Showing posts with label food. Show all posts

Parenting | Portion Sizes For Children

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I've spoken a lot about mealtimes with the kids recently and I did a little research about portion sizes for children. Portions sizes obviously differ from child to child and as a parent you know best what your child needs and what they don't, however this is just a guideline and may help those who need it. 
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August Degustabox Review

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I am genuinely excited to be reviewing Degustabox again this year. I absolutely love the idea of receiving a box full of food / drink surprises each month. When we last reviewed Degustabox we found quite a few brands that we either hadn't heard of or hadn't tried yet so it was nice to explore new foods. 

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Biscuiteers Ice Lollies Big Biscuit Card Giveaway

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When the Summer months arrive I am always on the lookout for gifts which I can give to family and friends as we have quite a few birthdays. I recently found Biscuiteers. Biscuiteers offer a huge range of biscuits to suit all occasions. Whether its a birthday or new baby they have everything you could want. I did wander over to the chocolates and cake sections too and the bespoke cakes look absolutely amazing.

If I have made your mouth water with all the talk about biscuits and cakes then keep reading. To get you all in the mood for Summer I have a very delicious giveaway. Biscuiteers are offering one of my readers the chance to win an Ice Lollies Big Biscuit Card.
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Early Father's Day Meal At Brewers Fayre

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If you are a regular reader you will know that we do like going out for meals at our local Brewers Fayre. As Father's Day is approaching we popped along for an Early Father's Day Meal. If you have visited a Brewers Fayre before you will know that they offer a variety of Menus. A normal menu with pub meals, Chef's Counter Menu and a Kids Menu.

When we have the kids with us we almost always choose Chef's Counter. Its a buffet style menu that starts at 5pm with a different theme every night of the week. It includes Burger and Hotdog night, Mexican, Curry and on Fridays it is Chip Shop Buffet Night.

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Win An Organix Hamper Worth £25

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If you have read my blog before you may have noticed that little J loves his food. The good thing about him is he will try anything and he usually likes everything he tries. I'm so glad as it's hard work when you have a fussy eater. I love knowing that he will eat home made meals, fruit and vegetables. 

For a treat Little J absolutely loves Organix Goodies. His favourite are Carrot Cake Soft Oaty Bars. Whenever he wants one he says 'cake' its so cute. He has tried most of the Organix goodies range and likes it all. The finger foods are another of his favourites including Tomato Slices. They look just like a pack of crisps and he loves having the control of eating as many or as few as he likes.

 I am so excited to team up with Organix to offer 3 of my lucky readers the chance to win an Organix Hamper worth £25
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#BPDriveInDineOut With BP And Pizza Express

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Spending time together as a family is very important to us and I hope that shows on my blog. As there is an eleven year age gap between my two it is important that we make sure we do things together that interests both my boys. It could be just watching a movie together, visiting a theme park or eating out. Both my boys love visiting restaurants and while sometimes it can be manic dining out with a toddler its always worth it.

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Bella Italia Liverpool - Review

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When we walked through the doors of the Bella Italia today I was instantly sent 15 years into the past. When Daddy and I started dating we used to go to the Bella Pasta (thats what it used to be called) all the time. Other than its name it hasn't changed really it was just how I remembered it, I even knew where the toilets where and I haven't been there for at least 13 years.

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Dr Oetker Launch #freshnessfrozen Campaign

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Being a Mummy my whole attitude towards food has changed. I have to think about my family when I make food choices now and I want to make sure that what I prepare and cook for my boys is fresh and healthy.

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March Degustabox Delivery

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Its been a while since I reviewed a Degustabox so I was really excited when I was asked to receive March's Box 
If you are unfamiliar with Degustabox, you are really missing out. It's like a monthly subscription box but you are free to cancel at any time. Everything you receive inside is either food or drink or usually both and its always a surprise.
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Chocolate Making Masterclass

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I am definitely a chocolate lover and if you were to put a bag a crisps or a chocolate bar in front of me I would always choose the chocolate. When I was younger I loved Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. I remember watching the movie an thinking "I would love to visit there." 
When I was invited to attend a Chocolate Making Masterclass at Millennium Hotels -The Copthorne Hotel in Manchester I obviously said yes please, who wouldn't?
I have never attended a masterclass before so I had no idea what to expect other than the fact we were going to make chocolate. 
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What Does Your Toddler Eat?

