Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Degustabox BBQ Box Review

If you like trying new food I would highly recommend you try Degustabox. They're a monthly subscription food box. Each month you pay £12.99 (this includes delivery). Inside each box, you will receive 9 - 14 surprise food products, items vary each month and some of them are new products. The value of your box will always be more than what you have paid. However, if you aren't happy with the service and you wish to cancel your subscription you can do so at any time as you are under no obligation to buy more boxes than you want too.

Inside this months box:

Haywards – Medium & Tangy Silverskin Onions (£1.89). Add a little kick to any meal. These silverskin onions are perfect to add to a salad, barbeque or a cheese sandwich.

Branston – Spicy Tomato Relish (£1.65). Spice up your summer barbeques with this relish from Branston. The ideal condiment for any hot dog or burger and it'll make a nice to change to plain old ketchup.

Amoy – Coconut Milk (£1.99). Made from ripe, fresh coconuts from Thailand, Amoy's Coconut Milk adds a rich and delicious flavour to Asian dishes such as Thai curries and desserts.

Shwartz – Burger Mix (£1.49) expertly formulated to make juicier and tastier burgers. Each packet makes 4 - 6 burgers - simply add to your mince, shape the burgers and grill. Available in American Smokehouse and Classic Steakhouse.  

Zeo –Cloudy Lemonade (£2.75) made with 98% spring water, blended with the naturally extracted flesh of succulent lemons and essential oils from their skin. Each 250ml serving contains just 28 calories and 1.5 teaspoons of sugar (beet and cane).

Sacla – Pesto Pots (£2.79) these easy to open, single serve pots are ideal to keep in your cupboard so that they are to hand when you want to add a little bit of Italy to your favourite dishes. They are made from using fresh Italian basil, Grama Padano cheese, Pecorino Romano cheese and pine nuts.

Butterkist – Yoghurt Popcorn (£1.49) new from Butterkist comes yogurt coated popcorn - it sounds awful but tastes delicious. Each serving contains just 95 calories. Available in both sharing bags and multipacks which are ideal for snacks and lunchboxes.

Bakedin- Mug Brownie Mix (£1.50) A rich and velvety Belgian chocolate brownie, baked in a mug. Cooks in the microwave in less than two minutes. 

Marstons – King Star Lager (£1.70) A refreshing drink from the master brewers from Wych Wood. Perfect to enjoy in the garden after a hard day at work.

Miracle Noodles – Noodles (£2.49). The premier low calorie, soy free, gluten free, vegan and non-GMO Kosher Shirataki noodle and rice. Perfect for those who enjoy their noodles but who want to watch their waistline too.

Think Products – Smooze: Coconut & Mango (£2.50) A freeze at home ice treat that is made from all natural ingredients including 40% coconut milk and 50% fruit juice and puree. The treats are free from all major allergens and are suitable for vegans. It is best to freeze them overnight before eating them.

Destrooper - Oliver – Belgian Biscuits (£1.10) The best quality biscuits made in Belgium. These biscuits taste as if they were made at home and taste great with a cup of tea or coffee, they even taste great with a scoop of ice cream. Available from Waitrose.

For more information about Degustabox, you can find them on Facebook and Twitter. If you'd like to try Degustabox, My Three and Me have a code that you can use to get £7 off your box. Simply enter BLDEG15 at the checkout.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Confessions Of A Summer Parent

Does the mere mention of the school summer holidays fill you with dread? does it bring you out in an uncontrollable sweat that has you wishing it was September like yesterday? If so, you're not alone. There are many parents who feel the same and by the middle of the holidays I can honestly say I am one of those parents too - there are only so many times you can play referee to a pointless argument over Minecraft or Fifa 15 and believe me I've been the ref to them all. "He cheated", "He crashed into me on purpose", "He won't pass me the ball", "He blew up my house" and my favourite of all time " But I wanted to do that to his house and he did it to mine first" - first of all what did he do and secondly why does it matter??? These are the arguments I hear on a regular basis.

I always start the holidays with the best of intentions - we have a list of places and attractions to visit, people who we want to see and activities we want to complete at home. But I have, to be honest, and say that I try to get as many of these out of the way early on in the holidays as by weeks 3, 4, 5 and definitely by 6 everyone's tempers have frayed and the Xbox and PS4 have made their appearance and the thought of sitting in the garden with a book, iPod and earphones is very appealing rather than trying to take My Three anywhere, that doesn't mean we don't still do plenty together for the remainder of the holidays.

