gone warm in his school bag.
Lindt Hello - Just For You Hearts
These went down very well. Who doesn't like chocolate? Lindt is a favourite of mine but I always think of it as a 'treat' chocolate rather than a eat when you want chocolate.
The little tin was filled will 10 chocolate hearts and they were pure heaven.
Caribbean Twist - Strawberry Daiquiri
I have seen this in the shops but I have never tried it. Its a pre prepared cocktail drink that brings the Caribbean to you. It looks yummy and I'm looking forward to trying this at the weekend.
Fever Tree - Tonic Water and Ginger Beer
Fever Tree is a brand I have never heard of before and Tonic water and Ginger Beer isn't something I would choose to drink although Big J loves tonic water, so he gave this a go. He wasn't overly keen of the after taste but he drank it anyway.
Mexican Dave's - Lightly Salted Tortilla Chips

We have had these Mexican Dave's Tortilla Chips before in Degustabox and we were sent Nacho Cheese last time. They were lovely but not as nice as these. Daddy loves them and I will let you know he has scoffed the whole bag. Now the big question is where on earth do you find them? We have looked in all the major supermarkets and cannot find them. If someone knows please do tell us.
Brioche Pasquier - Pain Au Lait and Croissants Au Buerre
I buy a lot of Brioche Pasquier products but I have never bought these two. We usually buy the pain au chocolate or other varieties. These are really tasty and I love how fresh they always are.
These went down well at breakfast time and I will be adding these to my weekly shopping list.
Cawston Press - Kids Blends

Again I had never heard of this brand until we received a drink a few months ago in Degustabox. Big J loved this and its made with 40% water so its quite light and there is no added sugar.
Schwartz - Flavour Shots
These aren't for us but I can always find someone who will give them a go. We have had them in Degustabox before and this month was Mexican Fajitas and Spanish Paprika Chicken.
Something new this month was Degustabox Fridge. It was an envelope that contained a voucher to claim a free product from the supermarket
If you are new to my blog and you haven't heard of Degustabox before you can visit the website HERE and you can order your Degustabox for just £9.99 by using my special £3 discount code at checkout RQ59X
*we were sent degustabox in return for a honest opinion*
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Tomy Winnie The Pooh Post and Roll

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Little J loves Winnie the Pooh and he has a taggy that goes everywhere with him. When we received a new Winnie The Pooh toy for little J to try this week, he got stuck in and was so excited.
Winnie the Pooh Post and Roll Hunny Pot is a very simple toy but great fun. The large Hunny Pot is decorated with images of Winnie the Pooh and has a overflowing honey design at the top. The rest of the pot is see through and it needs to be so you can join in with the fun!
The pot comes with three small balls that make a rattling noise when shook. Little J loves rattling them and sometimes will just play with the balls. Rolling them around the floor and chasing after them.
When you are ready to play the idea is you put a ball in the Hunny pot and the Hunny pot will wobble from side to side and you can watch the ball go down the spiral and into the hole at the bottom of the Hunny pot. Once there it will hit the bell and make a ding sound. Then it will come out of one of the holes at the bottom and roll along the floor, but which hole? That's the fun part guessing which one. 
Little J loves putting the balls in and watching them go round and round down the spiral and when they reach the bottom he makes a screech noise when they pop out.
You can view the TOMY Winnie the Pooh range HERE
The Tomy Winnie the Pooh Post and Roll Hunny Pot is from is suitable from 9 months but at 17 months little J really does enjoy playing with this. He thinks it so funny. 
*we received the Winnie The Pooh Post N Roll in return for a full honest review*
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Mummy 2 Monkeys takes the Pampers #BritainsDriestNappy test

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Its been over 12 years since we bought our very first pack of nappies for big J. We honestly had no idea what brand to choose but based on popularity and a brand we recognised we chose Pampers. We continued to use Pampers right the way through until big J was potty trained. For us Pampers was the best brand ever as big J never got a sore bottom or nappy rash.
When little J came along 11 years later it was obvious we would choose Pampers and again we will continue to use them throughout. We have never had any problems with Pampers at all and *touch wood* little J has never had a sore bottom.
There are a few varieties of Pampers available but we have always chose Simply Dry or Baby Dry. They just sound like the best option because you want your baby to be dry and comfortable.
I recently found out that actually Pampers Active Fit is the UK's driest nappy and I have been asked to take the #BritainsDriestNappy challenge.
Anyone can take part all you will need is the following.
1 Active Fit nappy
150 ml of tap water inside a baby bottle or cup
A piece of tissue paper or kitchen roll
1 stop watch
1 pair of scissors
I also had my scientist assistant, big J to help out.
Firstly big J opened the nappy as if he was putting it on little J. Almost like a bowl shape. Big J has only changed little J's nappy a few times so I was surprised he knew what to do ;)
He poured the water onto the nappy. 150ml is a on average 2-3 wee's which is normally the amount a baby wee's before you think about changing a nappy.
Once the water had gone on to the nappy he set the timer for 1 minute and 30 seconds. We watched the nappy as it absorbed all the water although 150mls didn't seem a lot, the nappy did become quite full.
It seemed like forever until 1 minute and 30 seconds was over. How strange when you are watching time it goes very slow. 
Big J put kitchen roll on to the nappy and applied pressure as if little J was sat on it.
He lifted it off and we checked the kitchen roll for wet patches but it was dry and we also felt the nappy and it was completely dry. 
So the next part was to see how it works. This is were the scissors come in. Now I wouldn't fancy doing this next part with a nappy full of wee so if you are going to do this test make sure you use water.
Big J cut the nappy open across the middle.