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Little J will be 2 years old soon and I am not really looking forward to toddler tantrums and fussy eating. Up till now we have had the perfect child. He pleasant, funny, a good sleeper and a really good eater, I don't want it to change.
I am going to keep a note of all, if any changes and blog about them over the next months but just something playing on my mind at the moment is food. I am not 100% sure how much little J should be eating and how often. I have googled but their is so much difference between one toddler to the next.
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My Upbeat #ProteinChallenge

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You may have seen my competition here to win some delicious Upbeat drinks as well as Upbeat Goodies. I mentioned that I have been trying Upbeat and also eating a protein diet during the last week. I was sent some yummy food and a recipe book to help me create some protein filled dishes. The booklet also had lots of information about protein which was great to read as I didn't really have a clue on how much protein  I should be having each day.
Your protein intake should be 1g for every kg of body weight but this will depend on how active you are. 
It was interesting to read how much protein was in certain foods for example half a tin of tuna had 16g and Upbeat has 20g per 250ml bottle.
When my delivery arrived I was really excited to get going on the challenge and planned out my meals for the next seven days.

I received lots of goodies including chicken fillets, fresh salmon, salmon steaks, turkey mince, eggs, feta cheese, bananas, cherry tomatoes, porridge oats and blueberries.
My porridge with mashed banana.

I have never been a fan of porridge really but I thought I would give it a go for the 7 days as I like to make sure I have breakfast. It was actually really tasty and I topped it with blueberries or mashed up banana.
Iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes with feta cheese

Before I started this challenge I had been eating lots of chicken and salad for my lunch so I tried to stick to a salad during the week but alternated between chicken, feta cheese and egg. I used fresh iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, sweetcorn, grated carrot, peppers and a light dressing.
Strawberry Upbeat

My mid afternoon snack was an Upbeat drink. I love the mango and passionfruit and also Strawberry and so does big J so I had to buy more during the week. Upbeat drinks are high in protein and just 149kcals. They have half the sugar content of most fruit smoothies and low in fat. I actually found these quite filling and like I have mentioned before I am not a fan of smoothies or yoghurt drinks but these are actually quite tasty.
Dinner time was easy as everything that was sent I was able to make in to a delicious main meal. I am not the best cook but I did the job and everything was yummy. 
My favourite of the week was tasty chicken noodles and was very easy to make.
2 tsp cornflour
2 tbsp fish or soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
2 blocks of medium egg noodles
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 large red pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 spring onions, sliced
200g chicken
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chilli powder
100g frozen peas
1/2 20g pack of basil or coriander, leaves roughly shredded
Mix the cornflour with the sauce and sugar, then gradually add 8tbsp of water until smooth. Cook the noodles in a pan of boiling water for 4 mins.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok, then stir fry the pepper, garlic and spring onions for about 3 mins. tip in the chicken, spices and peas, stir fry for a couple of seconds more then pour in the sauce and flour mix.
Stir until thickened, toss in the drained noodles and top with basil or coriander.
Serves 2 and is approx 604kcal per serving.
So after doing this for a week how do I feel? 

Well I have been less tired than usual. I am normally falling asleep during celebrity big brother but I managed to stay awake until the end of the evening show. 
I do feel less bloated. I have been drinking plenty of water during the week and I think this has really helped shift that bloated feeling.
I honestly did not feel like snacking at all. I was quite happy to enjoy my Upbeat drink mid afternoon. I didn't reach for the biscuit tin in the evening because my dinner really filled me up. Plus drinking the water really helps with my cravings.
 I got weighed on Friday exactly 1 week after my last weigh in and my weight was exactly the same. I am a little disappointed as I felt that I had ate healthier and combined with little bits of exercise I thought I might of shed a pound or two but I didn't. 
I have really enjoyed the #proteinchallenge and it has definitely made me consider my protein intake since I finished the 7 day challenge. The felt great, had more energy and i'm glad I did it.

*to help me take part in the #proteinchallenge I was sent a selection of groceries and Upbeat drinks. All thoughts, opinions and photos above are my own*
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Win Afternoon Tea Set And Some Delicious Kate's Cakes