If you're struggling to keep your tribe busy here are a few of my hacks for an easier summer holiday:
  • If you don't want to go anywhere then don't - spend time at home - there's plenty of things you can do together at home. There's nothing worse than trying to enjoy a day out when no one wants to be there in the first place.
  • If you do want to go out then take it in turns on suggesting places to visit - My Three love it when we go to places that they have thought of.
  • Bake - My Three love to help out when I'm in the kitchen, there's nothing worse than a rainy day in the holidays but baking cakes and biscuits can easily eat up an afternoon and everyone loves the tasting bit.
  • Watch DVD's - let the kids take it in turns to choose something to watch that way there will be no arguments and the same DVD won't be played 3 days in a row
  • Clean the car - get the kids to help out when cleaning the car - it keeps them busy and it's one less job for you to do.
  • Referee the football matches - with a drink, your iPad / book and a sunlounger, of course, that way you can keep track of who scored what goal and top up your tan at the same time.
  • If you need peace and quiet take the laundry upstairs or into another room - you can escape the kids and their arguing for a good twenty-five minutes - obviously if you have little ones this isn't possible but My Three are aged 7, 8 and 11 and are more than capable of playing Xbox or reading a book on their own for this amount of time - plus they know if they need me I'm only upstairs.

How do you survive the holidays?

*This post is an entry for BritMums Confessions of a Summer Parent Challenge, sponsored by Anchor*

The SAT's Results Are In....

A couple of months ago I wrote a post about the then upcoming SAT's tests for Callum and James. I wrote about my worries for the boys and their peers and how unfair the tests would be to them as they hadn't had long enough to prepare for them. I signed a petition and shared it in the hope that this year's tests would be scrapped. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and the children sat the tests as required. Many of the children were stressed about them and I know that Callum was certainly feeling frazzled by all the revision and new work that they were cramming in to stand a chance at passing the tests.

Last week all the results were released and we received Callum's results Friday after school. You can see for yourselves how he did- I think he did great and he knows just how proud of him we are. He tried hard and his results show this.

The letter also shows the national results as a whole too. Provisionally, only 53% of children who sat the end of KS2 tests reached the expected standard in reading, writing and maths - clearly something is amiss and I bet there are a lot of children who feel like they have failed. If there are parents with children who got results that showed they didn't reach the expected standard I want you to know that these results are not the be all and end all. I want them to know that they have been let down by a government who know nothing about teaching or our children because if they did they wouldn't have imposed these ridiculous standards that even GCSE, A level students and higher educated people (including myself with 9 GSCES, 4 A levels, 1 AS level and a 2:1 degree) found difficult to understand and answer. I want them to know that I and many others tried to have this year's exams scrapped and that we are still trying to get them to not use this year's results as they can't be compared to anything that came before them or that will come after.

I was happy to see our school made a point of making sure our children know how proud they are of them - that they have made excellent progress in all areas and even if the test results do not show this they have seen that the progress was made. I hope all schools have done the same with their pupils.

We won't find out James' results for a few days and although I don't know the results at the minute no matter what they show he will know that we are as proud of him  as we are of Callum - so longs all our boys try their best then we are happy parents. We will tell him that we are proud of the massive progress he has made during this year at school because although his results probably won't show that he has progressed as he should academically he started year two as a little boy who couldn't read or write very well and will leave a little boy who can read and write so much better than he could a year ago - to me that is what education should be about. My Three enjoy school and I always want them to feel that way, not like a failure for not reaching the "National Standard"

Friday, 8 July 2016

Flashback Friday

Next week the boys will be taking part in their school's Sports Day. it was supposed to be held back in June but it was postponed due to rain - fingers crossed the forecast doesn't change as we're predicted a lovely day, but we shall see.

For this week's Flashback I thought that I'd share a picture from a previous Sports Day. Although the boys never seem to win in their races / events they always seem to enjoy themselves and as winning isn't everything we always try to make sure that they know that the taking part is the important thing - not always an easy thing to do when so many of their peers focus on the winning part.

Flashback Friday Rules:
  • Your Flashback can be an old photo (with or without words), an old post - anything you like
  • Link to your specific post, not the main page of your blog
  • You can post up to two links a week - one old post and one old photo post
  • Add my button to the bottom of the post / picture you're linking up so everyone can see where the linky originated (copy the code from the box below)
  • I will share my favourite link ups next Friday
  • Comment on my Flashback Friday post  and / or others who have already posted (this rule isn't mandatory but it's a nice thing to do)

My Three and Me