Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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*

Open Goaaal

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Big J has been desperate for us to set up his Open Goaaal but with weekend after weekend of rain it was just impossible to get it set up but last weekend the sky was blue and not a drop of rain in sight. Just one small problem big J broke his hand and cannot take part in any outdoor activities especially football. We decided to put off setting it up as it would be torture for him because he can't go and play.
I thought I would let you all know about Open Goaaal anyway and follow up with a review. Open Goaaal is probably the one thing that will make my day a lot easier. I am forever telling big J not kick the ball to high incase it goes over into a neighbours garden. We only have a small back garden and small fences and sometimes I feel like big J thinks he's on a football pitch and the ball just goes flying over the fence. It must drive my neighbours crazy because they are always throwing the ball back over.
So Open Goaaal was invented and it looks amazing. Open Goaaal teamed up with a world leading manufacturer of football netting to create a goal that will stop the hassle of balls going over the fence.
The goal is positioned between two poles and when you are not using it, you draw it back like a curtain so you can enjoy your garden.
When we were sent Open Goaaal we were asked to make sure it would fit because it is not small. 
The width is adjustable.  You'll need a rectangle of grass the following size:
1. Standard size - 2.0m deep, and between 6.3m and 9.0m wide.  (6.6ft deep, and 21 - 30ft wide).
2. Large size - 2.3m deep, and between 8.5m and 11.0m wide.  (7.5ft deep, and 28 - 36ft wide) 

We checked and we were fine. Just a quick note to remember that this isn't easy to set up either and will need two adults for at least 2 hours. There is a video to watch HERE

Once the goal is up and running there will be no more stress of it flying over the fence and I can't wait.

To view more information about Open Goaaal you can check out the website which has all the info you should need. Visit the website HERE

Make sure you keep an eye out for our review once Big J's hand is better.
photos courtesy of www.opengoaaal.com

Monday, 29 September 2014

#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.

Little J is Teething AND He's Got A Cold

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Poor little J is getting another tooth and he is has also been suffering recently with a cold and an nasty cough.
I can feel the tooth at the back on the top left. Its almost through now so hopefully we will be coming to the end of flushed cheeks and drooling. 
We've been doing everything to make him more comfortable which is hard when he is covered in drool and his nose and eyes are running. He hasn't been himself at all and has had the odd few moments were he has just cried for no reason. poor thing.
Firstly I have been giving him Nurofen. I've not used it before as we always use Calpol but this said for fever and pains so we give it a go. I bought these first and didn't realise they are satchets but I've since bought the medicine.
We normally use Ashton & Parsons Teething Powders but they are so hard to get hold of that we had to get Nelson Teething granules instead. They seem to be doing the trick. They are suitable from any age and you just sprinkle the powder into the mouth.
Also we have all been applying Nasal Guard Cold & Flu Block. It's a gel that you apply around your nose. It's designed to trap, hold and immobilise airborne viruses. It's safe for children, pregnant ladies or nursing women. You are supposed to start using it before the flu season but as I work in a nursery I thought it would be good to use ASAP.
To help keep him dry we have gone for some old favourites.
Dribble stop top. If you are a regular reader you know I love these.
We reviewed them way back in March (read our review HERE
Little J is in the largest size available and they are now looking a little snug. I will be gutted when he grows out of these which probably won't be long.
He has been wearing a cool fashion accessory that doubles as a drool bib.
Skibz bib are just so cute. I reviewed some way back in April and he still wears them all now. They wash well and look fantastic.
As well as all this to help him feel better he has been getting plenty of love and hugs from us all. Hopefully his cold will pass very soon and the tooth will stop giving him pains. 
Teething really is an awful time for a child so it's great to have many products out there at the moment to help our little ones feel more comfortable.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

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

Saturday, 27 September 2014

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

#Win a Family Ticket to See Octonauts LIVE on Stage

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Top-selling childrens stage show producers Fiery Light today announce a brand new full-length theatre adventure for children, Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure. Based on the popular CBeebiesTV show, Octonauts, this exciting new production opens at The Orchard Theatre, Dartford, on Thursday 16 October and tours into 2015.

In Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure the entire crew of the Octonauts, led by intrepid explorer Captain Barnacles, Lieutenant Kwazii and Medic Peso, embark on an exciting new underwater quest and visit amazing underwater worlds full of adventure, with surprises around every corner. This action-packed interactive show features new music (from BAFTA-award winning composer Mani Svavarsson) and all the Octonauts live on stage for the very first time.

Richard Lewis adapts and directs this new production for the stage. He also adapted and directed the hugely popular three Peppa Pig stage shows and last years Ben & Hollys Little Kingdom tour. Matt Lewis is lyricist, Simon Scullion is designer, Matt Haskins is lighting designer and Ian Horrocks Taylor is sound designer.

Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure is produced by live childrens show supremos Fiery Light (joint venture by Fiery Angel and Limelight Productions), the team also behind the recent tours of the three successful Peppa Pig stage shows. Their most recent – Peppa Pigs Big Splash - is currently on tour. It has broken box office records for a pre-school show and will return to the West End for fifth consecutive Christmas season at the Criterion Theatre this year. Other Fiery Light productions include the recent tour of Ben and Hollys Little Kingdom, LazyTown Live! and Roald Dahls The BFG.

Director/adapter Richard Lewis said: ‘Octonauts is all about adventure and exploration which offers up a whole host of possibilities in a live environment. From the colourful characters and fantastic underwater setting to the amazing octopod where the Octonauts live, theres great scope for a really unique, interactive theatre experience. We cant wait to take fans on an adventure like never before.

For tour information please go to
Octonauts Live

I am so pleased to be able to give 1 lucky winner the chance to see Octonauts LIVE at a and venue and performance of their choice (subject to availability)

To be in with a chance of win you MUST answer the mandatory question.

What is the name of the Octonauts Captain?

A. Capt Kirk
B. Capt Birdseye
C. Capt Barnacles

Terms and Conditions

Competition closes on Saturday 11th 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.
1 lucky winner will be chosen at random by the Gleam application.
Mummy2Monkeys will contact the lucky winner 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 Family Ticket to see Octonauts Live at a venue and performance of your choice (subject to availability)
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.


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*

Friday, 26 September 2014

Flashback Friday - Britney Baby

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This weeks random Flashback Friday photo is of the princess of pop Britney Spears. 
Taken 2009.

I once was a serial comper and I used to win so many competitions. This was a competition win. I received a phone call one afternoon about 2:30pm saying I had won tickets to see Britney on her Circus tour that night. 

It was a mad dash to Manchester to collect the tickets but wow what a show.


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Big J is Bottom

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Ever since big J walked on the stage in his nursery play as Jesus he has always looked like that is where he is meant to be - on stage! 
This was one of the things I knew I would miss as big J moved from primary to senior school - the school plays.
Over the years he has sang in the choir, at summer fairs, duets, and solos. He has been a tree, Jesus, a bull even a can of coke.
When he told me he had been given a part in his schools drama festival I was so excited. When I asked him what or who he was he said "I'm bottom, I'm a donkey"
For those like me who haven't got a clue, Nick Bottom is a character out of Midsummer Night's Dream.
He was really excited and he had quite a few lines considering it was only a 20 minute version of the play. We managed to get him a donkey mask from Amazon and he just needed to wear his own clothes.
We purchased our tickets a week before the play and I couldn't wait. I just love it when big J is on stage. He looks so comfortable and he isn't shy at all. He goes on and the audience just love him.
I have asked him over and over to do drama but he won't. He enjoys acting and singing so I don't know why but I don't want to push him when it's not something he wants to do. 
The weekend before the play big J got a really bad cold. I wasn't sure whether he would be able to do it on the Tuesday but he slept most of Sunday and managed to make it to rehearsals on the Monday. Tuesday morning little J and I woke with the worst cough, cold and runny nose. I was gutted. There was no way I could make it. I felt terrible, when I told him he did try and throw a mini tantrum but he understood. 
Daddy got to see the play and said he was brilliant. He had the audience laughing and was just great like I knew he would be. Daddy is familiar with the play because he starred it in too in school. He was Oberon King of the Fairies.
I'm not sure whether big J will pursue his acting in the future but for now he gets a HUGE Well Done.


Wednesday, 24 September 2014


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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.

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*

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Brotherly Love

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I've touched on this briefly here about the age gap between my two monkeys. It's almost 11 years but at this moment in time that gap doesn't seem to matter
They are so loving towards each other and big J would do anything for his brother. I honestly thought that it would be a struggle to keep these two entertained but they both get on so well. Little J absolutely adores his big brother and just wants to play with him all the time. 
I love sitting watching them play together, it's just lovely. Big J is so patient and spends lots of time with little J. I knew big J would be a great big brother but I didn't expect him to spend so much of his free time making his little brother laugh so much.
After school big J will come home and will spend time with little J while I make tea, clean up etc. He doesn't need to be asked he just does it because he wants to. I often come into the living room and find them rolling round the floor laughing. It's hilarious.  The two of them are crazy.
Now big J is getting older its nice to see them both celebrating special occasions together, Easter, Christmas, birthdays and Halloween last year.

We've still managed to keep up our days out as we love spending time as a family and we are choosing places which are suitable for both of them. We have been to Alton Towers a few times and I love it how big J will spend lots of time with little J in Cbeebies land even though he loves all the big fast rides.

I know there will be times when big J won't be able to spend as much time with little J but that's okay, I understand. I know the love these two have for each other is so strong and they will be friends for life.


Monday, 22 September 2014

My 1st JCB Big Wheeler JOEY

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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 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. 
If you pull up his exhaust his front scoop will lift and little J likes to pick up mud and grass with the help of his big brother.
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 buy Joey HERE and Doug HERE
*we were sent Joey to try in return for a honest review*

Saturday, 20 September 2014

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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