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 I love a nice cup of tea and some biscuits for dunking but I would be tempted to leave the biscuits for some nice scones and cakes. There is nothing quite like afternoon tea and cakes. We were recently sent some Kate's Cakes to try which were perfect for an afternoon treat.
The individually wrapped cake squares were just the right size to nibble on whilst enjoying a cup of tea. We sampled Chocolate Fudge Cake and Lemon Drizzle Cake. I am such a chocoholic so I thought I would have enjoyed the fudge cake more but both were equally as tasty.
The chocolate fudge cake is topped with chocolate buttercream and curls and the lemon drizzle cake is topped with lemon juice and sugar pearls. The cakes looked bite size when I opened the box but they are very filling and for me the portion size was just right.
I've teamed up with Kate's Cakes to offer my readers the chance to win an afternoon tea set and some delicious Kate's Cakes
All you have to do is answer this Christmas themed question.
Q: What is your favourite part of the Christmas Holidays?
Remember to leave your answer as a blog comment and only readers who leave a comment will be entered into the draw.
Once you have left your comment more ways to get extra entries will open up on the gleam app below.
Kate's Cakes Afternoon Tea Set  
Good Luck
Don't forget to check out my other competitions.
Terms and Conditions
Competition closes on Weds 10th December 2014 at 11:59PM
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 Kate's Cakes Afternoon Tea Set
By entering this competition you give permission for me to pass on your details to the promoter. Only for the winner.
There is no cash alternative
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I Always Choose Quorn

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I am a big fan of Quorn and I have managed to convince Daddy, big J and little J to try some of the range and they do like like some of the products. I am not a vegetarian but I have mentioned it before that I'm just not a big fan of meat. I like dishes that include meat such as lasagne and casserole so I love the fact I can use Quorn products and they taste just as nice.

These are probably the most popular products we buy. We use the mince for lasagne and spaghetti bolognese, sausages as part of a meal or maybe a casserole and the chicken pieces in a curry.

Now I am not the greatest cook so when I make a lasagne I will use sauces in a jar such as ragu or dolmio.

Our Quorn Lasagne is extremely easy to make. I brown the Quorn mince for 5-8 minutes first in the frying pan using a spray of fry light first. Then I add the Dolmio Lasagne sauce and stir for a further 5 minutes.

Then I scoop some Quorn Mince into my lasagne dish and add some Lasagne Pasta sheets on top. Add some Creamy Lasagne White Sauce and repeat until you have used all you mince.
When you get to the last layer sprinkle on some cheese.

Put in the oven for 40 mins on 180. I usually pre heat for 10 mins and switch off after 30 minutes.
Our Quorn Lasagne will feed all four of us for Dinner and I usually reheat the rest the next day for little J's lunch and sometimes we can get another lunch too.

Quorn is a great tasting range, perfect for if you're trying to eat healthier as part of an active lifestyle, watching your weight or if you want some meal free meal inspiration. 

Have you tried Quorn? What do you think?
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Bitesized Belters from Sugarpoke

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We are big fans of Sugarpoke already and recently we were sent a treat to try from their letterbox range. Bitesized Belters are exactly how they sound. Bitesize treats that are just so yummy. Like I mentioned they are letterbox friendly so no need to worry about waiting for the postman to arrive.

Included in the Bitesized Belters are
2 x Lemony Snacket
The shortbread snacks are bake with a layer of lemon curd. I am not a fan of anything lemon flavour really so it was up to Daddy and little J to try these and they loved them. I did have a little nibble on one just out of curiosity and they were full of flavour.
2 x Billionaires Bite 
Very similar to a millionaires shortbread. Chocolate, shortbread and caramel in one little bitesize package, delicious. We actually buy something similar from Costa and I have to say Billionaires Bites are tastier.
2 x Honeyjack Bite
Flapjack with honeycomb and chocolate squiggles. I scoffed these before anyone had a chance to have a try...oops. What can I say? Very tasty. 
2 x Fruitjack Bite
A five fruit flapjack with sunflowers seeds. Again I enjoyed BOTH of these with a cup of tea. I sound really greedy, don't I? Oh well they were tasty and Mummy doesn't share when it comes to flapjacks.
Currently priced at just £7.99 including a lovely card and first class delivery.

Little J tucking in.
As many will know I love christmas so I did have a peek to see if there is any christmas goodies yet. I did spot this and as soon as I spot anymore I will keep you all informed.

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October Degustabox Delivered

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I think you will all know by now that I am a big fan of Degustabox and I know I will continue to enjoy the surprise of opening the box each month to see what is inside. I think over the months the boxes have become bigger and better and with the new Degustabox Fridge vouchers too it really is great value for money.

So in this month there were a few familiar brands that I knew of or we had received in previous boxes.

Kents Kitchen - Meal Kits
Three steps in three simple pots to make a delicious meal in under 20 minutes. We haven't tried this yet but it looks great.

Blue Dragon - Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce
I absolutely love Sweet Chilli dipping sauce and although I hadn't heard of this one before its now my favourite. Its so tasty and I love it with prawn crackers.