Inside are absorbent micro pearls that absorbed the water to form a gel which then locks the water away protecting for up to 12 hours. These little pearls can hold up to 30 times their own weight so up to 3 small bottles of milk.
Am I convinced?
Like I said before we have always used Pampers so I know first hand how good the brand is. I love the fact that this test proves that my little J's bottom isn't damp at any time in between changes. 
I have never bought Active Fit so that's something for us to consider on our next nappy shop, but as long as little J is in nappies Pampers will always be our brand.
This post is an entry for #BritainsDriestNappy trial sponsored by Pampers. Learn more at
I was asked to take part in the #BritainsDriestNappy challenge thanks to britmums and provide an honest review*
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Back To School Shoes from Wynsors

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I still can't believe the Summer holidays are over and its back to school already. It only seems like yesterday that they finished. We have to buy Big J's uniform from the school uniform shop but we can buy any school shoes. We usually tend to buy Big J's school shoes from the same shoe shop every year although this year we were sent a pair for big J to try.
We were sent a pair of Kickers for big J from Wynsors.
Wynsors is a shop that is local to us but we had never really shopped there although I know people who have. At the moment there are huge signs outside promoting that they are the biggest stockist of Kickers in the area.
Big J has quite a wide foot so because he hadn't tried them on before they arrived I was unsure whether they would fit. He has struggled with shoes in the past and that is probably why we shop at the same shoe store each year. Also he varies in size. Some shoes or trainers he is a size 5, others 5 and a half and others a 6.
When they arrived they were really nice and looked very smart. We had decided on Velcro fastening because big J finds that easier if he wants to make them a little tighter.
Big J's school requires that all school shoes are ones that are able to be shined and I know from when Daddy has had these that they shine really well.
The soles are lovely and chunky with good grips. I don't like shoes with thin soles because they wear down to easily and you end up having to replace them in no time.

When it came to trying them on big J didn't seem happy. They felt a little too big. We had ordered a 6 but as we already know different brands sizes can vary a lot. The width seemed fine which was good but they were slipping up as he walked.

We took them along to Wynsors to see if they could maybe swap them for a smaller size. I have to say the staff were so pleasant, friendly and very keen to help find the right size for big J.

They brought out a size 5 and also insoles to try with the size 6. They also brought out other Kickers shoes that are not as wide at the front as others. They really did go out of their way to try and help us and I would give them a 10/10 for customer service.

We managed to sort out the right size thanks to the member of staff and big J was very happy with his shoes and the fit.

All ready to start a new school year.

I'm hoping the kickers will wear well especially during the winter months. Will post an update soon

You can view the Kickers range by visiting Wynsors online HERE

*we received the shoes above in return for a return, all thoughts above are our own*
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Labyrinth Board Game by Ravensburger

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For me there is nothing better than spending a Sunday afternoon playing a board game, especially if it is raining. We have so much rain this past week that we didn't bother to make any plans for today we just stayed in and had a play day.
Today we played a new game called Labyrinth by Ravensburger. As always I was left to read the rules and then set up the board.
The game has 34 maze (path) pieces which are placed on the board. 24 treasure cards which you pick up and tells you which piece of treasure you need to collect and 4 playing pieces.
The idea of the game is very simple. You make your way through the maze collecting your treasure and using the shortest route possible. Obviously that does sound easy but there is a twist. The walls of the maze can be moved by other players which will either make their route easier or block other players on their path.
The first player to successfully collect the treasures and make it home wins.
Setup was easy and took less than 5 minutes. You set out the board and fill it with maze (path) pieces. You use all but one piece. So you place 33 on the board and leave one at the side.
The Treasure cards are dealt out evenly between all players. Each player only looks at their top treasure card and then its time to start.
On a players turn they take the spare board game piece and slide it onto the board to make a path for themselves so they can move. The piece that falls out the other side now becomes the spare piece and then the player moves and the turns continue clockwise.
When you have got to the space where your treasure is you then turn over your treasure card to show the other players and then you look at your next card and try and find a way through the maze to collect that. 
The best part of the game is the board can change so much so it keeps the excitement going. 
Every time we have played it was like a new game because you have to build the board the treasure was in a different place each time. Daddy won, which was a surprise as he never wins. Haha.
 You can view the wide range of games available by visiting Ravensburger HERE
*we were sent Labyrinth to review. all thought are our own*
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