Special K - BBQ Cracker Crisps
I am not a fan of crisps, I much prefer chocolate but I have tried something similar to these before and they are very tasty. Daddy and big J aren't too fussed on these but at 60% less fat than the average packet of crisps they get a thumbs up from me.

Get Buzzing - All Natural Bars
I've actually just ate this as I have been typing. It was delicious. For me it had more of a buttery flavour than a nutty flavour and it was very filling.

Again there are a few different products in the supermarket like this but this isn't one we have tried before. I do love the idea of it, being able to have a nice juice on the go when your out and about.

Solo - Marshmallow
We were sent a toasted fudge version of this and it was so yummy. I have to admit I am not actually sure how you are supposed to eat it but we just grabbed a spoon and tucked in.

Bear - Bear Paws
We have had these before in a Degustabox I think and they are perfect for little J. A nice and juicy fruit snack in paw prints shapes.

Brioche Pasquier - Sliced Brioche Loaf
We are big fans of Brioche Pasquier and it is a regular on our shopping list but mainly the croissants and Brioches, we haven't tried the loaf before. I wasn't sure whether it was to be toasted or just used as bread so we tried both. It didn't have much of a flavour to it but little J liked it.
Jelly Belly - Jelly Beans
I love the handy size of this bag. Sometimes the Jelly Belly packets are really big but this is ideal for a snack.
Bear - Alphabites
Again we have tried these before but unfortunately we are not to keen on them although I usually give these to my mum so they are not wasted.
If you fancy giving Degustabox a try then make sure you visit their website and enter my special code which will give you a £3.00 discount
*we were sent a Degustabox to try - all thoughts above are our own*
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Blast From the Past - #AngelDelightMoments

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When I was younger I always remember Angel Delight being a treat we would have on a Sunday after our roast dinner. My mum would make I and I would eagerly wait for it to set in the fridge. It only took minutes but it felt like forever. 
Sometimes we would have it with jelly which was another after dinner treat.
I don't remember having any other flavours except for strawberry. Maybe strawberry was the only flavour available back then.

Not there are five classic flavours to choose from chocolate, raspberry, butterscotch, banana and strawberry. There is also a no added sugar option in butter witch, chocolate and strawberry.
A new flavour which has been introduced to the classic five is Bubblegum and we have been trying it out. 
Bubblegum is probably big J's favourite flavour in anything. Ice cream, lolly-ices, lollipops anything he can find in that flavour really. 
When I told him angel delight had brought out bubblegum his first words were "can we buy some?"
So today I got our sachet of angel delight and milk and made the new bubblegum flavour. 
We were sent some bubblegum angel delight to try out so I got big j to give me a hand mixing it together.
When you open the packet the flavour is really strong and smells delicious. 
If you have never made angel delight before it is really simple you just add milk and whip. That's it. Pop in the fridge for five minutes and it's done.

After dinner big J and little J gave it a try. They both really enjoyed it.
There are other ways to enjoy angel delight you can make ice lollies, smoothies and milkshakes but big J just wanted to try something different.
He wanted to make angel delight ice cubes? So we poured the mix into the ice cube trays and waited for them to freeze.
Big J enjoyed a glass of milk with angel delight ice cubes. He said it was delicious and definitely worth a try if you are an angel delight fan.
"This post is entry for #AngelDelightMoments Linky Challenge"
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Frozen and Fajitas

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At the weekend we had a Frozen and Fajita night. Frozen is one of my favourite Disney movies and it was perfect to cuddle up to, all cosy on a chilly Saturday night.

Our movie feast was Fajitas. We were sent a selection of Santa Maria goodies and Frozen to create the ultimate movie night in.

You may already know that Santa Maria is the new brand name for Discovery products. We have bought Discovery products in the past but we hadn't tried the new Santa Maria products yet. 

So for movie night Big J wanted a bowl of Sweet Chilli Nacho Rolls with Salsa and Guacamole to dip. He's not a lover of peppers or onions so has never tried a fajita before but he said he would give it a go.

There is a chicken fajita recipe online for those who have never made them before

I am not the best cook but they are very easy to make but I have included the recipe below 

Chicken Fajitas (serves 4)

2 tbsp oil
500g chicken breast, cut into thin strips
1 sachet of Santa Maria seasoning mix mild.
1 onion
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 packet of Santa Maria corn and wheat tortillas

To serve

Green Salad
Fresh tomatoes, slice
Santa Maria Salsa 
Santa Maria Guacamole

1. Coat chicken in oil and seasoning mix. heat a heavy based frying pan until very hot and add the chicken. Fry for about 3 minutes until well browned.

2. Add the onions and peppers and cook for a further 2 minutes or until meat is cooked.

3. Serve with warm tortillas, green salad, tomatoes, salsa and guacamole, roll up and enjoy.

There are two fajita seasonings available hot and mild. For me the mild is hot enough so I wouldn't try the hot one but that would be down to personal choice.

So fajitas and nacho rolls were ready and we were ready to watch Frozen.

We have not tried corn and wheat tortillas before but I would definitely buy again, they were delicious. They were slightly smaller than are usual tortillas but they were very soft and had a nice taste to them.

The salsa was mild too so perfect for me who doesn't like to spicy. It was nice to try guacamole as we have never tried it before. It was actually quite nice. I think the colour usually puts me off which I know sounds silly but it did so i'm glad I had a taste.

We were all fans of the nacho rolls they are so yummy. I love anything sweet chilli flavour so for me they were probably my favourite. I could just eat them on their own without dips, just like crisps.

I was really impressed with the Santa Maria range and it was nice to sit down as a family with a movie and have something different for dinner. Quick and easy to prepare and cook and very tasty.

You can visit the Santa Maria Range HERE

*we were sent a selection of goodies in return for a review*
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September Degustabox

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This months Degustabox was a great mixture of items. There was a few brands I hadn't heard of before, Little Miracles and Righteous and there were some brands that have appeared in Degustabox before.
There was option this month for non alcoholic or alcoholic products and we received both to try.
As always I am usually last to have a look inside the box as big and little J normally dive right.
 This month was no different and they both jumped on the Bahlsen Pick Up biscuits.
Bahlsen Pick Up Biscuits 
RRP £1.69 per pack of 5
These are delicious and we have tasted them before but not the Black N White flavour which is new. You have two biscuits on top of each other separated by a layer of thick chocolate. The Black N White was cocoa biscuits surrounding white chocolate. As expected these went down well but I prefer the milk chocolate version.
Burts Lentil Waves
RRP £2.07
Avaialble from Waitrose in three flavours, Sour Cream and Chive, thai Sweet Chilli and Lightly salted. We havent tried these yet but I cant wait. They sound and look delicious.
Jordans Simply Granola
RRP £2.69
My mum loves granola so I gave this to her to enjoy. She eats it on its own or with milk and she loves it. These crunchy oats have a hint of honey to add to the flavour.
Crabbies Alcoholic Fruits 
RRP £1.50 (normally sold in 4 packs for £5.99)
We have actually tasted these before. Daddy enjoyed these throughout the summer as they are very light and refreshing and made with upto 10% natural fruit juice. Three flavours to choose from, black cherry, zesty lemon and raspberry and rhubarb which is Daddy's favourite.
Carnation Cook With it.
RRP £3.30
I don't cook with cream so I wasn't too excited about this but after reading that it actually has 68% less fat than single cream i may give it a go. Its made with fresh milk and might be good for my chicken korma.
Crabbies Lemonade
RRP £1.20
This was the non alcohol option and it went in seconds. Big J absolutely loved it. It had a hint of ginger and he is excited to try out other flavour Raspberry.
Little Miracles
RRP £1.59
Like I said earlier I've not heard of Little Miracles before. Its a blend of organic tea and fruit juice. Sweetened with Agave and less than 90 kcals. We've not tried it yet but will be happy to give it a go.
Elizabeth Shaw Dark Chocolate Mint Thins
RRP £2.50
We have received Elizabeth Shaw items before in Degustabox and we have also bought some ourselves. These are absolutely delicious.
Righteous Dressings
RRP £2.19
Made with 100% natural ingredients Righteous have created some lovely salad dressings. Mild English Blue cheese in cider is my favourite out of the three. Very tasty and perfect on my salad. The other flavours were lemon and mustard seed and raspberry and sweet basil. Both very tasty but I did have to pick a fave.
As always you can click on each of the above to get more info and if you want to sign up to Degustabox you can by clicking HERE and as a special treat I have a £3 discount code for you to enter
we were sent Degustabox to try in return for a honest review
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#Win Dr Oetker Baking Goodies #Competition

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I love spending time in the kitchen with my monkeys, baking cakes or trying out new recipes.
If you like to bake with your little one then I have a lovely competition for you.

Enter below to win a selection of Dr Oetker Baking Goodies. All you need to do is ANSWER THE QUESTION by commenting on the blog below.

Q. What do you like to make or bake?

All entrants who leave a blog post will be entered into the draw. More ways to get extra entries will become available once a blog comment has been made.

Dr Oetker baking Goodies  
for more competitions visit my competitions page HERE or Loquax
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